So digging around on my word document I found this little short story that I had written. Check it out and let me know what you all think!
I was told that I had a visitor. Nearly twenty years of silence and loneliness in my prison cell and only now I had a visitor.
In the distance I heard the creaking of an old metal gate opening and then the soft sounds of shoes on concrete. I waited patiently for my visitor to reveal their self.
It didn’t take long.
She was only young and slender from what my aged eyes could make out. Her hair seemed to contain a blonde hue to it but I could not be sure my old eyes could not tell from spending too much of my time in the darkness.
Darkness does that to you, you know. Change your eyes. The pupils turn white like that of a blind mans. It is a condition known as night blindness.
I could feel her piggy little eyes watching me. I turned my head away from her. I knew she was someone of importance or so she thought.
She was a reporter. I could smell her kind a mile off.
There was the muffled sound of the guard that accompanied my new friend warning her of danger. She mumbled something that sounded like a thanks before a screeching so loud and intense filled the entire cell block.
The high pitch screeching sent shockwaves of unwelcomed vibrations through my teeth and I bit down hard to stop myself from launching myself at the bars of my cage, screaming banshee like at the stupid bitch to cease making such an annoying fucking noise!
Jerking my head towards the source I saw through narrowed eyes that the guard had pulled up an old metal chair and placed it in front of my cell so that she could sit down and question me like she was a fucking cop. The notion suddenly made me laugh bitterly and she must have heard it, for no sooner had the sound left my mouth she had sat down and the guard had left her with the words of ‘only an hour’ lingering in the air.
“Does something amuse you?” I stared in silence not saying a word, then curling my lip I turned my head away not interested in playing nay games with the silly bitch.
There was the sound of papers rattling and from out the corner of my eye I saw that she had brought out a file and had started flicking through the pages insistently.
My life, I thought bitterly.
“Ok Mr Stafford let me begin. You are probably wondering why I am here,”
“I know why you are here.” I answered coldly. Her voice was so annoying it sickened me. Too nasally and squeaky. And then her whole persona. She really thought she was the shit this one.
Silence, and then she spoke: “Well,” she began, “Let’s not linger.” And then there was a sound of a soft clicking. When I turned my eyes to look at the sound I found that she had placed an old tape in to a small tape recorder. A reporter indeed.
My mouth remained in a hard line, my eyes staring intently into hers with intent to threaten. Clearly this girl did not know who she was interviewing here. Well, I was about to inform the annoying runt!
There was another sound that indicated that the tape was set to record and to my dismay the bitch reporter began to talk into the little microphone that she attached her spotted shirt.
“The Daniel Stafford trial, reporter of the London Telegraph, Cara Evens.” She was confident this one. A lot different to the others who had sat in feared silence in my presence. The thought made me smile at how much power I had over the other reporters. She would be different though, it would take a lot of effort for me to break this one.
Then in her most important formal voice, the annoying runt began her useless questioning.
“Daniel Stafford you once dedicated twenty five years of your life working in this exact prison that you are sitting in now, as the executioner. You served justice to those condemned, pulled the switch to end their lives. Now you are to follow the same fate of those that you put in the chair. Tell me Mr Stafford, how do you feel about that?”
An arrogant smirk crossed her face then. Who was she a fucking therapist? I should have bolted towards the bars reached out towards the pathetic bitch and choked the life out of her with my manacles had my chains let me reach the bars. I’d show her how I felt about it. But forcing myself to hold back my fantasy I let out a mocking laugh that showed her I was unimpressed by her terms of trying to intimidate me.
“Do you begin all your interviews this way?” I mocked, voice low. Her face remained calm, un-fazed by my attempts of intimidation. Clever, she was prepared for me it seemed.
“Only the ones that don’t have a lot time left.” She retorted, “And be it as we only have an hour I suggest that you get talking or you may just lose your last chance of clearing your name.”
Slowly, I leant forward on the hard bed and stared into the pretty girl’s eyes. “You think you’re clever don’t you, because you’re sitting out there, out of my reach! You like to shoot your mouth off when you’re in control.” a dark laugh escaped my lips as I watched the cocky expression on her face begin to diminish.
