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The Man in the Chair

Updated on February 24, 2014

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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If you enjoyed this dramatic read, you may enjoy this one too:

http://frankatanacio.hubpages.com/hub/Prostitutiondeatil

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Wow, Frank. What an extreme flash fiction piece. Another one of your pieces that give us reason to pause and think about the hidden horrors of real life.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      Thank you so much Wayne Barrett I enjoy your visits.. bless you bro :)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow! You really captured the intensity of that moment! Great story! Thank you. Up+

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh my!!! Wasn't expecting that ending! Excellent write.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Scarface1300 profile image

      Scarface1300 4 years ago

      An intense and electrifying piece. Pun intended lol. Your descriptions are amazing, you know a good story when you can visualize it as you read and on this occasion I really could. Bravo my friend..... Chris

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you btrbell, and Faith and Scarface1300 for stopping by and visiting my chair :)

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Frank this has to be one your finest - shocking, tense, emotional and terrifying all rolled into one! The description of the man's last moments inspire a duality of heart wrenching compassion and horror - made more poignant by the fact of his innocence! I'm sitting here tenses, breathless and sweating - surely the signs of just having read an absolute masterpiece of a story!!!

      Your talent is absolutely awesome!!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      What a tragic twist of fate. Again, you managed to capture our attention to the end. Good every time!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      Seeker you're just too kind :) bless you

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you MsDora Bless you too :)

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      A harrowing depiction of capital punishment Frank....and the ending the reason I am against it..in case we get it wrong. Another great read with an unexpected twist...thanks buddy:-))

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      I agree with you Valley Poet thanks for visiting my chair :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow that was so mthing else. I held my breath through the whole story.. Frank you really can write.

      awesome voted up

      deb

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Frank,

      Chilling!

      Voted up and awesome!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Omg...a tragic twist, frank.

      Was glued to your fine lines.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Our Ms Brooks, Sueswan and Ruch.. thank you for visiting my chair :)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Now if that wasn't terrifying I don't know what is. Wow, this gave me the shivers. Woe is to anyone who ever had to sit in that chair.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      lol thanks Gypsy :) bless you

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Frank, what a breath-taking thriller!!.... The stuff nightmares are made of.

      A brilliant write.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 4 years ago from Lagos

      And he forgave them for killing the wrong man. I love the simple way you told the story. Good job!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you tobusiness and Uban foir checking out my chair :)

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Tragedy and horror with a touch of grace...wow.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks for reading my chair MrsBrownParlour :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow-what a descriptive piece, Frank. Almost reads like you had that experience of observing an execution...very realistic, (and gory!) Well done. UP/A/I

    • Lisawilliamsj profile image

      Lisa Williams 4 years ago

      Wow, this is such an amazing story, I felt like I was in the room! You are a very talented writer! I voted up!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you denise and you too lisawilliams :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

      And this was once thought "a humane" way to execute a person. No one tells the nitty-gritty like you do, Frank. You just keep getting better and better if that is even possible. Too bad, too tragic, for the man in the chair in the story here and how many times was that switch flipped on an innocent person- far too many times, no doubt.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Alastar for visiting my chair :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Frank, we have have provisions for capital punishment. I cannot imagine a man being executed. You you have brilliantly captured this horror in your story.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      hey thanks Vin for visiting the man in the chair :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes another great story and I did not simply read but I also FELT..

      Great work and I vote up,across and share.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you eddy..:)

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Damn, Frank. That was scary! Mostly because it probably goes on everyday. You got me wondering. If we put a murderer to death, how does that make us anything more than what we are condemning? I don't know, but I do know this was intense.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you poetvix...:)

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Frank, I can see you have been busy polishing your prose! Your stories are better and better. I am so proud of you for your persistence. This particular story drew me in completely. You narrowed and narrowed the focus until we heard the man's thoughts and understood that he was innocent. Very powerful. Thanks.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      story thanks that means a great deal to me :)

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Death is a sentence that while completely deserved by many, offends all sense what's right when it occurs to the innocent. Excellent twist.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Express10

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      WAW Franky anothe good story. I enjoyed it ,remind me of the movie the "green mile "

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Lady...:) bless you

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 4 years ago from USA

      Frank, most writers draw off personal experiences--hmmmmm. Seriously, it has drawing power that kept me pulled in all the way to the end. Great write!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much Marlin for the read :)

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Frank - Not what I was expecting based on the beginning, but then I should by now know not to trust my early on expectations. lol Very intense and very compelling, and probably happens more often than we know. Great hub.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Phdast7 for visiting my chair..:)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Chilling, Frank. When I heard about the botched execution on tv yesterday, I thought of you. I bet we see a hub about it, eh? You own the genre. Although personally knowing what these people did criminally, I feel little sympathy.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Flourish for your kind comments

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