The challenge at writer’s group this week was “Assuming you knew you were going to die, what would your last meal be?” Time limit, as usual, 15 minutes. Some people actually described an ideal last meal, but seriously, where’s the fun in that? So with only minor tweaking, here’s my response:
Kenneth was being stubborn. I expected no less. he was, after all, Kenneth. So I explained the situation one more time in the name of sweet reason.
“This is tradition. They do it in prisons all the time.”
“This isn’t prison!”
“I was speaking of tradition, not location. I’m about to be executed by the State. Therefore, I’m entitled to a last meal. As my prosecutor, surely you recognize this fact?”
“Michael, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Let me go. You need help.”
I tested the ropes. “No, I think I can manage this on my own. After all, I managed to get free long enough to find you, didn’t I?”
Kenneth tried again. “Michael, I know you’re angry–”
“Angry? I was innocent, Kenneth. You knew that. The DNA evidence cleared me. Evidence you suppressed.”
“It wasn’t conclusive!”
“Even if true—and we both know it isn’t—there was reasonable doubt. Shouldn’t the jury have decided that? No matter. Water under the bridge. Funny how fate brought us together this way. Oh, don’t fret. The police will be here soon. I know. I called them.”
Kenneth looked relieved. “You’re going to give yourself up?”
“No, I’m going to die. I told you that. But I get my choice of last meal. Now hold still, I’m in the mood for liver.”
Kenneth was still. He didn’t have a choice. Later I was sure to show the responding officers the remains of the liver, and the gun. I even fired a few shots in their general direction to get their attention. Kenneth botched my trial. Let it never be said I’d botched my own execution.
(c) 2011 Richard Parks
In Texas, they have just revoked the “Last Meal” privlidge for inmates on Death Row. A few months ago, some guy ordered: two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer didn’t eat any of it.
Oh my god this is AWESOME! I love it!
Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. It was fun to do. Sometimes you just have to let the dark side out to play.