“I have an idea precious!” I snapped, “Why don’t you flag down one of them guards and ask them to let you in my cell. You want to know how I feel about being on death row. Get your ass in here and I’ll fucking show you!”
I could tell that she was taken aback by harsh tone but she still did not flinch. I smirked an eerie smile. I would enjoy her.
The young reporter shifted on the wooden chair. I looked to her hands to see that there was a slight shake there as she rustled the papers together, trying to remain professional.
I loved the fear I could drive into one’s soul. She thought that she could intimidate me with her professional manner and her contacts of the outside world. She thought that she could play me because my life story lay in her hands.
But what the silly bitch didn’t even realize was that without my consent, her story would go nowhere and her pay check would thin very quickly upon my decline. It was me being in control that gave me that power, and I loved it.
“Sources imply that you murdered your wife of 25 years.” Her voice quivered slightly.
Ah, Maria, lovely copper haired, infuriating Maria. My wife, and my nemesis. God I despised that woman as much as I had loved her.
I said nothing as the reporter continued her speech. I waited patiently, listening to her repeat the list of all the godless things that I had done to cement my fate here in this god forsaken prison.
“Maria’s Stafford’s’ body was discovered in the bath tub at approximately 12.00am midnight. Deep liaisons were found all over her body, black as if charred. A normal household appliance was also discovered on the crime scene along with the body in the bath.” She stopped as if to study me or wait for me to speak but I said nothing, just sat with my head raised to the ceiling staring at the black damp patches that dominated the stone ceiling.
“What did you use to kill her Daniel?” her arrogant, squeaky voice questioned. I remembered what I used, a murderer always does. She was my first kill and you know what they say, you always remember the first time. Whether that means fucking them or slicing them up into tiny pieces, either way the first always remains the most memorable. And dear Maria was just that.
My face remained a blank picture of calm as I looked out at the pretty reporter through my cell bars. I remembered that hairdryer, that same bloody hairdryer that she had used at all hours knowing that I had to get up for work as soon as the sun rose. The loud hissing of a machine that blew hot air out of an alien looking nozzle.
When I still did not speak, the reporter stopped to look at me as if she expected an answer. For a brief moment the arrogance returned and I saw how her lips tightened in defiance as she was determined to get an answer out of me.
Well, she could expect an answer as much as she liked but didn’t she have down on her white laminated paper already all the gory little details of that night? Why did she need me to explain the whole thing to her?
Sighing in a bored fashion, I lifted my eyes to the ceiling of my cell. Brown mucus coloured patches of damp consumed the ceiling so badly that it almost looked like a map of the west coast with all the stains dotted around. Many a sleepless nights I had found myself counting those small patches in such a zombie state.
“Don’t you have the details of what I used already written in that book of yours princess.” I mocked. But she ignored my remark and continued her questioning. Good girl.
“Inmate 1009 to you.” I snapped. It wasn’t a lie. The reporter was the first person to say my name in over twenty five years of imprisonment. From the moment I was convicted I was no longer Daniel Stafford but known as inmate 1009 with a little bar code to match my orange overalls.
Even though I played my role of being uncaring and angry with the young girl’s presence, I knew that one day this might happen. I had braced myself day in and day out for the moment when an intelligent looking person would stroll into my cell, clutching a leather bound satchel that contained all the information that they needed to uncover my identity. Twenty five years I waited for this moment and only now did I get a reporter who knew what she actually doing.
I had felt a brief pang of fear when I saw her walk into cell block head bowed, blonde hair blowing freely. I had almost mistaken her for my wife so like her was she? Was that why I couldn’t look her in the eye?
Again the reporter spoke, this time she had more control over her emotions. “Daniel Stafford, do you have anything to say in defence to your crime?”
Oh I had plenty to say, most of which consisted of vile obscenities that hinted of my being left alone. I would have loved nothing more than to have made the skinny brat paralyzed with fear from my threats but I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I am no longer the middle aged man that I had been when first committed here. I am ten years older, my muscles ache and it hurts to sit still too long.
