The Case of the Slain Speechwriter
Rating: R, language/racial slurs, graphic violence
Spoilers: None that I'm aware of.
Disclaimer: Not mine, these people are Aaron Sorkin's. Except for J.B. Felton.
This is done in the spirit of Erle Stanley Gardiner.
* * This piece contains racial language that is written in the spirit of
realism. I myself would never use these words and mean no offence. The
characters that these words are written for are not accurate representations of
myself or anyone. So please don't be offended. * *
Summary: A Perry Mason-esque parody where a business meeting goes horribly

Josh Lyman carried a box of Chinese take-out food up to Sam Seaborn's apartment
building. He whistled a happy tune to himself. Things were finally looking up.
Inside, he noticed the pretty woman loitering in the lobby. He winked, but the
brunette didn't notice, or appeared not to. Josh sighed and went over to the
Once in the elevator, he stood next to a heavyset man who wheezed slightly with
every breath. "Sir, you have the time?" he asked in a corpulent rasp.
"Seven twenty-five," Josh said.
"Sure." Josh noticed the ping as the elevator struck Sam's floor. He got off
with a spring in his step.
He started walking down the hall, but was stopped by angry voices. Josh
couldn't help hearing some of their conversation. "Just stay the hell away from
me!" one voice yelled. "I did it, I said I'd do it and now I want my payoff!"
"Go to hell!" the other voice, a woman's, yelled. "You did the wrong person!"
"Looked like a kike to me!"
"How the hell should I know?"
Josh shuddered. Not only had the person used a derogatory term for Jews, but
the woman sounded seriously pissed off. Still, it was none of his business. He
pressed on to Sam's place at the end of the hall.
Once there, he knocked. "Sam?" he called. "Sam, it's me, Josh!" Still nothing.
But when he went to try the knob, the door swung open.
Josh frowned. What the hell? Sam wasn't the sort who left his door unlocked.
Still, he went ahead and walked in. The apartment looked relatively normal.
Soft music was playing on the stereo. There was one strange note: a white towel
flung across the edge of the sofa. Sam was compulsively neat; that would never
have happened.
Josh's worry was given more foundation when he walked into the bedroom. The
sheets were flung in a haphazard fashion over the pillows, and one of the
blankets was stuffed half out over the side. "Sam?" he called, voice
increasingly getting nervous.
And then he saw it. Sam's bathroom door was open. The place was a mess. Things
were all over the floor, towels were strewn everywhere... and one of them was
stained red.
Josh let out an involuntary gasp. "No!" He dove forward and wrenched the door
open all the way. It was only then he saw the sight that would haunt his dreams.
His friend Sam lay on his back, one arm grotesquely twisted behind his back. He
was naked except for a pair of boxer shorts, and those boxer shorts were in some
places stained with blood.
The crowning jolt was the look on Sam's face. One of his blue eyes was rolled up
into his head, and the other was dilated and so streamed with red that it looked
almost purple. His mouth hung slightly open and his tongue protruded somewhat.
His black hair was matted and stained with blood, and even from halfway across
the room Josh could see the large hole in the top of his friend's head...
Josh let out a high-pitched scream. Involuntarily he shied away from the
horrible spectacle. Shaking, he backed out of the room, ready to run away, when
he heard a frozen noise, eerily mirroring his scream. Eyes blurred with sudden
tears, he stumbled to the window.
Outside was a police car.
Josh barely had time to register this when he heard the door fly open. "Hands
up!" a voice barked. "Police!"
Josh threw up his hands, not caring. Now crying openly, he froze in the doorway.
The police flew in around him. "Name?" one of them demanded.
Through his tears Josh responded. "Josh Lyman."
The officer snorted. "Deputy Chief of Staff to the President?"
Josh nodded.
There was no further response until the detective was assailed by one of his
colleagues. "Sergeant, the stiff's in the bathroom. White male, age 30-35, black
hair, blue eyes."
Josh's blood boiled. "His name is Sam Seaborn. He's – he was – the Deputy
Communications Director to the President. And I will thank you, you son of a
bitch, to call him Sam."
The detective fixed him with an angry glare. "I'll thank you to be quiet. What
were you doing here?"
"I was coming to see Sam about a speech." Josh was still sniffling. "We had to
have it done by tomorrow."
"And he was dead when you got here?"
The detective's colleague came back in. "Sarge, the blood's still warm. And
there's no rigor mortis. I'd say he hasn't been dead more than fifteen minutes."
*Dead.* The ugly word reverberated in Josh's brain. His lip trembled, but he
held it together. "So whoever killed... Sam was... just..." God. The killer must
have just left when Josh came strolling in.
The detective said nothing. He dragged Josh roughly into the bedroom. "Symons,
anything in that envelope?"
"What envelope?" Josh spoke before he thought.
The detective glared. "Not that it's any of your business, but under the body
was a package envelope." Symons handed the envelope to the detective, who opened
it and paled. Wordlessly he held out the contents for Josh's perusal.
It was a small letter, typed on White House paper. It began, "I, Joshua Lyman,
do hereby swear that I murdered Mandy Hampton on the fourth day of May, in the
year two thousand." There was a signature at the bottom, but Josh immediately
recognized it as not his own, but a clever forgery.
The detective sighed. Out came the handcuffs.
"What!" Josh spluttered, perceiving the bent. This couldn't be happening.
It did.
"Joshua Lyman, I arrest you for the murder of Samuel Seaborn. You have the right
to remain silent. Anything you say..."

Part 2



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