Judge Ri: Episode 4

Bailiff: Oyez, Oyez, Oyez, The Honorable Judge Ri, Tamer of Cats, Handler of Snakes and Elves, and Wearer of Lizards and other Reptiles, presiding.

All rise. Judge Ri looks at the docket, buries his face in his long slender hands, and groans.

Judge Ri: Are both parties in this case really elven princesses?

Bailiff: Sorry, Your Honor, I’m afraid so. I’ll buy you a bottle of blueberry wine afterwards.

Judge Ri takes his face out of his hands and looks at the parties to the case. At first, it is impossible to tell the Princesses apart. Both look like typical Elven Princesses: tall, slender, and fair as willows, with long hair as golden as the sun and large cornflower-blue eyes. Naturally, they are both dressed in white samite gowns and wear only the simplest of circlets on their noble alabaster brows… OK, enough already. Back to the case!

Judge Ri (to Plaintiff): Please introduce yourself and tell us what you are charging your sister with.

Plaintiff: I am Her Most Royal Highness Crown Princess Lilianna Nightshade. That imposter over there (glares spitefully and points at Defendant) calls herself Lillibelle Buttercup.

Judge Ri (rolling his eyes): Enough namecalling. What did Lilibelle do to you?

Plaintiff: She has tried to murder me!

Bailiff (under her breath): I can certainly see why. You are a royal pain in the…

Plaintiff: She fed me, a Noble Elven Princess, poison! And here it is! (She thrusts a bottle into Judge Ri’s hand.)

Judge Ri bursts out laughing.

Plaintiff: What’s so funny? You’re an elf, too. Oh, I get it now. You’re one of them, aren’t you? That slut Lilibelle has spread her legs and poisoned your mind against me…

Judge Ri: Lilianna, those are iron pills. Vitamins.

Plaintiff: Your Honor, if you are indeed a True Elf, you would know that iron is deadly to Our Kind.

Judge Ri: Hmm…so not only are you a paranoid idiot, you also have read way too many fairy tales. (He smirks.) I dis-

Defendant (identical to her sister, but vapid and sweet to the point of making you barf): Your Honor, the charges are true.

Judge Ri: If you did try to poison Lilianna, I can certainly see why.

Defendant: Oh, no, Your Honor, I would never do that! But I have still deserve the death penalty, Your Honor, for I have committed treason.

Judge Ri (totally confused): I beg your pardon?

Defendant: I have murdered poor, sweet, darling Lilianna many times.

Judge Ri: In a past life?

Defendant: No, in my heart. You see, Your Honor, the sacred teachings of HELL help me eliminate that which is negative from my life. For instance, before I joined HELL, I thought I had just as much right to the kingdom as Lilianna did. After all, Father did leave it in his will that we would rule together. But then I realized that due to my greed and my inability to relinquish venal material…

Plaintiff: Your Honor, you see why the kingdom should go entirely to me. My sister has proved herself an imbecile.

Judge Ri (to Plaintiff): One more word out of you and I’m charging you with slander. (to Defendant) Please continue.

Defendant: Well, Lilianna has always told me the truth, helping me to see my limitations, you see. Ever since we learned to talk, she was helpfully pointing out my failures. Before I joined HELL, I resented my sister’s efforts, thinking of her as a meanspirited, namecalling witch. But thanks to Daisy Sunshine’s loving kindness and teaching me to reframe things, I have seen that every person and experience in my life is a blessing. In every criticism lies truth. In HELL, I have learned to thank Lilianna for every truth that she imparts, and have stopped resenting her, for I have learned that she is, and has always been, my first and greatest teacher.

(Judge Ri barfs discreetly into a bucket).

Plaintiff: As you can see, Your Honor, my sister is an insincere little sycophant who does not deserve the throne. She deserves to be driven out of town as the little tramp that she is!

Defendant (to Plaintiff): Thank you, my dearest sister, for rebuking me for the sin that lies within me, for even though I am a virgin, I have stained my honor and disgraced myself by looking with longing on Sir Mark with lust in my heart.

Bailiff: May I duct tape them both, Your Honor? Between Lilianna’s bitching and Lilibelle’s blessing, I’m about to barf.

The Plaintiff and Defendant exchange brief but significant looks, whisper sibilant syllables, and point their hands at Judge Ri.

Judge Ri: Look ou-…AAAAHHHHH!

A large, brown, furry, frighteningly cute monkey-like beast with red eyes and bloody claws embraces Judge Ri.

Monkey: Mon-chee-chee, mon-chee-chee, oh so soft and cuddly!

Judge Ri: Help!

The Mon-chee-chee smells Judge Ri’s breath and runs out of the courtroom screaming. After all, he did eat a chocolate-hot sauce-tartar sauce-peanut butter-garlic sandwich for lunch.

Judge Ri glares at the Princesses, towering over them menacingly.

Judge Ri: You have left me with no choice. I shall have to boodle you both-right now!

He leaves the bench, seizes both Princesses, and boodles both of them at once. A horrifying shriek that shatters every window ensues as both Princesses collapse.

Judge Ri: Oh no. I hope they’re not dead.

Bailiff: I wouldn’t lose sleep over those two. After all, they tried to kill you, and they were both insane. I think the kingdom’s better off without them.

Judge Ri: True, but still…

Another horrifying shriek emits from the now-standing form of Lilianna. She claws at her face and screams.

Lilianna: Oh Danu help me, they’re in my eyes, they’re everywhere, get them off of me, ahhh!!! Go away, you @%#$%#$% Goetic Mon-chee-chees!

Judge Ri smirks triumphantly.

A loud, perky giggle, accompanied by gasps for breath in between shrieks of laughter, emerges from the opposite sides of the room.

Judge Ri: Lilibelle? Is that you?

Lilibelle is alive, conscious, and healthy, but so convulsed with laughter that she cannot get up from the floor.

Lilibelle: Hi, sweet mon-chee-chee, won’t you come and play with me?

Judge Ri (paling): You’re immune to the backlash?

Lilibelle (speaking in between gasps and giggles): What backlash? It doesn’t hurt a bit, Judge Ri, and I can’t shield one bit! Your energy tickles! (frowns as she sees Lilianna) Hey, what’s wrong with her?

Judge Ri: Whenever people try to mess with me, it always backfires, for I am the Avatar of Chaos! Chaos! Chaos! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

The vapid look goes out of Lilibelle’s eyes. She straightens up.

Lilibelle: Your Honor, you do realize that Lilianna’s charges are ridiculous, don’t you?

Judge Ri: Yes, I do.

Lilibelle: I have a record from the Royal Physician stating the Lilianna suffers from paranoia. (hands record to Judge Ri)

Bailiff: You people needed a doctor to figure that out?

Lilibelle (to Bailiff): Actually, no. But it makes it official. Since my sister is mentally incompetent, she is not fit to rule. Actually, the Royal Physician was at a loss, since we were both insane.

Judge Ri: You must prove your sanity, Lilibelle.

Lilibelle: How in Danu’s name can I do that?

Lilianna (hissing): I knew you were it on it! You are all responsible for…2#%#$%^#@^@%#^%@$^….#@%#%#@…

Lilibelle: Your Honor, I know now what I must do. Do you have any duct tape?

Judge Ri: I thought you’d never ask.

Lilibelle takes the duct tape from Judge Ri and seals Lilianna’s mouth shut.

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