“You expecting a motive woman?” I answered gruffly, my eyes still facing the ceiling. I knew she was looking at me, trying to figure me out. Good luck with that doll.
“Yes.” She answered professionally, “All people like you have a motive as to why you do what you do.
“Is that so?” I muttered darkly, “You obviously haven’t spent too much time around murderers have you?” I laughed at the look on her face. Blank, nothing.
“I have heard my fair share of motives. One man believed his cat told him to do murderer his son, said to the police that it was possessed by the devil. Now I have heard of eccentric but that motive was borderline psychotic.” She paused mid-sentence unaware that I was listening to her though trying to show that I was not. “So, what is your motive? Why did you kill your wife?”
Still looking up at the ceiling, I heard the faint rattling of my manacles that sounded so much the car keys that Maria had thrown upon the kitchen table when she had got home from her late shift that evening.
“Where have you been?” I questioned my wife sharply as she walked into our small little kitchenette a true vision of middle aged beauty. Hair the colour of copper, cascading down her back like a rustic waterfall. Maria had stopped dead in her tracks, staring down at me in wide blue eyed astonishment.
“Oh, Danny,” she answered me breathlessly, “you gave me a start, I thought you were at work.”
I was sitting at the kitchen table, with my hands spread about on the dimpled varnish surface, my eyes staring into her face.
“Donavan swapped my shift again, said I can do double time tomorrow night. There’s a few more inmates who are to be put in the chair, would have been done tonight but with their last rights and all.” I stopped speaking.
Maria began to untie her beige coat, she had been anxious, so very anxious. “Tell me again darling.” I said, “Why would the salon require you to work so late tonight? It’s a Saturday, don’t you have Saturdays off?”
She looked me at nervously before answering. “Not tonight honey.” She had whispered back, swallowing hard. “There was a last minute client, a young woman whose wedding is tomorrow. Her former hairdresser turned her down and left her in the lurch, she. She needed someone to fill in ASAP. So I accepted. Getting paid a lot for my last minute services.”
The sound of the reporters droning voice pulled me out of my reverie. “This is your story! Don’t you have anything to say in your defence?” she was saying.
I rose to my feet then for the first time since she had arrived. I rose to my full six feet, now a few inches shorter from age and walked towards the bars of my cell. The cold steel felt good on my aching cheeks as I leant my face upon it, staring out at the girl reporter who watched me curiously.
“What could possibly go in my defence girl? Hmm?” I snapped harshly.
She blinked. “One reason for what you did could have been because of your job loss here at the prison. You could have been suffering from PTSD unknowingly and it made you paranoid. You dedicated 25 years of your life to your work as a prison executioner. Surely after such a long service doing something so intense it can corrupt a person’s mind?”
Petty analysis, I resented the thought of being told that I suffered from a mental illness.
“I murdered my wife with the intention to kill her, and my motive?” I glared down at her hard then, “was revenge.”
“Revenge?” she whispered quietly, brows furrowing slightly. I twisted my face with impatience.
“Isn’t that what you want to hear? Isn’t that what your book requires, a single motive for my ungodly behaviour? Well, there you have it, you’ve got it! I wanted revenge on her and I damned well got it! Now you can scurry back to the leeches that you call your bosses. Be sure to send me a copy of your book won’t you.” And then I turned and limped back towards my pathetic excuse for a bed.
I didn’t know why, but a sudden emotion consumed me then as I thought back to my Maria that greatly mirrored sadness. I had never talked to anyone about her death, had no visitors in this hell hole, only other deranged inmates that loved to kill.
I on the other hand do not love to kill. What I did, I did out anger, not pure evil intentions to murder someone for fun. I have always had a temper, always been an explosive fuse. I’m not one bit surprised that it ended up being the death of me.
From out of the corner of my eye I saw the reporter rise to her feet. The sound of her papers rustling in her hands as she arranged accordingly before placing them in a leather satchel. For a long moment she didn’t move from where she was standing, that I knew.
