The Paralegal

Submitted into Contest #12 in response to: Write a story about a character with a sidekick.... view prompt

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General

“Wends, can I call you Wends?”

Samantha raised her finger in objection, but before she could tell Dennis that her name was not Wendy, but Samantha, he continued his rambling. “I’m calling you Wends. Listen, Wends, you and me? We’re a team. Partners in crime that defend the law. Scratch that, actually, you’re just my assistant.”

Again, Samantha raised her finger to correct him, that she was actually a paralegal, not a lowly assistant. However, Dennis didn’t stop to breath, let alone listen to her. “I’d say our relationship is more… hmmm… mastermind and accomplice? No. That’s not right.”

Their next client knocked at the office door.

“Just a minute, Mr. Walker.” Samantha called out.

“Wends, can you not interrupt me? Okay? Sidekicks should never interrupt their superheroes.” Dennis snapped his fingers. “That’s it! Your my sidekick! A lawyer and his trusty assistant! God, is there a better duo?”

“Sir, I’m a paralegal.”

Dennis frowned. “You are? Are you sure? That can’t be right.”

“I’m sure. An assistant wouldn’t be satisfactory to complete all the legal work I do.”

“Legal work? What legal work?”

“Pretty much all the work that occurs in this office.”

“Listen, Bends.”

And it got worse. “My name is Samantha.”

“You gotta let go of this ‘who does what’.” He strolled up to Mr. Walker, “what’s important is that I sign your paychecks.”

“And I sign yours,” Mr. Walker added. “So if you don’t mind, can we get back to my case?”

Dennis snapped his fingers at Mr. Walker. “Of course! Bends! Get the files!”

Samantha sighed and lifted a big box of papers, setting it on Dennis’s desk. “Here’s everything we got from you. I was up to midnight going through everything, but I have a few questions.”

“You went through this in one night?” Mr. Walker asked. “That’s impressive.”

“Well, my brilliance,” Dennis said egotistically, “it sometimes shocks even me.”

I elbowed him in the stomach. “Ow! Bends!”

“My name is Samantha!”

“Ugh, Bends, listen to me, you need to let go of all this ‘my name is’ business. Names are just tethers that hold us back from being who we really are. Who you really are is Bends.”

“Wow, I’d say that was the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard you say, but I was there at the Guillson Trial last month.”

Dennis cocked a grin. “That was pretty great, wasn’t it?”

“Oh! The Guillson Trial!” Mr. Walker exclaimed. “I need a trial like that.”

I saw Dennis’s smile flat line. “With all due respect, Mr. Walker, why? I may have won that trial, but I am unwilling to do anything like that again unless you give me a good reason.”

Laughing, Mr. Walker said. “What better reason is there than money?” Still laughing, he pulled out a hundred dollar bill and stuffed in it Dennis’s pocket. With a tap on the shoulder, Mr. Walker added. Dennis remained frozen in place. “I’ll be back next week for the first hearing.”

As he left, I snapped back to attention and followed him out. I would have to deal with Dennis’s childlike morals later. “Mr. Walker! Wait! I still have those questions!”

As he strolled outside to his Ferrari, Mr. Walker didn’t even turn his head to answer me. “What is it, assistant?”

“I’m a paralegal!” I snapped, before taking a deep breath and mellowing out. I had to deal with obnoxiously rich client every day, and if I blew my top every time I was disrespected, I would be out of a job. That’s just the kind of sacrifices you make. “I just need to secure your alibi for the trial.”

“Alibi? That’s what you wanted to ask me?” He inquired. “I thought you were going to ask me if I actually killed the guy!”

With a stone cold expression, I replied. “To ask a question I already know the answer to is a waste of breath.”

He burst out cackling. “I like you, girl! But if you know that much, then you should know I don’t have an alibi!”

“But do you have any normal activities that you would have been at that we can use as a carry?”

“Look, girl, I don’t know. If I could create an alibi and case on my own, I would. But, I can’t. That's why I hired you two. So how about you stop trying to get me to figure out your jobs for you and do them yourselves! Just make something up! I don’t care! Whatever keeps me out of prison!”

With that as his last words, Mr. Walker was slammed on the gas pedal and sped off. Man, he was not making this easy for us.


When I went back inside the office, I found Dennis hunched over his desk with his head in his hands. I sighed. Not again. “Dennis? What’s wrong?”

“Is this just what we do? Are we professional liars?”

“No, you’re a lawyer and I’m a paralegal.” I calmed replied.

“But does that fancy title really change anything? The reason I took the Guillson—even though I knew they were guilty—was because they had a good reason! It was self-defense, how could they go to jail over that? I became a lawyer to defend people like that, but…” He gazed up at me. “But, Mr. Walker’s guilty too, isn’t he?”

I bit my lip. Dennis has a good heart, unfortunately, people with good hearts aren’t usually cut out to be lawyers. “No, no he’s not.” I lied.

Good, it came so easy. Just like how I lied to him about the Guillson case being self defense. I hate lying to him, but what choice do I have? If I actually told him the truth, he would refuse every case, and we both would be out of a job. Those are just the sacrifices you have to make. “Really?” He asked, peeking his curious head up.

“Yeah. I just secured his alibi. He was at a museum. Nothing to worry about. Because, I’m your sidekick, remember? Sidekicks don’t lie to superheroes.”

He immediately perked up. “Yeah, you’re right! You know what we should get? Matching capes!”

“Absolutely not."

October 26, 2019 00:18

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1 comment

Terry R Barca
03:11 Nov 01, 2019

I found your story by sifting through the entries (not sure why). I shamelessly judge by the first few sentences, and you grabbed my attention. Snappy dialogue -- loved it. Loved the ending. Well done. Terry

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