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After a long period of court battles, a divorced man, Harry, and his ex-wife, Agnas, came to a place in their embittered squabbles where a mediator could do them no good, and they each had their mind set on having their day in court.

Throughout their divorces history, the ex-wife, who was charming but devious and with a slightly pathetic demeanor, had always been prone to falsifying her testimony, and Harry had found no way to obtain true justice over the many years he had fought with her.

Now, Harry was a good, God-fearing man, and he felt his situation had always been undermined by his ex-wife’s lies, though he’d never really talked to the Lord about it, particularly. Time and time again, she had won unjust judgments so that he thought this last battle might be the same. This time, Harry was reminded of a scripture that says, “You have not because you ask not.”

As he prayed over their upcoming court case, He finally said, “Lord, Please help me this time!” And immediately, the Lord God said, in a familiar way, “Harry, why don’t you test the court system itself and see if justice really exists?”

Not surprised by that answer, Harry asked the Lord, “What do you mean, Lord? ‘Test the court system itself.’”

“I want you to represent yourself, Harry, ‘Pro Se,’ and let me fill your mouth with my thoughts as you go along. Ask the judge to allow you to introduce ‘trick questions’ in the courtroom, and tell him only that you want to test the ability of American Courts to minister true and equitable justice in this case. Tell him that you will announce, as you go along, when you are asking a trick question. You can guarantee him that no one will be hurt, unless they feel ‘embarrased’ or ‘pressured’ when the trick catches up with them, should they lie under oath to My Name.”

“What’s the trick, Lord?” Harry asked.

“I’ll tell you that later. Just do it, Harry. Trust me!”

“All right, Lord. I always trust you. And this could be fun!”

So, Harry asked the judge, and to his amazement, the judge agreed to let him ask a few trick questions, as long as he promised two things:
First he had to promise the questions would be actual legal questions on legal topics. Yes, Harry could agree to that.

The second thing the judge wanted was his promise no one would be hurt by the trick questions. Harry repeated what the Lord had told him to do.

“Now, Harry,” Said the Lord, while Harry was praying and studying the bible several days later. “I want you to study every passage I had written into the bible about equity and judgment! Make sure you know what they mean before you go into the courtroom! I want you to be sure you know what I think on those subjects before you begin this trek. Then, I want you to say whatever I lead you to say.”

“Sure, Lord. I can do that!” Harry stated, more as an act of obedience than from experience. He’d never been on a walk with the Lord like this one.

“You’re on a new journey with me, Harry!” The Lord said. “Just relax and enjoy it.”

So, Harry studied and studied, until he had those scriptures on judgment memorized. He had begun to see how important truth and equity were to God, who created all things. After all, truth and equity established the seat of His throne!

“Now, Harry!” The Lord said when Harry was almost prepared, and was beginning to write his subpoenas from his witness list. “I want you to attach to each subpoena a list of scriptures quoting what I think about bearing False Witness. Make sure you clearly state the judgments I have written into the scriptures, too.” Then, send them out, and make sure the Sheriff’s Office hand delivers them. I have the civil servants in my pocket! Trust Me!” God said.

Harry did as the Lord instructed him. Soon, it was time to go to court, and Harry was a little nervous. He’d never done anything like this before, and he hoped he could pull it off. But, then, he’d followed the leading of the Lord all his life and was sure he’d be just fine.

Before the trial day arrived, Harry had a series of dreams in which the Lord showed him the court room, and the people that would be there. The Lord told him all their names, and said, “Harry, don’t be nervous! I’ll remind you when you get there of their names and what to say to them. Just do whatever you see in the dreams, and go wherever you go in the dreams, and everything will be fine.”

The day of the hearing, exactly on time, Harry walked into the court room empty-handed: no note paper, no pen, no lists, no books. The bailiff called the court to order and announced Harry’s case. Everyone was there who was supposed to be there.

Before the proceedings began, the judge announced that Harry would be conducting a test, of sorts, concerning the ability of the American Legal System to indeed turn out a fair and equitable judgment.

“He will be asking a series of trick questions and will be announcing them as he asks them. He assures me the trick questions are both legal and necessary, so please, refrain from making any untruthful statements. He assures me that such answers will immediately show whether they are truthful or not! Harry, you may proceed. Call your first witness.”

