Fit for Eternal Pardon


Shamar Jenkins shivered when he stepped into the cold air outside the North Avenue Prison. It was a detention center for the hardened criminals. He longed for the thick knit sweater his grandmother knitted for him when he was twelve. He did own a warm jacket, but that was confiscated when he entered the maximum security complex.

Turning to his armed escort, Jenkins protested one last time. “You know they’re going to kill me out here?”

“You shouldn’t have raped and killed that ten year old girl,” said the guard with a weary sigh.

Jenkins made a soft, abrupt sound when the guard edged him forward with the weapon.

“I didn’t mean to kill her, I did it so she wouldn’t tell anyone,” he replied.

“Murder,” said the guard. “Do you understand the word?”

“I thought about it,” Jenkins answered. “Well, in my bed I lay there helpless in the face of my own cowardice. I knew killing her was wrong, but I couldn’t stop. I was caught up in such a rage I didn’t know what I was doing. After I choked the life out of her I was confronted with demons. Left alone, I might in time have gained the courage to truly take my own life. I don’t need others to make that decision for me. At times I felt like turning a knife on me. Perhaps cleanly slit my wrists. I found myself suffering on a day to day basis, truly hoping death would find me fit for eternal pardon. Sometimes I see that girl standing at the foot of my bed like a vision punishing me for the wrong I have caused her. I wanted to open my window and jump out hoping to fall on my head so that death would be inevitable.”

“Well, maybe you should have,” said the guard sounding disturbingly cheerful.

Jenkins’s eyes grew large. He had drawn farther and farther back in thought, and his face grew tense, his eyes narrow, as if he were preparing to weather a blow. “Taking a life is the most horrifying thing any man can do.”

The guard mused, his right index finger slightly curled beneath his chin as he began stroking it slightly.

“Don’t send me out into the population,” Jenkins begged.

The guard smiled. “Hey guys, look you have a new friend here!”

There was a moment of silence at first followed by a collective roar; a cheer went up from the prison population lingering in the yard. There were almost no clouds in the sky which seemed to shimmer in blue as if the heavens would spy, and God threw in a hint of white for dramatics. The air was cold even a little bit dry in his lungs. He moved closer into the populated area but as slowly as he could.

“I hated myself, and it seemed that her death lulled me to sleep every night. It was with the understanding that I wouldn’t wake.”

“Yeah, but look,” said the guard. “You’re still with us.”

There was a crude knife making its way through the population. The knife would hide beneath sweatshirts, folded up into sleeves, and even sometimes placed in sweat pants. It made the rounds like a popular politician until it reached its destination.

The guard paused, and then moved slowly away from Shamar Jenkins. A moment passed in which Jenkins eyes moved to watch the guard leave the yard. Jenkins had drawn himself down into a crouched position, his hands wrapped around his torso. He glanced at the entrance to the yard and then back at the prison population.

A tall thin man walked closer to Jenkins and stood above him for a moment. Jenkins looked at him for a long time, his expression unreadable so Jenkins turned the other way.

In a flash the tall thin man thrashed at him wildly. He dug the crude knife into Jenkins’s chest several times and then began kicking him as fiercely as he could.

Jenkins was feeling the moisture of his warm blood cooling as it hit the cold air. He kept hearing his voice telling him that he thought he wanted to die. He was guilty of rape and murder and he deserved nothing less, but the fear of death kept pounding at his temples. In his last seconds of life, he was truly hoping death would render him fit for eternal pardon.




#

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 45 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Truly a deserving fate for some people. They can pass it out, but really can't take it.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Becky mostly for being faithful to all my efforts bless you


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

You knew we would like this one, didn't you? ...lol. They really should have played with him awhile and terrorized him a bit longer. Sorry my imagination is running away with me. ^


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Frank, you are hard at it, writing up a storm of late! Pretty gruesome stuff here. Your title really drew me in ... and you know what, if he truly repented, then he would get his eternal pardon!

Up and more and sharing

Hugs and blessings,

Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Jackie, I knew you would like it..hmmm LOL thanks for visiting my prison grounds.. and Faith my dear faith..that's it... LOL you wonderful ladies please have a good and safe holiday :) Frank


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Eerie. I wonder if he saw that poor girl's face in his last moments. The prisoners got to him quickly. I used to do volunteer work in a prison, and it's a scary place. They fashion knives out of all kinds of stuff and craftily hide them in places you'd never imagine.


