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Coasting-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Death Orchid-Fiction by j. brooke
Orange Bikini-Fiction by Maria Espinosa
Sirens-Fiction by Jason Bougger
Death Takes a Snow Day-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Chill of a Lifetime-Fiction by Robert Aguon Perez
HIJAX-Fiction by Liz McAdams
Marriage-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Secrets-Fiction by Carole Sojka
The Ten Ten-Fiction by A. F. Knott
Losing Eileen-Fiction by Marci McKim
Snake Dog-Fiction by Catfish McDaris
My Heart Will Always Be Yours-Fiction by Jon Park
Unicorn-Fiction by Rob Dominelli
Call Girls-Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Hollywood Harry's bar and Grill-Flash Fiction by Fred Zackel
Grandmother Nightmare-Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Death Row-Flash Fiction by Luann Lewis
The Jarvis and Mae Team-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Flying Away-Flash Fiction by Jerry Vilhotti
A Note for Alex Gildzen-Poem by Mark Young
Spoiled-Poem by Chad Haskins
Recognized-Poem by Michael Keshigian
the only goodbye he deserved-Poem by J. J. Campbell
Dropping the Ball-Poem by Ian Mullins
A Song of Vengeance-Poem by Christopher Hivner
A Slip of the Tongue-Poem by Robert Halleck
Again the 11th Hour-Poem by Robert Halleck
Jack-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
singles ad Westwood Magazine-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Love is all-Poem by Meg Baird
Travelling-Poem by Meg Baird
Roxyanna-Poem by David Spicer
Wanted-Poem by David Spicer
Whataya Say?-Poem by David Spicer
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

deathrow.jpg
Art by John Thompson 2018

Death Row

 

Luann Lewis

 

 

The judge’s voice carries a finality that you know can't be good. The women of the jury won’t meet your eyes. You can tell they don't believe you. Women have a natural aversion to you. Shy and tongue tied, you’ve never known how to talk to them. Of course they'd condemn you now.

“Will the defendant please rise and face the jury. Madam Forelady, has the jury agreed upon a verdict?”

“Yes, we have. We find the Defendant guilty of murder in the first degree.”

Your knees tremble at those words. What happens now? So far, it's only been a holding cell. Now it's gonna be prison. Prison! You’ve never been in prison!

 And what’s it like on death row? Death row… shit, they’re gonna kill you.  Sure, your attorney says he’ll file an appeal but we all know how that goes. You get lost in the system. You have no money, no power. Nobody cares.  

How does it feel to get the final injection? Where do you go when you die?  You don’t want to die. And you sure as hell don’t want to spend your last days in prison. Your heart’s pounding out of your chest. Maybe you’re gonna die right now from a heart attack.

Clamps on your wrists, chains on your ankles, they lead you out shuffling like an old man. You’re humiliated and terrified. The bailiff’s grip is tight. What do they think, you’re gonna run away? 

Powerless, afraid and resentful, you hate yourself for getting in this mess. Wishing to turn back time is useless. You know that, but your mind still goes there. One stupid mistake...

If only you had put her body in the river instead of the trunk, you wouldn’t be here now. You’re not a criminal. You don’t belong with those animals—behind bars. You curse yourself for how sloppy you were that night in the forest. One hour of fun and look at you. You screwed up and you have to pay for it like this. Damn women. Why the hell is it that they just don't like you?



Luann Lewis is a legal writer who was a published writer of adult fiction in the 1990s before a life event caused an abrupt change of course. She is now pursuing an MFA and dabbles in fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and flash nonfiction. She has had two flash stories featured in 101 Words e-zine, a story performed by Manawaker Studios Flash Fiction Podcasts, and a piece published in Round Up! She ahs also won several local contests.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017