The Man in the Chair
The brilliant and amazing sun that had warmed the friendly pavements of the city had faded to a golden dusk, and at nine the street lights came on. Life was so complete when young couples would walk hand and hand slowly as if drinking in the wine of youth. It was magical when nothing else was on their minds.
At the far end of the cell a guard had his hand by the electrical switch as he then grabbed the on off lever between his finger and thumb. The final hour was in its second’s stage and there was no reprieve from the Governor.
The executioner lifted the forefinger once in the air, and then pointed the fingertip downwards in his signal to indicate “go.” The electric switch went on and the man in the chair was ready to fry. As he started to beg for his life again, or rather ramble incoherently between whimpers and squeaks, the calm voice from the executioner offered him nothing tangible but death.
The leather straps fixed to the man in the chair and linked to the on and off switch appeared to stretch as it fought the muscle’s involuntary movements. The chair appeared to come alive with a slight buzzing. In silence the huge form in the chair rose as if by levitation, but couldn’t be propelled into the air because of the leather straps. The legs and wrists bulged outwards against the constraints until it seemed that the leather would cut through the flesh right to the bone.
The man in the chair had his mouth opened as if he caught death by surprise and it was a second before a demonic scream filled the air. Smoke came from the puffed flesh around the man and rose to the ceiling. His tongue clipped between his teeth severing it from his mouth. The crowd of eight that sat behind a glass viewing room couldn’t see the suffering because of the smoke that fogged the glass.
His eyes were oddly bulging into vision and he caught himself staring at the ceiling. He knew death was circling the room as he prayed to God that death would come sooner rather than later. Brow furrowed in concentration as he tried to speak and decipher meaningful prayer words out of the gibberish that was coming from his tongue-less mouth.
The protest on the outside continued as the crowd gathered closer to the building when a power surge dimmed the street lights.
Three guards sat around a brown phone that was ringing for the past three minutes. The view of the execution impaired their hearing as the Governor’s reprieve was ignored. The man accused of killing three women in a Brooklyn Park had been captured five hours before the switch was charged. The Governor was too busy buying a new suit for his upcoming campaign run, but he did leave enough time to make that call.
The man in the chair was finally silent after eight minutes; his last ramblings actually became coherent even through a bloody mouth. He was forgiving everyone in the viewing room for killing the wrong man. His words of forgiveness were clear and loud enough to be heard through the electrical commotion.
The phone stopped ringing as the executioner gave an order to his subordinates, and the execution was over…
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© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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