The Myth of Justice
By Graham Pears


Extract from The Myth of Justice...

The plant had not fared well through its ordeal and now had only two remaining blooms. Geoffrey placed the plant on the table in front of his mother.

"Happy Mother's Day."

"I thought you had no money."

"Managed to save a little up."

"Geoffrey, that's smashing thanks. You're so thoughtful. I wondered where you'd got to." She smiled broadly. "Sit down and I'll make you some breakfast."

Bacon was fried and then placed between slices of bread with lashings of tomato ketchup and, as it was being consumed by mother and son, the beleaguered-looking plant took pride of place on the Formica table, the overflowing ashtray having been pushed aside especially to accommodate it. Once the bacon sandwiches had been devoured two fresh cigarettes were lit and both sat back on the kitchen chairs, taking deep gratifying inhalations, and then blowing smoke in the direction of the plant as it was being admired ... Mrs Trent smiled as she looked at the remaining petals which had survived the plant's recent adventure.

"Geoffrey, that was really thoughtful thanks."

For a few seconds both gazed at the plant, as if they were expecting it to do something, but instead it just stood there slowly wilting.

It was his mother who broke the silence.

"Where did you get the plant from?"

"A shop in the toon."

"Did you beat it up, or did you pay extra for them to do it?"

"Aye, sorry about that. I, er, dropped it on the way home."

"Never mind, son," Mrs Trent placed her arm around Geoffrey, "it's the thought that counts and I'm really grateful. You're a lovely lad. You love your mum don't you?"

Geoffrey winced as his mother planted a long kiss on the side of his head whilst she held him in a strange stranglehold.

Like her son, Mrs Trent did not know the plant was a chrysanthemum. The full, rounded, bright-yellow flowers of the 'butterball' variety had been in perfect bloom, forced unnaturally to do so at this time of year, by their grower's strict regime of darkness and light, to simulate the autumn days when the chrysanthemum would itself have chosen to display its natural beauty to the world.

Nor did they know the chain of events that had just been triggered by the theft of a pot plant. And, as mother and son sat together, blowing satisfying smoke into the air of their kitchen, they had not the slightest inkling that one of the consequences of that theft would be the premature and unnatural death of Geoffrey Trent.


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