Her last words echoed around my empty cell haunting me as she left. “You’re facing death row and all you have done is lie about your motive. You didn’t intend to kill your wife did you? ”
A long drawn out silence passed between us. All the anger and the hate that I had felt for this girl upon her entrance was lost to me now. I felt noting but numb, confused. And as I sat with my head leaning against the cold stone wall I heard the trickling of water that was leaking from the toilet in the corner of my cell.
I closed my eyes tired of keeping that night a secret. It was out of great desperation and the need to be freed of my Burdon that I then recounted it all.
“Maria was in the bath, she always took a bath after one of her late night shifts. It was the first thing she did.
I was still sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by silence. I did not know how long that I had been sitting there staring into space, when a vibration buzzed upon the table. Maria’s phone. She had left it unintended and in plain sight. I knew I shouldn’t have done it but I already had my suspicions about her and with her phone inches away from me I could put my mind to rest.
I acted upon impulse. I picked up her phone and looked at the message that was displayed before me. I had been right in thinking that she had been acting strangely. She was having an affair with my boss Donovan, and when she told me that she had been at the salon it was a cover up of only where she actually had been.
But that wasn’t the worst part. As I read further I saw that Donovan and Maria were conspiring against me to get me out of work at the prison. She had told Donovan that I had become angry, changed and she believed that the source of my behaviour was due to the fact that I executed inmates that were on death row.
She thought that my job was corrupting me. But it wasn’t my job. It was her. I was worried sick that she was having an affair and when my suspicions were confirmed I felt betrayed, broken, and hateful.
I set the phone aside and after a moment of silence I went upstairs. I could already see the steam of the bath water and I could here the sound of her body slipping in under the water blanket. I bypassed the bathroom completely and headed to our bedroom, my mind racing.
I stopped. What was I doing? What I was looking for? I didn’t know, I was a mess, distraught; though soon that despair turned to white hot rage and hate and before I knew what I was doing the hairdryer was in my hand and I was heading for the bathroom.
Maria had looked up at me when I entered. She could tell that something was wrong. I said nothing, just stood there in the doorway staring at her in that bath tub. Hating her and loving her all at the same time.
“You’ve brought my hairdryer for me sweetie? Thank you. Just put it there next to the sink. Be careful it’s wet, you don’t want to get a shock.” She had spoken with so much suspicion in her voice that I could not meet her eyes. But it was her own words that gave me the idea.
Carefully I plugged the dryer into the socket and switched it on. All the while her eye were watching my every move. I moved to the sink to make it seem as if I was going to place the dryer down but I faltered and with as much hate as I could muster I said to her:
“I know about you and Donovan. I saw the messages. You harlot! I gave you everything and this is what you give me in return? Bitch! Bitch! Well if I can’t have you nor will he! I’ll make sure of it!”
I saw her eyes wide and pleading ass he began to scream out her apologies but it was too late. I threw the dryer into the water with my wife and watched as she thrashed around from being electrocuted.
Water danced everywhere, and her pretty pink mouth began to foam. I felt like justice had been served then, I felt as if I was back at the prison. My wife had been electrocuted but the only difference was she hadn’t been sitting in the chair.
Soon she quieted and I watched as she went under the water.
I had did it. I had murdered my wife and I had intended to do so.”
I looked back to the reporter who was studying me intensely. “So you did intend to do it.”
I nodded my answer. “There you go princess. You’ve got the last confession of a homicidal maniac. I’m sure your story will be the big hit you want it to be. Just make sure you tell it right or I’ll come back and fucking haunt ya!”
She didn’t have no time to answer as the guard approached her to inform her that the hour was up. She reached for her bag and filed her papers away again and stopped the recording of our conversation. She packed everything away and then rose to her feet.
She was tall, I hadn’t noticed before.
There was the sound of my cell opening and two guards entering. It was time.
Before she left, the pretty annoying runt gave me a sorrowful look. In that look I knew she understood why I had killed Maria. And it was that reason only why I had given her my last confession.