Penelope Golightly drew out a cigarette from the silver case she kept at her bedside for these occasions and lit it. The young barrister that she had instructed was weary from his final submissions. He looked at her with his deep ice-blue eyes, flecked with hazel and flecked again with jade green and flecked still more with steely gray (there was perhaps altogether far too much going on with his eyes).
“May I… hand in my FAS form?” he asked her in a throaty voice.
She examined it closely. “I’m not entirely sure that your timings are accurate here. I can’t allow it. You greatly overstated the time estimate in the first place. “
“But,” protested young Tarquin Snaresbound, “I attended an hour before the appointment for…. discussions. As directed. “
“So be it,” she said and she began to melt the candle-wax into a small delicate porcelain bowl.
“However,” she added with a wry smile, “You have ticked the box here that said that two experts were involved. And by my reckoning, there was certainly only one present. I’m afraid that until you are as good off your feet as you are on them, there will be meagre pickings from this tribunal.”
His high cheekbones coloured with shame, “Have some charity,” he said, “This form is my very livelihood.”
Penelope dipped the seal into the hot wax and applied it to the paper “My dear Tarquin, if you wanted the maximum uplift on the Form, you needed to deliver the same.”
Noting that he was crestfallen, she added, “Perhaps next time you should bring along a McKenzie Friend?”
[I am SO sorry. I partially blame Garfield and Pauline for the suggestion that my next novel should be a legal bodice-ripper. As you can see here, I think not. I also apologise for now having the idea that FAS in this context is a F_____ Assessment Survey and making the next time you have to hand a genuine FAS form up in Court a somewhat awkward experience. ]