The judge stood there next to his table starring at his phone as it relentlessly kept ringing. His daughter’s name written in bold, capital letters on the screen. He knew he had to answer it but the question was when. For what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was a matter of seconds, the judge finally decided to pick up the phone.
“Hello”, he said hesitantly. Nothing. “Hello” Again nothing. “Darling are you there?”, the judge asked nervously. “Dar….”
All of a sudden the judge heard a click. Before he knew it he was listening to the sound of his own voice coming from the other side of the call. His eyes started to widen a little as he realised what it was that he was listening to. “Madeline!”, he called out into the mouthpiece.
No answer, just the sound of his voice talking. “Madeline! Don’t listen to that. Don’t believe that! This is your father!”, he cried out desperately.
Still no response from the other side. He stood there speechless whilst listening to the entire conversation that he had had with Mr. Reinhart earlier that day. It suddenly dawned on him why Mr. Reinhart made a point of saying the things he said and in the manner in which he said them. At the time he took it as threat for him to do their bidding.
Now the realisation hit him like a meteor hitting the earth. It had been recorded, and recorded for one specific purpose. No matter how shocked Judge Hastings was, he could not hang up the call.
In his mind he was hoping that Madeline would come to the phone and he would have a chance to explain, grovel if he had to, anything, just as long as he could get a chance to speak to her. Just then the judge heard another click as the recording ended. “MADELINE!”, he screamed. Nothing.
Two beeps sounded in his earpiece and he knew the call was over. Slowly the judge made his way around the table and slumped in to his chair while letting the phone slide out of his hand and fall on to the table.
Tears started to flow regularly now down his face. He looked across his chambers in a daze, knowing that any relationship he had with his precious little girl was now ruined. It was lying on the floor next to him shattered in to a million pieces and it would take a miracle to repair the damage that the last few minutes had done.
Just then the door to his chambers slowly opened and in walked Mr. Reinhart with a cold expressionless face. This did not even register with the judge. He just sat there blankly staring at the door while this well dressed man calmly stepped in to the chambers and placed himself in the chair opposite the judge.
Any other person would need an invitation just to enter the chambers let alone take a seat. Not this man though, he could come and go as he pleased and no one would bat an eyelid. Both men sat there in silence. The judge staring at the door and Mr. Reinhart staring at the judge.
Finally the judge reached out and spoke to his personal assistant on the intercom and said that he was not available for the rest of the day and to cancel and reschedule anything that he had. As soon as he finished giving his instructions to his personal assistant, the judge turned and faced Mr. Reinhart.
“What..do..you..want?”, the judge asked with a level of annoyance in his voice that was undeniable. There was no response from Mr. Reinhart, just that cold, expressionless stare. “Why are you here?”, said the judge sternly. The annoyance was now quickly turning in to anger.
Mr. Reinhart could sense the tension rising in the judge and finally made the decision to speak. “You were given a task”, said Mr. Reinhart calmly, never letting his gaze leave the judge’s eyes. “You did not complete it. You knew the price of failure”
The judge sat there in silence listening intently. “I see you have already spoken to your dear daughter. You were warned of the consequences but that is not why I am here”, Mr. Reinhart continued. “The decision has been made and you are no longer brethren”
“What do you mean by that?”, the judge asked confused.
Mr. Reinhart reached inside his jacket and pulled out a sheet of paper from a newspaper and placed it on the table in front of the judge. The judge gasped as he looked at the picture on the paper. It was a photograph of himself and above it was the headline THE JUDGE THAT WHIPS LADIES, and beneath that was a story of how he visits sex parties and delves in acts of perversion.
“This is an advanced copy of tomorrows newspaper”, said Mr. Reinhart. Straight away the judge knew that not only was he being ousted from the brotherhood, but he was about to lose his status, his privilege, his power, literally everything and there was nothing he could do about it.
It was not bad enough that his daughter hated him, he would now be a societal outcast. The public humiliation was about to destroy him. With that Mr. Reinhart got out of the chair and left the room, happy in the knowledge that his work there had been done. All the judge could do was sit there and glare at this piece of paper.
He knew the brotherhood held immense power, he just never thought that power would one day be turned against him. A few hours passed by and he decided he would go home and drown himself in his favourite whiskey. He could not stop what was about to happen and so he eventually resigned himself to his fate.
It was early evening by the time the judge reached his home. He parked his car in its usual spot on the forecourt. Even though it was a big, luxury vehicle, it looked tiny standing all alone outside the huge house. He stepped in the main door and placed his keys in the bowl that was always on an antique chest by the side of the main entrance.
Slowly he wandered through the hallway and in to the dining room where he went straight to the liquor cabinet on the far side of the room and poured himself a large glass of neat Jack Daniels whiskey. He took a large gulp and then refilled the glass immediately before turning round.
As soon as he turned and faced the doorway of the dining room he could feel the blood drain from his face instantly.
As soon as he turned and faced the doorway of the dining room he could feel the blood drain from his face instantly. There she was with a stare that could turn anyone to stone.
As soon as he turned and faced the doorway of the dining room he could feel the blood drain from his face instantly. There she was with a stare that could turn anyone to stone. “Hello…father!”