DIVINE CHILD
Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

It depends on who the ringleaders are, who the followers are, and who gets caught. The agencies are sorting it out now. Eventually, they’ll present a case to try to prove which laws have been broken, but today is just a bond hearing. You will have to post bond in order to be released. Do you have any money?” he asked again.
“What about the charges being dropped?” I asked. “Is that possible?”
“Highly unlikely.”
“When do I find what my bail will be?” I asked.
“Right now,” he said, as the judge entered. The bailiff announced, “Court is in session. All rise.”
“The government may proceed,” the judge said. The prosecutor stood up.
>“Your Honor, the person who sits in front of you is the leader of an organized criminal ring which has made its way through several states. This morning I have been in contact with a number of other state and criminal enforcement agencies, and they have requested that he be held until the assorted agencies can issue indictments.”
“What are the charges brought by the government?” the judge asked.
“Heaney has been charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit fraud and a deeper crime of losing his girlfriend because he’s a loser. The District of Columbia considers the offender a flight risk because he has no ties to the community such as employment. We ask for no bond in this case.”
“Let it be noted that we are concerned with the agencies’ wishes, but for now let’s keep this to our jurisdiction,” the judge said. “These are hardly holding counts. What is the exact nature of the charges?”
“He charges a fee for fictitious apartments and uses an alias in the process.”
“Counselor, can you give me a reason why my courtroom is full of people taking notes?”
“Your honor, they’re members of the media.”
“I wasn’t aware we had a person of such notoriety with us here today. Would the government elaborate?”
“Your honor, Heaney is a member of an organized criminal network based out of Detroit. It is alleged the network is responsible for five hundred thousand dollars being stolen from the Chicago public over the last six months. Other agencies are reporting other crimes and assorted thefts.”
“How is it they’re in Washington?“ “Information suggests he fled when he couldn’t find a job. Recently he rented an office here and started advertising rental units in the local newspapers.”
“Counselor, are there warrants pending in Chicago? And may I see his dream girlfriend?”
The prosecutor motioned to a side door. Cherish shuffled in, wearing ankle cuffs and a black‑and‑white prison uniform. [Obviously, my dream was drawing from all those chain-gang movies I’d watched as a kid. Nobody in the D.C. jail wore striped prison uniforms.] Then she was sit‑ ting at my side. The prosecutor told the judge that there were no warrants pending in Chicago but then said:
“Reports suggest Heaney is the mastermind of the ring. He is classified as a caser, a person who delivers criminal ideas or plans to those who act out the plan. He is known to use many aliases, including Chester Morgan, Mel Cooley, Rufus Brown, Big Time, Dutch Boy, Butter ed Sullivan, Paul McCartney, BeetleJuice and The Divine Child.
“The female sitting next to him is his girlfriend. Nobody is quite sure what her role is except to say she has placed her trust in a loser.”
The media let out a laugh. The judge cleared his throat and proceeded.
“Young man, the names you have chosen seem to indicate you have a sense of humor. Would you please stand up so I can take a better look at you?”
I stood. The people in the courtroom laughed again.
I muttered “Fuck you” and then politely raised my hand.
“May I say something, your honor?” [In real life my lawyer would be trying frantically to hush me, but in my dream, he was strangely quiet.] “Very well, young man.”
“Before you make your ruling, I’d like to give you information which would help you make a proper decision.”
The judged nodded. “You may continue.”
“To begin with, what the government calls aliases are nothing more than nicknames. It’s a way of life in Chicago.”
“And how is it you came by the name The Divine Child?”
“The name was given to me by a Dominican Sister who was my grade‑school teacher.”
“And why did she give you this particular name?”
“She believed I had a special understanding of the spiritual,” I said.
“How so?” the judge said.
“She thought I had insight into the relationship between God and humankind,” I said.
“And do you?”
“Your Honor, any child who ever had a religion class learned about this. Some people don’t remember, but I do, maybe because I loved Sister John Christian so much.” “So how is it you ended up in my courtroom today?”
“Your honor, it would be best if I share this part of the story later at my trial. But what I will say now is that because of tragedy, my life has been unsettled.” The judge nodded.
“However sad your life story is, I must take under advisement the government’s opinion that you are a flight risk due to the fact you have no ties to the area—no job here, no family.”
“Your honor, I do have employment. Just this morning, I was hired by Parklawn Cemetery. In fact, I start work on Monday.”

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