Short: “The man in the docks”

Writing Prompt Response:

In a not so distant dystopian future you will have to defend your internet history from the past 5 years in a court room setting in front of your extended family, friends, and love interests


I could feeling the prosecutors eyes boring into my skull as he paced around me. The courtoom was stuffy and reeked of disinfectant – the summer heat always brought the worst of the smog with it.

“Cats in pajamas. Cats in silly hats. Cats falling over.” He continued, his terse tone growing sharper and sharper with each syllable. “Cats on slides, cats with ham on their faces.”

There was a pervasive muttering around the court, as what had initially been a joke ran onwards and onwards.

“Can you explain yourself, Mister Matthews?” He pronounded Mr. fully, stressing every consonant as if correct pronunciation was the epitome of life’s purpose.

“It was the 2010’s,” I stammered. “Everyone was into cats on the internet.”

There was a murmur of agreement.

“We are all aware of that, Mister Matthews. However, you spent an entire week looking at nothing but cat pictures, videos, blogs and how-to tutorials. Not to mention scatterings of recurrent searches over the following years”

Another ripple of whispers flowed through the packed court, borne on a tide of discontent and shock.

“You are aware your family is here, Mister Matthews?”

“I am.”

“As well as your significant other.”

I looked at Tracy, who refused to meet my eyes. “I am.”

“Then what do you have to say for yourself? You realise what you have done is a great crime in this nation?”

At last, I finally broke, after two weeks of borderline interrogation.

“I like cats! There is nothing wrong with being a cat person! They’re fluffy and cute, I don’t care what you say, they’re amazing creatures!”

Red-faced, I gripped the edge of the booth. Spittle flew from my mouth. I was not going to sit, cornered and dictated to. If I was to go down I would go down fighting.

“As for you,” my finger shot outwards, pointing wildly at the judge, who sat ready to condemn me to death for my ‘crime’. “You’re no friend of mine!”

Woof, said the judge.

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