“I call my first witness, Your Honor. My ex-wife, Agnus.”

She arose and sasshayed forward to the witness stand, with a charming and sardonic grin across her face, as she glared at Harry from the box where the judge couldn’t see her.

‘No doubt,’ Harry thought, ‘She’s planning to lie again! Boy, do I hope You have a big surprise in store for her, Lord!”

“Indeed, I have, Harry! Indeed I have.”

After his wife had duly identified herself for the records by stating her full name and address, the bailiff told her to place her hand on the bible and sware in this manner:
“Do you sware to Almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

“I do!” She affirmed, as usual.

With that, Harry began his questioning, with no forthought to what he was saying at all.
“You do understand the value of truth in the court system, don’t you Agnus?”

“Is that a trick question?” She retorted with a laugh.

“No! I just want to make sure you know the difference between lies and truth before we begin.”

“Certainly, I do!” She spat, indignantly.

“Have you ever told a lie in testimony, Agnus? Now think very carefully, about your answer before you say anything. Remember, you’ve already said you understand the difference between a truth and a lie.”

“Badgering the witness, Your Honor!” Agnus’s attorney bellowed from his chair. “Asked and answered!”

“Contain your questions to the subject, Harry.” The judge stated, thinking he just might have made a big mistake letting this test take place.
“I’ll ask the question again, Your Honor. Have you ever told a lie in testimony, Agnus?”

Agnus’s face turned several shades of purple before she spit her answer out. “Yes, I might have. But not today!”

“That’s good, Agnus! Thank you for your candid response.” Harry said, politely.

“Now, Agnus. Please tell this court whether lies you’ve told in prior hearings have ever netted you an unjust settlement from me.”

Again, Agnus’s face turned purple and she sputtered, now feeling the pressure of being on the spot. “They probably have!”

“Good answer. Now Agnus, and this is a trick question: please tell this court, what has been the only reason we were unable to come to some agreement in any of our mediation meetings, and why our case has to now take up precious court resources?”

With that, the judge interrupted Harry and motioned him before his bench and whispered confidentially. “Harry,” He said, “you promised to tell me during the questioning what the trick is. So, tell me. What’s the trick to that question?”

“You see, my questioning is being done under the absolute authority of Almighty God’s name, and His law says, in Proverbs 29:26, ‘every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.’”

“And Proverbs 25:18 says, ‘A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.’ Those are all items intended to ambush and kill, which carries a death sentence.”

“Psalms 9:12 of the Living Bible says, ‘He Who avenges murder has an open ear to those who cry to Him for justice. He does not ignore the prayers of men in trouble when they call to Him for help.’”

I’ve asked God for a final justice here today, and that’s the judgment written in God’s Word that was attached to her subpoena. So, she knows the rules. Truth bears no ill affect for a trick question, but a lie will cause a naturally occurring heart attack, or stroke or some deadly alchemy in the liars body, which is sometimes apparent immediately like it was with Ananias and Saphira in the Bible. It’s based on the Psycho-Galvic Reaction in the body, Your Honor. So, the trick here, today, will be for her to lie, and outlive it."


------
Maxii


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Comments

The following comments are for "This is a Trick Question"
by MaxiiJ

re: Trick Question short story
I enjoyed your story a lot. I wouldn't call myself a "christian"; only because doing so would do a disservice to those who are devout and sincere in their convictions.

I tried to get to your homepage, but it was no longer available. At any rate, I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

Thanks for sharing.

RAJ :-)

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

rajengineer
I couldn't find my homepage either! But if you want to look up other things I wrote, go to the www.lit.org search area and type in MaxiiJ and it will bring up the list. For some reason I can't fathom, this got posted twice, and I didn't knowingly do it...

I actually used this tactic in court, so I know it works. The story about that court case is in my next post "The Final Battle."

Some of my other books are sold online at www.lulu.com under the storefront "Marilyn Ellsworth". I'm 60, a grandmother of 6, a step-mother of 4, with a son of my own. It's been an interesting life, so far. And I have written about it all. Keep writing.

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: June 17, 2006 )

Very cute
This is very cute. It has a touch of Perry Mason and Detective Cleausou (Pink Panther) wrapped in one.

Thanks for taking the time to publish it.

Blondie

( Posted by: Blondie [Member] On: June 18, 2006 )





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