The Trial

The Trial

Summer Sequels Series

Part Two: Dead. But Still on Trial.

I seem to have taken on the task of crafting impossible sequels, that is, sequels to works which one might assume could never be “sequelled.” And yet, Kafka’s works feel like they could end at any point in the text, or continue on interminably in sequel after absurd sequel.


We’re here to hear the appeal of Joseph K., who apparently was executed like a dog, but would like a rehearing.

Mr. K., are you aware of the futility of all of this?

Joseph K. nods and doesn’t say anything, as he is dead. His lawyer may have just moved his head up and down.

I know that. But as judge and magistrate of this court and master of these proceedings, I do not feel the need to point any of that out.

I mean, who really thinks the “trial” ends after death. It’s undoubtedly just beginning. I mean, the real trial. The real tribulation.

“Mr. K., I’ve been curious all this time. Please inform the court. Exactly what does the K stand for?”

Joseph K seems to say something. I hear something, then I notice that the lawyer is holding his lips tightly and perhaps acting as a ventriloquist for this dead man in my court.

“It stands for Keller,” says Joseph K. or his lawyer. “Keller, your honor.”

“And Mr. Keller, please remind the court, exactly what are you on trial for?”

Mr. Keller looks at me confused. Of course, he is confused. I mean, that’s the whole point. If we knew what he was on trial for, well, the whole case would be so much simpler. But this not knowing, it’s the whole point of the piece, obviously. So we can’t reveal it here in the sequel, of course not.

“Mr. Keller? Your crime?”

Ah, that was an obvious trick question. As if Mr. Keller would admit to a “crime.” The lawyer is too clever to fall for that.

“We request a recess,” says the lawyer.

“Granted, court will recess until the next part of the franchise.”

Part two has been very promising. I am looking forward to Part Three. Perhaps next summer. The Trial, Part Three. Still Dead, But Starting to Smell.

“Court adjourned.”

Gavel. (I love the sound of a gavel.)

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