Monday, April 2, 2012


Frank was strapped into the heavy metal chair in the center of the gas chamber. The thick leather straps tightened around his wrists and ankles nearly cutting off any circulation. The prison guard checked Frank over to make sure the restraints were proper. He then reached up and wiped an errant eyelash from below Frank’s left eye. He then nodded at Frank and stepped backwards and out the large metal gas chamber door. The heavy door closed and sealed Frank in.

A voice came on over some speakers just as a curtain on the opposite side of Frank opened.

“Frank Augustus, you have been found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death by a jury of your peers. Do you have any final statements?”

Frank looked up at the bright lights in his face. They were probably there so he couldn’t see who was sitting on the opposite side of the window. He didn’t really want to see them anyway. There was nobody out there that loved him or cared about him. It was just those people that would take comfort in his death.

“I’d like to say that I’m sorry for what happened. I hope that my end will bring some closure to the families I harmed. I am sorry. I never knew much kindness in my life. I had it hard from the day I was born and had to fight for everything and I had and take what I could. It was wrong of me to take those lives”, said Frank.

His voice sounded tinny and canned from inside the sealed gas chamber. He heard a priest start a prayer. He closed his eyes and sighed. A hissing noise started and the air changed. Frank tried to breathe normally at first but it slowly became slightly more labored and he couldn’t stop from coughing.

He was calm in his mind though. Even though he could feel his body dying it hadn’t reached his mind. His mind was wide and clear and open. So as his body started to choke and struggle to draw in a deep breath his mind remembered the first time he drove a car. He remembered a piece of candy his grandmother gave him. He remembered a day in high school when nobody hassled him about his acne. His mind started to run scenes in his head, like old Super 8 home movies that flickered and flashed without any sound.

The air was thick with poisonous smoke and Frank’s body was choking and wheezing. He remembered his long dead mother’s sparkling blue eyes as she looked down into his crib. He remembered her smile. He remembered her smell. He could feel her arms reaching down into his crab and lifting him up toward her bosom as she cooed a lullaby.   

Frank’s body stopped writhing in the heavy metal chair. His body stopped wheezing. His heart stopped beating. His mind blackened as the image of his mother pulled further and further away until only a pin-hole of light remained before disappearing all together.

Fan’s kicked on and soon the chamber was safe to open. A doctor stepped in and checked Frank’s vital signs. Frank was gone. 

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