Landon wanted desperately to work as a courtroom sketch artist. It was his dream of dreams. His most difficult obstacle was the fact that he couldn’t draw. Well, not in the traditional courtroom artist sense. Yet there was something special about his images. Straight line body, straight line arms and legs at just the right angles for you to know they were, indeed, arms and legs. An oval head. Not perfectly round, because heads aren’t. Dots for eyes. No attempt at a nose, a mouth, or any further detail.
Everybody who saw Landon’s sketches did a double take. At first glance, they looked like stick figures. But if you looked at them, really looked at them, you got a feeling from them. A sense of guilt or innocence. Because Landon’s hand—not his brain, but his hand—could tell who was guilty and who was innocent. Landon himself didn’t believe he had that kind of talent.
However, others suspected it. Especially a lawyer he knew. When she interpreted his drawings, she figured he had a seventy percent success rate in matching the verdict of any particular defendant. Which could have meant he was right seventy percent of the time. It also could have meant he was right one hundred percent of the time, but the verdicts were not always right. Or somewhere in between.
It was a moot question, however, because the world was not ready for a sketch artist who could render a court useless. Landon contented himself with a career as a graphic artist and cartoonist.
Sometimes he sat in coffee shops, next to the windows, and drew the people walking by. Were they innocent or guilty? Maybe both. Maybe neither.