Rashômon

Image from ikimedia commons.
Image from ikimedia commons.
Image from wikimedia commons.

Witness 1

“Please, tell us what happened in your own words, Mrs. Argyle.”

“Well, I was walking Snookie, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, early in the morning, you know, because she always wakes me up at 7:30 on the nose, so it must have been around quarter to eight.”

How do you know it was that time, Mrs. Argyle?”

“We always take the same route in the morning and it takes us fifteen minutes to reach the corner of Spring Street and Park by the chemist shop.”

“And what did you see at the corner of Spring Street and Park, Mrs. Argyle?”

“I saw a man and woman arguing. They were both holding the straps of a medium-sized black canvas bag. Snookie started barking at them and they both looked at us. The man took the opportunity to wrest the bag from the woman and ran away with it.”

“Could you hear what they were arguing about?”

“Objection, your honor. Leading the witness.”

“Sustained.”

“Allow me to rephrase. Could you hear what they were saying, Mrs. Argyle?”

“Oh, goodness no. I couldn’t hear anything over Snookie’s barking. She’s quite defensive, you know.”

“What would you say was their state of mind?”

“I could only clearly see the man since the woman had her back to me, but he seemed very agitated.”

“Which direction did the man run?”

“West, down Park.”

“And the woman?”

“I think she ran north on Spring.”

“And you called the police?”

Yes, I did.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Argyle. No further questions.”

“You may step down.”

Witness 2

“Please, state your name and occupation for the court.”

“Martha Winslow, unemployed.”

“What were you doing on the corner of Spring and Park on the morning of October 4th?”

“I had just dropped my daughter off at preschool and was heading home.”

“Please, tell us in your own words what happened, Ms. Winslow.”

“Well, I was walking down Spring Street carrying a bag when this banger walks up and tries to gank it from me.”

“What was in the bag, Ms. Winslow?”

“My daughter’s stuff. Diapers, a change of clothes, bottles, you know.”

“So you claim the bag was yours?”

“It was my daughter’s stuff!”

“Please, continue, Ms. Winslow.”

“So, he walks up and tries a snatch and grab, but I don’t let go. He starts yelling at me, but I don’t let go.”

“What did he say, Ms. Winslow?”

He said, ‘Let go, bitch, or I’ll cut you.’ and he pulled out a knife.”

“So, he had the bag in one hand and a knife in the other?”

“I guess so.”

“Continue, please.”

“So, he’s threatening me with a knife, pulling on the bag and a dog starts barking. I look down the corner and there’s this yappy dog. The asshole pulled the bag hard and got it loose. He ran away.”

“Did you run after him?”

“Naw, I ran home.”

“Did you call the police to report the theft?”

“Naw, it was just a bunch of diapers and shit. If he wants diapers that bad, he can have ’em.”

“Thank you Ms. Winslow. No further questions.”

“You may step down.”

Witness 3

“Please, state your name and occupation for the court.”

“Phillip Arrington, obstetrician.”

“Please, tell us in your own words what happened on the morning of October 4th, Mr. Arrington.”

“Doctor.”

“Sorry, Dr. Arrington. Please, continue.”

“I was on my way to Mercy Hospital for a delivery. I decided to walk since it was a nice morning and the hospital is only ten blocks from my home. I was carrying a change of clothes in a canvas bag when a woman came up with a knife and threatened me.”

“What did she say, Dr. Arrington?”

“She told me to hand over the bag or she’d cut me.”

“What did you do?”

“I know it was stupid of me and contrary to everything we are told by public safety, but I didn’t hand over the bag immediately. You see, in the bag, I had a present given to me by my wife on the occasion of our fifth anniversary. A gold pocket watch. It wasn’t the monetary value of the object, but the sentimentality that made me not want to give it up, so I hung on. Then, a little dog started barking and I used the moment of surprise to gain control of the bag and run. I ran all the way to the hospital.”

“Did you call the police to report what had happened?”

“No.”

“Why didn’t you call the police?”

“Nothing was taken and I had to deliver a baby.”

“Thank you, Dr. Arrington. No further questions.”

“You may step down.”

Witness 4

“Please, state your name and occupation for the court.”

“Hector Menendez, taxi driver.”

“Please, tell us in your own words what happened on the morning of October 4th, Mr. Menendez.”

“I was parked on Spring at Park waiting for the end of my shift at eight. I hadn’t had a call in over a half an hour, so I parked and got myself a cup of coffee at the convenience store at the corner. I was listening to the news.”

“What did you witness, Mr. Menendez?”

“I saw a woman dressed all in black exit from a house on Spring carrying a black canvas bag.”

“Do you see this woman in the courtroom?”

“Yeah, it’s her.”

“Court reporter, please note that Mr. Menendez pointed to Ms. Winslow. Continue, Mr. Menendez.”

“I saw her coming from the house carrying this bag and it looked heavy. She looked like she didn’t belong there.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well, it was just kind of obvious in the way she was walking and looking around that she didn’t live there.”

“Objection. Hearsay.”

“It’s Mr. Menendez’s point of view, judge.”

“I’ll allow it, but tread carefully.”

“Please, continue, Mr. Menendez.”

“Well, that woman came out with a heavy bag, turned North down spring when the other way comes a man.”

“Can you identify the man?”

“Yeah, it’s him.”

“Please note that Mr. Menendez pointed to Dr. Arrington. Continue, Mr. Menendez.”

“Well, the man confronted the woman.”

“Could you hear what was said?”

“Yes, I could. I was parked right there and had my window open. They didn’t see me or they didn’t pay attention. Most people don’t notice cabs unless they need one. The man said, ‘How dare you do a job without me,’ and he pulled a knife on the woman. She says, ‘I can’t wait around for you to get your shit together,’ and also pulled a knife. They both grabbed the bag and pulled. The man said, ‘Half of this is mine.’ Then she says, ‘Ain’t no way. I did the work, I get the score.’ Then a woman comes with a dog and spooks both of them. The man grabbed the bag and took off running up Spring. The woman followed him.”

 Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge: the Difference Point of View Makes – This post was inspired by the Akira Kurosawa film Rashômon.