Forty minutes left to live.
Of course, my lawyer could walk in at any time and say that the Governor has granted me a pardon.
39. The Governor. Governor Jenkins, the toughest in history, 479 executions in the past year on his watch, and in the same period of time there’s only been 421 murders in the whole state. It’s amazing where he finds all the people that need executing.
37. The record is just six minutes before the scheduled execution. The poor geezer had given up all hope and then, then just six months after he was due to be fried, he finds himself freed out on probation.
It messed with his mind though, the near death experience, he ended up hanging himself.
34. I’d be prepared to take that risk though. Let me go, even if it might kill me, it has to be better than being electrocuted.
33. I wrote a letter yesterday. To the family of the man I murdered. His wife. I saw her at the trial, a tasty blonde.
She spoke to me when I left the court that day, when I was sentenced. “Give me a reason to forgive you,” is what she said. I couldn’t think of one at the time. I still can’t.
30. Half an hour.
29. I wasn’t after favours, that‘s not why I sent the letter. Of course, if she did contact Governor Jenkins it would help my case, but it wasn’t why I wrote to her.
27. I wanted to explain what happened. Tell her why I was so angry, help her to understand.
It must me tough losing a husband. What with the kids and everything.
25. In England they don’t have no death penalty. Murder! I’ve known a bloke serve just five years for murder in England, you get worse for parking in the wrong place over there.
23. I wish I hadn’t left. But I was offered a good job in America, a great opportunity. $50 an hour just for driving. Sure it was a bit dodgy, I never knew what I was driving half the time, probably illegal, but the company was owned by a local minister, Kenny somebody, who carried a lot of respect in the area. The cops didn’t stop his trucks and lorries.
20. If I’d asked for a minister or priest he’d have come by now, would be talking me through what awaited me on the other side. If I’d thought about it I could have asked for Kenny, at least I’d have had someone to talk to. Wouldn’t be alone. We could share a joke about the old days.
18. Anyway, the letter. I told his wife, Sarah, about why I got so angry sometimes. About my dad, how he used to get drunk and hit mum. I told her about the time I was fourteen and tried to fight back, how he was still too big for me and I ended up with a broken nose.
16. I got him eventually, when I was seventeen, he ended up in hospital for nearly a month, by which time mum and the kids had moved to safety.
14. That led to my first time in the nick, a young offenders place, sixteen months for GBH. It’s where I met some of my life-long best buddies, where I learnt to make serious trouble.
12. I explained all that in the letter.
11. I also said sorry. Funny I didn’t think of saying it sooner.
10. Ten minutes.
9. I expect the guards are getting ready. I wouldn’t want their job. Gus, the guy who brought me my burger (my last meal), is a cool guy, his brother’s been inside so he understands what it‘s like. It must be strange knowing that everyone in their wing of the prison is gonna die.
7. I’ve left a letter for Gus as well, to thank him and the other guards. He read me a bit of the bible earlier. I didn’t want a minister or nothing, I don’t believe in it, but it was good to hear the words.
5. It'd be a record now. No-one’s ever been pardoned just five minutes away. Reckon I’ve more change of being elected pope than I have of being saved now.
4. Andy was his name. The guy I killed. It was just a silly argument, a row in a bar. We’d both been drinking. He said I’d nicked his money, just a $20 dollar note. He’d probably just forgotten he’d spent it.
3. I just didn’t leave it, refused to let it lie. That was me all over then, had to have the last word, show everyone I was the man.
2. My last word to Sarah was ‘sorry’. Doesn’t help much, but it’s all I can do now. Too late to bring Andy back.
1. I can hear the keys jangling. A minute to go by my watch. They’re early.
Or maybe it’s my lawyer, the scraggly one I’ve been dealing with lately. Maybe it’s not too late for good news.