Trial Arctic

There were balloons hovering in the courtroom. One could see the ocean from the rectangular walls of glass windows. Glaciers extended out into the icy waters of the endless Arctic sea. Whether it was day or night, the sun spread white dry light over the land and through the windows onto the trial proceedings. No matter how it turned out, the glaciers and unforgiving sun would be witnesses to my first trial.

I entered the courtroom, dressed casually in corduroy pants and a tee-shirt. Passing by the window, I looked down upon the glaring blanch of the iced over the tundra. Within a circle of glaciers that created an icy monument to Stone Henge, a group of large monstrous animal hybrids huddled around each other. Each animal stood on human-like legs with chests out and arms stretched up to the sky. A rust red saber-toothed tiger stretched up past ten feet, its clawed paws curving in an offensive strike position. On its right, a bulbous polar bear stood two feet short of the saber tooth. Its fur was a shabby coat of a urine-stained ivory color.

Unlike the tiger, the bear had its forearms positioned as if it were hugging the air. An enormous upright snow leopard loomed to the bear's right; its knife point teeth flashed in the glacial light. On this wild cat's right stood an Arctic mammoth raising its ivory tusks to the bleak sky. A gargantuan walrus supported its fleshy, top-heavy body with its leathery flippers. Its thick whiskers framed its hearty chipped tusks. The walrus was the completion of the frozen circle of the five animals. As I observed the circle more thoroughly, I was positive that they were all motionless, frozen in space and time like an arrangement of action figures in a display case.

I finished my observations and made my way into the well of the courtroom to prepare for my opening arguments. I was the prosecuting attorney making my case for the people of the Arctic region against a brightly colored group of floating balloon figures. Tied together by black strands of wire, the three defendants freely bobbed in the air trying not to entangle their wire strings. Although they were all definitely balloon esque, each one had its own style and personality. The first defendant was a standard round balloon, only it was striped in bold rainbow colors. Its facial features were minimally expressive and small; this I attributed to the balloon's remarkable representation of the RGB color spectrum. The second balloon seemed to be partially conjoined to the final defendant of the trio. Continually, its rectangular body bloated with thin, deflated air while its conjoined counterpart veered left to right every other minute. These two balloons were colored with the palette of an Eskimo pie on a stick or an Eskimo sandwich: rich chocolate brown, creamy vanilla off-white, and popsicle stick tan. The larger of the two had a square face with a chocolate brown frame in which sat two brown eyes, a round nose, and smiling mouth on a vanilla background. It kept inflating, deflating, expanding, retracting; it must have been nervous due to the upcoming cross examination.

I looked at my white stack of carefully typed notes and case files to reference during my cross. I heard the judge enter and drop the gavel solemnly to call the session to order. I envisioned myself out on the shore of ice, freezing and jumping into the arms of the animals: the Sabertooth, the Polar Bear, the Leopard, the Mammoth, the Walrus. I felt myself within their frozen grasps enraptured by the ubiquity of the solid white. I tried to stare into the sea to plan escape, to claw out of the glassy ice that became the window from which I stared. The league of these wise, frozen, ancient animals remained still in its circle of ice and I remained detached in the frozen courtroom gleaming behind solid sheets of unbreakable, but unforgettable glass.

dream selections