Taimi, Cynthia and Lanai stood near Clarity, who was printing Shazaiah´s file on proposition 531. The girl with auburn hair read aloud the executive summary of her findings, a handwritten page scanned and filed as action plan.
“It´s research Shazaiah was doing, research about a dormant referendum on allowing naturism in public areas and at work for adults,” said Clarity.
“If this referendum went through, there would be no reason for Ms. Marquez to continue litigation at Stevenson against the State of California,” said Cynthia.
“And our arrest warrant would vanish immediately,” said Lanai triumphantly.
Clarity flipped through the nearly fifty pages of research by Shazaiah, searching for the name of the government agency in charge of the referendum and how it originated. Apparently, a few months earlier, the Malibu Courthouse of the Superior Court of California had initially filed a complaint from officer Packwood against a citizen shopping naked in a drugstore in Malibu.
When that person was arrested for indecent exposure, there was a public backlash from the hippie community living around Topanga Canyon demanding the person be freed. To stop the outburst, Malibu City Hall had spoken about establishing a referendum on allowing naturism in public and had even gone as far as formulating it.
“So we need to go to the Malibu Courthouse of the Superior Court of Los Angeles to find out more about this referendum,” said Cynthia, while Clarity was busy on Shazaiah´s computer. “Exactly, I´m searching the address on the web, here it is, Civic Center Way, not far from here, ten minutes by car. Let´s go.”
“We have to say something to Ms. Molly about their procedures,” said Lanai.
They left Shazaiah´s office and found their way to the agency´s entrance, coming face to face with Ms. Molly. Clarity acted as spokesperson of the group.
“We audited the files of this woman known as Leah Thomas Ms. Molly, everything´s is in order, we will file a positive report with the FCC and ensure Stencil receives a certificate of procedural correctness for all the good work it does.”
“Excellent, I´m glad you´re done already so quickly.” The four girls said good bye and walked to Taimi´s car. Within minutes they were on Malibu Canyon Road driving towards Civic Center Way. The sun, as usual in Malibu, was out, and that made the girls cheerful. It was a beautiful day in the village. Clarity turned on the radio tuning to an oldies radio station. They were singing along the melody of Brown Eyed Girl, when she noticed a change in the expression of Taimi.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” said the lifeguard.
“What?” said Clarity.
“Over there, there´s a car in the middle of the road, it´s black and white with a blue stripe, it´s not good, a police car…”
“A roadblock,” said Cynthia, “Packwood´s looking for us.”
“What do we do?” asked Lanai, “if we keep moving forward, Packwood will know it´s us, he´s going to arrest us, put us in jail, we´ll be there for years…”
“Ok, let´s make it a little less tragic, pull over Taimi,” said Clarity, “we´ll let everybody think our car broke down, and Cynthia and I can walk to the Malibu Courthouse while you and Lanai wait in the car. When we´re done we make a U turn and park the car in Taimi´s home.”
“What a good plan, very soothing, I hope I can come up with those plans as well,” said Lanai, relaxing again in the back of the car.
The car slowed down and parked on a hard shoulder of the road. Clarity noticed that there was a long queue verging on a traffic jam all the way to the police car ahead. Traffic jams were not unusual in Malibu with tourists visiting the city from all over the world.
Clarity and Cynthia stepped out of the car and walked across a corn field to Civic Center Way, past the roadblock. They reached the entrance of the courthouse and told the security guard they were interested in examining the Courthouse files as part of a research assignment on a real case. The guard reluctantly took them to the office of a chubby, tall man named George who was in charge of all papers at the Courthouse.
“All papers here go through me ladies, what exactly is it that you want here?”
“We´re doing research on a case, it´s not a live case but it´s good material for our college paper, we need controversy to encourage debate, and we think this case is controversial. It´s the file on proposition 531.” The clerk squinted at them and placed his elbows on the table.
“Those crazy hippies, always setting up trouble, gave the mayor a lot of work to calm the situation a few months ago.” Clarity observed the man who moved his head across the desk towards them.
“There´s something that very few people know. There´s something more than this proposition 531,” he said enigmatically. Clarity spurred the interest to talk of the man named George by acknowledging all the good work he was doing filing, classifying and summarizing court cases. He smiled briefly and whispered to both girls.
“Proposition 531 has a secret.”
TO BE CONTINUED - HERE, NEXT CHAPTER.
SUN ON THE ROCKS - THE MALIBU CASE