Hunters and Gatherers

Judge Hallowell tapped her gavel and announced, “I would like to allow Victoria Elliott the opportunity to address the court.”

A diminutive gray haired woman stood up, took a deep breath, and then addressed the jury. “It’s been a long year since I lost my son, Raymond Elliott. On behalf of the family I can only say that we all miss my Ray, and are burdened by his absence. He was a wonderful son, husband, father and friend to everyone he knew. But now he is gone, ripped out of our lives by this despicable monster, but unlike my new friend, Ruth Dunthorp, I am not burdened by the Bible and the Church with any doubt that this boy needs to be put to death, but from my perspective a quick and efficient death itself is not adequate.”

Victoria stood up on tip toes in an effort to emphasize her point of view. “I want more than an eye for an eye. If I could do it myself I would start with pulling the nails out of his fingers and the teeth out of his mouth with a pair of pliers. I would like to hear him scream with terror, the same terror that must have gone through my son Raymond in his last moments of life as he was hunted down like an animal. I would do such things not out of any pleasure it would give me but to impress upon this devil the true horror of existence. And I would insist that such torture be conducted in the presence of his family so that they too might learn a lesson and come to know the effects of failure in their child rearing.”

Drawing in one final breath, Victoria concluded, “And so Judge I thank you for letting me express how I really feel about the inadequacy of the death penalty and it is my hope that this sick creature will get an injection or an electrocution or hanging that doesn’t quite work and that he recovers from such a botched execution only to live a long life with some kind of permanent disablement that will bring him years of suffering but provide enough consciousness to know that such physical and mental torment is the result of his horrible pitiful cowardly actions.”




Casey Bush

Casey Bush is a Portland poet whose eighth collection Student of Hippocampus was published in 2018 by Last Word Press (Olympia, WA).  His essay “Sisters Around the Cauldron: Mary Barnard and Her Sappho” was recently posted on the Berlin based website The Decadent Review.  Casey is the poetic voice of Notes & Motes: The Vlatkovich Trio Plus One.  He recommends Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, February 16, 2023 - 22:06