Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #65

Death Row
by Lewis J Peters

Yesterday they came and told me it would be today. Finally.

Endlessly, I had imagined what it would be like to wake the last time. Now it was here.

The scene played out in my mind once more.

“Magnificent, truly magnificent.”

“Thank you. Yes, I believe the collection is unmatched.”

“I am flattered that you should let me see the stones. You are so generous.”

“I will confess to a certain pleasure...”

Then the violence. It was swift. A single blow.

Vivid in my head but I had not been there.

The DNA, the description. I still didn't get it, even now. I wasn't there.

Twenty years in a cell, pondering. Still it had brought Mom and I close. After all that not speaking. She'll see me one last time today.


I had wanted to control myself. For her. The tears flowed freely.

“I can't believe it's finally here, son.”

“I know.”

“There's something I need to tell you. A terrible thing I did. I can't let you go without knowing.”

“What Mom?”

“Oh God, it was hard then and it's hard now. I knew in the hospital I couldn't cope with you both, not on my own.”

“What do you mean?”

“I had to give him up.”

“Who, Mom, who did you give up?”

“Your twin.”


Oddyoddyo13 said...

Now that's a sucker punch if ever I heard one.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Excellent story!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ah yes, not ony do twins "feel" things simultaneously, they "hear" each others thoughts playout in their heads. Interesting take on the stones. Of course everyone knows I like a good prison story.

PJD said...

I don't get it. Why didn't she reveal that at the trial, or any time since? Unless she loves the twin more than the mc, in which case he'd have a name at the end. This guy needs a new lawyer.

Lewis Peters said...

Peter -
Was she tragically ignorant of the implications in relation to the DNA evidence?
Did she realise but keep the secret until execution day for unspecified revenge?
You choose.

Anonymous said...

The guy needs a lawyer because even a public defender would have pulled birth records for sentencing and appeals, and learned about the twin then. I actually had the job of doing that, when I was on hiatus from seminary.

Unknown said...

Hi Lewis

Damn, and he has to find out that the evil twin is responsible on his way to his death... harsh reality, Mom should have spoken up sooner! Have to say, really enjoy it!

Dottie :)

Laurel said...

Love the story arc and the twist. It did take a couple of passes to "get" it.

J. Elis Morgan said...

What a chilling story! I felt myself reeled in with the character and felt the blow at the end as if it had been physical. Nicely done.

Erratic Thoughts said...

OMG!This was a knock out.Very well done!I just wished the guy had more time to hire a good lawyer!

JR's Thumbprints said...

This story is definitely memorable. With a 250-word limit, I wondering if the dialogue could've been cut back and some more backstory put in. Still, I returned here for a reason.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Man it's early and I'm making mistakes. I meant "I'm wondering."

Rohan said...

Goose bumps when i read the last line...

Not much digging is required to figure out why the mother did not speak up early...just let it be..she didn't. Simple.

One of my favs.

JaneyV said...

Now I'm humming Bohemian Rhapsody!

Can you get a stay of execution based on maternal stupidity?

Deb Smythe said...

Damn that evil twin! And Mom, step up already. Actually, I kind of liked the ambiguity of mom's action, or lack there of. Something to ponder and gnash my teeth about.

Lewis Peters said...

Thanks everybody for the comments. This has been my first go at a Clarity of Night competition and it's been really interesting to get the feedback,

AidanF said...

This line makes it sing for me: "Oh God, it was hard then and it's hard now. I knew in the hospital I couldn't cope with you both, not on my own." Nice job.