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 2 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

That was interesting, I wasn't sure if he was remorseful or just feeling sorry for himself. Good job!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Flouruash thank you again for visiting my stories, bless you and have a wonderful holiday and a great new year..:) Frank

janiek, thank you for reading my pardon.. i will return the read :) Frank


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I’ve read that prison inmates have little to zero tolerance for child molesters and killers like Jenkins who are often kept out of general pop for their own protection. Your superbly written short story brings this home. The upside-down society inside any prison has its own rules. True repentance often comes too late. Excellent write, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Genna for reading my eternal pardon and Flourish sorry I mispelled your name you didn't deserve that :) bless you both


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Good one buddy. I was drawn into that story, and although I had an inkling what was coming, it was still dramatic. What goes arund, comes around doesn't it? Or you reap what you sow. Great read.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Jodah for checking out my pardon


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Apparently things like this happen often in prison populations. You wrote this in a way that was riveting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Peggy W :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Frank your story sounds so similar to something that happened like just over a month in my country. A six year old went missing, but her step dad was the prime suspect police started looking for her they did not find her. So about the 3 days after she went missing her mother got a foul stench in the house and went to see what it was. It lured her to a barrel she had in her bedroom and on opening the cover her heart was pounding because the scent kept getting stronger.

She saw a black plastic bag after she removed some clothes and felt a head tied in the bag it was her 6 year old daughter decomposing body. the Forensic did DNA and autopsy and found out she was raped even after she was murder, her head was bashed in so badly said it was like an impact of a terrible vehicular accident. Plus the raper 'step dad" bit off a piece of her tongue.

This maniac when the police held him suddenly took in sick with asthma and was rushed to the hospital he had to be charged on the hospital bed, now he's in the insane asylum awaiting a 14 day evaluation and he said it feels nice to be out of hand cuffs.

So he wants to be free after doing such a horrid crime, because the devils that possessed him left him............the prisons are awaiting his arrival to deal him brutal for his wickedness. Such is life!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

wow lady what a horrible truth :( thanks for reading this piece


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Hmmm it was and is very sad, remember the child's mother and family in prayer. You're welcome


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 2 years ago from West Virginia

Franky boy!!! I know its been a while now, my apologies. Awesome all around my friend. I could point out so much, gripping my friend. Brutal yes, great writing, Absolutely!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

I sure will Lady, and thelyricwriter always good to see you thanks for reading bro :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Shemar Jenkins seemed to have died with a false hope. I wonder if forgiveness would have served him better than death. Frank, this story places some importance on the state of mind before one dies. Thank you for this one.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much MsDora.. and have a safe and happy New Year :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

A most gripping story. Passing it on.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Gypsy Rose


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Hmm, was his repentance real or fear of what awaits him after death? Knowing the inmates regarded his actions as vile certainly put fear in him for sure so that death he spoke of was no truly what he wanted.

I just love your stories Frank. Your knowledge, your descriptions, your endings, the pictures you use (did I leave anything out)...

Voted up awesome, and interesting.

It is stories like these that truly make me miss the share button!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

you missed nothing I enjoy your comments Till you're the best


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Share button is visible when viewed through AOL so I'm sharing!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

You pulled me in on the title, Frank, which is what Jenkins was asking for, eternal pardon. Seems his fear of death was due to facing judgement in the afterlife, yet he did not want to be taken down by another. He would rather have ended his own life quickly and smoothly in hopes of some kind of atonement. (?) Good story, short and quick. Well done, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Till thank you and Pyhllis thank you for visiting my pages :)


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

You are most welcome, Frank. Thank you for the follow, I appreciate it.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

anytime P.D


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

It is funny you called me PD, Frank. I once subscribed by phone to a magazine, told them to address it to PD Burns. Their mailing label was addressed to 'Petey Burns'. My son laughed so hard about that and called me Petey for a long time.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

LOL that was funny Petey :)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

quite dramatic...

i read as the knife choked life out of him...

he did it to her and he did it to him...

sad story... good job!


pochinuk 2 years ago

Frank,

Shamar Jenkins certainly revealed himself

Truth should be told.

"…I did…"

"…I don't need…"

"…You know…"'

The furious mind of a criminal.

Your stories are extinguishing low tide

turbulences in me to never read this kind of stuff.

Frank Antacio: A Fiction Suspense Alchemist.

I will take time to read more, thank you for keeping your talents unburied here,

-pochinuk


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Uban for stopping by and thank you too pochinuk... for really shaking a stick at my flash fiction :) Frank


parrster profile image

parrster 2 years ago from Oz

Provoking story. So many layered images. We judge, condemn and execute a man because they've walked the death worthy road. Yet at the end, we are all left with but one judge to face. A hope for mercy greater than man's.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you parrster for leaving footprints


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Thought provoking --you know, it makes me wonder at what point are we square with the universe?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Audrey :)


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 2 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Frank,

I really enjoyed this and its introspective nature. Shemar was wrestling with his demons in a living hell while, at the same time, fearing that he would end up in an eternal one. In the end was his murder in the prison yard atonement for the life he took? Thought provoking, indeed!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you cat on a soapbox for visiitng my page :)


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 14 months ago from LOS ANGELES

This story reminded me of something my pastor said one day. He said even a murderer will beg for his own life to be spared. The unmerciful begging for mercy. Enjoyable read.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton Author

Dana thank you for stopping by, bless you


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 14 months ago from West Virginia

Frank the Tank!! Man, I hope all is well brother. I stay so busy, I rarely get to come by. Miss my good friends here. Miss your writing. Love this. Twisted!!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton Author

Hey good to see you, I hope busy is good..bless you bro :)

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