[Scene: A courtroom in Denmark ornately furnished and decorated with four stone effigies in frozen music, the human forms of Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love. Mercy has a heart carved on her sleeve, Pity a human face, Love the human form divine, and Peace is wearing a strapless black velvet Atelier Versace gown worthy of the red carpet with Neil Lane jewels and a Jaime Mascaro clutch. We approve of the two diamond clips arranged on a draped section but Peace looks like the dress of unfortunate fabric choice is wearing her, and that leg jutting out unnaturally gives the effect of one trying too hard.]
Judge Seymour Bushe: Will council for the prosecution please approach the bench.
Moses: Your Honor?
Judge Seymour Bushe: I’ve had enough of you dropping the ball. I must repeat, that we do not wish to hear about anything soultransfigured or soultransfiguring or any other bloody thing that might become of the soul. Stick with the law, the lex talionis if you must, but be aware that the defense is using the law of evidence. And he has balls of stone. Call the damn witness and let’s get on with it.
Moses: Your honor, I believe the ball dropped five minutes ago. I call King Hamlet of Denmark.
Demosthenes: Objection. King Hamlet of Denmark is dead.
Moses: He is a ghost, your honor, and though he comes in a questionable shape, he has full use of his voice and it is imperative to the proof of King Claudius’ guilt that we lend a serious hearing to what he shall unfold.
Judge Seymour Bushe: Proceed.
Moses: Your Majesty, you deserve to live, deserve to live. Please tell the court how King Claudius achieved your murder.
Demosthenes: Objection, your Honor, the question assumes facts not in evidence.
Judge Seymour Bushe: Sustained. Moses, you must prove King Claudius’ guilt, not assume it.
Moses: Your Majesty, please explain to the court your experience of the night you died.
The Ghost of King Hamlet of Denmark: List, list, O List! Murder! Murder most foul, strange and unnatural. That incestuous, that adulterate beast, with Witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts that have the power so to seduce! — won to his shameful lust the will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
Demosthenes: Objection, your Honor. There is no evidence before this court that the witness knew of any adultery on the part of King Claudius or the Queen during his lifetime. As there is no evidence that the witness had no personal knowledge of what he testifies to know, I move to have his words stricken.
Judge Seymour Bushe: Sustained. Mr. Ghost, please keep to the facts as you experienced them.
The Ghost of King Hamlet of Denmark: Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard, my custom always of the afternoon, upon my secure hour Claudius stole with juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, and in the porches of mine ear did pour the leprous distilment.
Demosthenes: Objection, your Honor, that’s hearsay, which I move be stricken from the record. If the witness was asleep, he could have no personal knowledge of anything occurring in his orchard.
Moses: Your Honor, as a ghost His Highness is in a unique position to act as witness to his own murder. He exists in eternity now and thus partakes of all eternity. He has access to the holy book into which all things are inscribed! I pray thee, do not blot his words out of thy book now being written.
Demosthenes: [after a pause, a false lull, quite ordinary really] If I may, your Honor, it is painful for children to be orphaned of a father. Yes, but it is a beautiful thing to be the heir of a father’s fame. And of this pain we shall find the deity to be the cause, to whom mortal creatures must yield. As such I move the court to dismiss the complaint in this action for the reason that the complaint fails to allege sufficient facts which, if true, establish probable cause to believe that King Claudius committed any offense alleged by the prosecution.
Judge Seymour Bushe: [takes out his matchbook thoughtfully and lights a cigar] As I must determine the whole aftercourse of the defendant’s life, the court will recess to consider the motion. Good Christ who do I have to fuck to get a better gig? I could have left this job long ago, only for . . . but no matter. Ah well, do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.