Kristine Johnson

Kristine Johnson worked as a certified court reporter for over 25 years, the majority of that time in the unique legal climate of Downtown Las Vegas. She arrived in the valley wearing a diaper, riding in the backseat of a turquoise 1961 Chevrolet Impala. She grew up on dirt bikes, Pippi Longstocking, and Siddartha, and in 1972, went to the first truly integrated school in Las Vegas. It was then she first knew she was meant to write.

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time…
Once upon a time…
Once upon a time … there was a magical city, Las Vegas, in a desert valley in the United States of Nevada. Buffets were delicious and inexpensive. If someone didn’t have a job, they didn’t want a job. Hotels, schools, and homes were built and filled, immediately. Cellular telephones were as large as an adult’s forearm and weighed ten pounds. No one had ever heard of a text message. Photographs were developed from film. An hour was the soonest you could see them. A wonderful new invention, caller ID, stopped crank callers in their tracks. The World Wide Web was just coming onto the scene. Al Gore was still claiming its invention – or was that an urban legend? It was so long ago that the word, windows, referred only to glass encasements in physical structures. Rich kids had Apples and Atari. That is when this story begins, in the last days of the pre-digital world. You see, before one could sneak a look at a cell phone or emails, Google a name, access cheaters online, or hack a Facebook account, people dared to fall in love, and even then, it often ended badly, and at times, in tragedy. For in that magical land, just as in all the best fairytales, love rarely ended in, “Happily Ever After.”
“Watashi wa suru kara; anata wa suate `i nasai.”
“Watashi wa suru kara; anata wa suate `i nasai.”
That was it. A week later, he carried me into bed, reciting a Japanese poem, the first night we made love. I learned to speak Japanese, enough -- the first thing he taught me was, "Watashi wa suru kara; anata wa suate `i nasai." It means, I will do it for you; you sit down. At first, I thought he was the one who would be doing whatever, “it,” was, and I would be the one sitting down. There was only brief confusion as to that. Obviously, I did not sit down a lot when he was around. I read everything he bought for me to read. I studied every painter he thought was important. I hung on his every word, and I screwed his brains out. Minako’s father was an exquisite sword, brilliant and reflective, but being in love with a sword is rather a difficult thing. No amount of training could have prepared me for the process. When we divorced, there was no fight -- we never fought. He decreed that he would take the baby, because she was his, I was young, and would have another child someday. I knew if he took her, I would never see her again. I knew it in my gut. I also knew her father was still a Japanese citizen. He could attain citizenship for her easily. It was not out of spite. He was not at all spiteful. It was just his culture, like when he told me that I should not be upset, after I found out he had been boning the downstairs neighbor. He looked at me as if I was so out of line and said, “You are being ridiculous. It has nothing to do with you.” He dismissed me.  
The Wizards and the Wolf
The Wizards and the Wolf
  1. CHRISTENSEN: I object, Judge. This is a homicide, not an accident.
THE COURT: Overruled. The Defense is entitled to assert its theory of the case.
  1. PAVAO: Thank you, your Honor.
Q    The day of the accident – tell us, Justin, was it an accident? A    Yes, most definitely. Q    What time did you arrive at work on Friday, January 19? A    At 2:00. Q    Did you see Cheyenne there? A    Yeah. Q    Did you speak with her? A    Yeah. Q    What did you talk about? A    It was just short, like, cause we were at work. We couldn’t really talk at work. We said, like, hi, and then she asked if I was coming over later, after work, and I said, yeah, I would be there after I got some stuff done. Q    Is that the only conversation you had with her at work on Friday, January 19th? A    Yeah. I saw her in the break room, and we just talked for a second, like, hey, I love you, you know, just short and sweet. Q    Did you continue then at your work until your shift was ended without any further conversation with Cheyenne? A    Yeah, it was a normal day, pretty much. Q    Before we leave the subject of work, let’s stay at work and address then the story of Miss Lucy O’Leary. A    Okay. Q    Do you remember her testimony, Justin? A    Sure. Q    Do you remember Lucy telling the jury she saw you at a water fountain with what looked to be a gun tucked in the waistband of your trousers? A    Yes. Q    Did you have a gun with you at work on that day? A    No. I don’t know what she thought she saw, what it was, but it wasn’t a gun. Maybe it was one of the new cordless phones we had at the office.
  1. CHRISTENSEN: Objection. Speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained. BY MR. PAVAO: Q    Did you, in fact, speak with her that day about personal matters? A    Yeah. Q    Describe the nature of the conversations you had with Miss O’Leary that day. A    Lucy was, like she said, she was whack. She was crying. I was afraid she was gonna get in trouble or something. I was trying to make her feel better. Q    Did you ever tell her that you thought her problem was about a boyfriend? A    Yeah.
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