Thursday, August 31, 2017

Novel-The Plan: Convicted

In the end, it was he, that would put a stop to the endless and futile appeals. Partially because it was useless and degrading. But primarily because it afforded him one final bit of control over his situation.

Oh, and one other thing.

It was that hazy hour before dawn that they came with the surgeon green gurney. Strapped him down tightly and rolled him to his destination. Wordlssly transferring him to a cot beyond the viewing room and then trussed a final time. The boards smooth and cool beneath his spread arms; a parody of crucifixion.

He felt the cool wetness of the alcohol swab and smelled its astringency. 

Felt the prick of a needle in his left antecubital space and the hum of the machine which would pump the first of three arcane chemicals into his bloodstream.

It would be a sedative.

He gazed through the glass at faces of Mark, hulking in his Exo-Shel, and his children.

"Enjoy the show" he thought bitterly, but said nothing.
Who brings their children to an execution?

Detective Brinks walked into the viewing and stood next to Mark. Catching Troy's eye he mouthed two words

"Fuck You."

Then...Richard Troy woke on his narrow steel bunk with a gasp. His brown prison issued jumpsuit soaked now with sweat. Sat up and took several deep breaths to clear his pounding head. Slow his wildly beating heart.

The recurrent nightmare was the same most nights. There were very few variables. Sometimes The General would be standing there with them- the same grin on his face that he had the day Troy was arrested. Sometimes he actually heard him say


Once Tracy appeared beside them.  Tracy, wearing the same dress that Troy had wrapped her in the tarp after her death.

The worst was Sarah.

When she came in his dreams she was often in various stages of decay reaching out to him soundlessly.

While he was still in County, this nightmare earned him the nickname "Screamer" from the other four convicts in the overcrowded cell.  Where they stayed housed together in a bizarre holding pattern until they were shipped to the Pennsylvania State Prison.

There would be no lethal injection for him. No quick release. 

A plea bargain offered by the Prosecutor, an upwardly mobile man who knew which side his bread was buttered on during the election year.

Life imprisonment without possibility of parole. 

He would die in this cell, or one like it.

The other thing? 

The thing that made the thought of living forever in a cage palatable?

The crest-fallen look on the face of Detective Brinks when after more than a year of preparation, the work, the impossibly late hours, the digging both figurative and literal, the attempts to piece together evidence to bring this to trial...he suddenly realized there would be no jury trial. No one would hear a single statement or puzzle over evidence. There would no ah-ha moment of guilt or innocence. All of it. For nothing.

The thought made no-longer-doctor, Inmate #2649927, smile a little, while stirring his tepid instant coffee.