Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dead Man Walking

The 8X8 cell room looked crooked enough for 2 people. There was a washbasin, a toilet, a poster of Jesus in the small room. He was crying for the past one hour. Not that I would blame him. Even I would have done the same if I knew that I had just few hours to live my life.

He looked at my name badge which proudly read Srg. Frank Darabont and smirked. I could understand his emotions and didn’t know how I would console him in his last hours. In a few hours from now he would be seated on a chair and crowned with an electrode and be made to fall asleep...forever. As his last wish, we played him a movie yesterday and today I brought tuna chicken from my home for dinner. He ate it for almost half an hour and relished each bite as if he was trying to delay the inevitable. It was a practice to stay all night along and comfort the dying man and talk to him....just talk.

"What were your happy moments Steve?" I asked him.
"The days I spent with my wife, Sir. I still remember the day after our marriage. We went to an island and walked on the beach looking back at our footsteps on sand as they were washed by the incoming waves. She held my hand tight when one huge wave pulled her and as I took her in my arms she gave me a love full look that I will remember forever." As he said this his voice broke.
I could hardly reply. I had known John for these 7 months in jail very well even though I was introduced to him some time before as a colleague of my son.
"Did you like the dinner Steve?"
"Yes Sir. It was very delicious. How much more time do we have Sir?"
"6 more hours."
"Sir. Is my wife coming tomorrow? Please don’t let her in. She loves me a lot. I know how hard she fought for my case to be proved not guilty. I don’t want to see her sobbing. Her memories of smiling face would do." He cried as he said that.
"Why did you do it then?"
"I didn’t Sir. I kept telling that at the court. All evidence was against me. I didn’t kill the manager. Agreed that we all employees were against him and the peace talks didn’t help during the strike. Of course we had tensions in between. But I aint the murdering type."
"Your finger prints were on the gun and in the scene of crime. It’s ok. You can admit it to me."
"Sir. I respect you a lot. Why would I lie when all I have is only a few hours to live?"
We remained silent for sometime. I asked him to sleep for a few hours and he obliged unwillingly.

As the clock ticked 6.30 A.M, the guards arrived at his cell and a doctor did his medical checkup. We escorted him to the room where the electric chair was placed and he was seated there. The murdered guy’s family had come to witness the process. Sometimes I feel that it is too inhuman to watch a person die in front of your eyes, but then they are the bereaved family and this was revenge in their perspective. I had to read the rights to the dying man.

His face was covered with a black cloth. A sponge was dipped in water and placed on his head and then an electrode was placed above it to transfer the current to the body directly.

"Stephen Callaway. Electricity will now be passed through your body till your death in accordance with the state law. May the lord have mercy on your soul."
All the guards and I said "Amen" in unison. As the seconds hand ticked to 12, current was passed and he whimpered and his body shook heavily. Few minutes later he made no movement and the doctor confirmed his death.Tears flowed from my eyes as I saw Steve's dead body. I had mixed emotions as I felt both happy and sad.

I was happy because someone else had now died for a murder that my son had committed in a rage of anger. I was sad because in an attempt to save one of my own, I had now blood in my hands of an innocent man. May the lord have mercy on me.


Sonata said...

wowww...superb!!!!dint expect that twist in the last line!!!a pretty sober(wah tht was an oxymoron) type post isn't??tooo good!!

//why would i lie when all i have is few hours to live/// this is something worth to be noted!!esp all those who lie without any scruples!!

Frankly i hate those who feel very guilty after committing something unpardonable!!

btwwwww... me 1stttttttttttttt to comment!!!!!!! wwwwwwooooo hoooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Padma said...

hmm.. ennamo oru sogum ehziyodi erukku unga stories la ellam i read some in ur archives.. but.. kadhaiyoda flow nanna irukku..

reply to ur previeus post..
he he.. naan high heels seruppu podaradu ella:)..

Aditi said...

very well written.. i didnt expect the twist although i did expect the answer to who did it in the end..
those that protect the law break it when it comes to their own
a lot to think abt there

ambi said...

//She held my hand tight when one huge wave pulled her and as I took her in my arms she gave me a love full look that I will remember forever." //

beautifully expressed thru your lines.

i'm curiously expecting a twist but not in this way! kalakitta harish, also read TR post. ROTFL :)

again a short movie or 30 mins serial with charuhaasan - father,
thalavasal vijay - hero. enna solra harish..?

Contented said...

Nice story man! enjoyed reading it. And the twist at the end is unexpected of me though.

mystery said...

good one harish...liked the plot..:)..poor guy..:((

Bhargavi sekhar said...

It is so funny when people attach so much value to their own and in the process make the lives of others a tragedy.
May God never bless those peoples' souls!Amen!!

golmaalgopal said...

wow...semma range'nga...but indha dhadava i expected this tustooo...yeah...unga past stories /postellaam padichhu padichhu anegama ippidi dhaan irukkum'nu karikta guess panniten.. :)

golmaalgopal said...

wow...semma narration'nga...semma plot...

kuttichuvaru said...

soober appu!! nice twist in the end!!

naan direct panra padathukku nee thaan script writer!!

priya said...

When did someone get into thriller stories:))

Good one.

Ms.Congeniality said...

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Wonderful..chance e illai..kalakkalaa ezhudhuirkeenga :)

Arunkumar said...

nice narration harish. nice twist.

Knowing some innocent is dying for a crime that he has not committed and to top it, being happy for a cruel sacrifice.. man, what a bastard Frank can be...

KK said...

Maaplai... super post... nice twist in the post.... But is this story inspired from Green Mile? because as soon as I started reading the scenes from Green Mile started flashing in my mind... and I had used the characters in that movie in your story...
People watching the execution and that sponge thing kinda confirmed it :)

Dreamzz said...

WOW! nice twist! thats a nice story! dint expect the ending for sure!

Dreamzz said...

ur style of short thrillers like this are pretty good!

Aparna said...

As usual an unexpected twist in the end!
Reading about the last moments of a man about to be hung, I got reminded of the climax of John Grisham's 'Chamber'.

Sat said...

this was ur best in a long time man!
padikum podhu i couldnt stop going back to green mile...suber...way to go
think u should get this published? :)

KK said...

Maapilai... super Bond Video... :D
Kalakala panni irukaanga :)

Dushti said...

First time at ur blog. Liked your story. Interesting twist and a good read !

Sonata said...

do u think this post surpasses the..er.. "tht post"??:-P

Lavs said...

By now, I have got used to your style of writing. So knew from the beginning that the other person would know who was the killer.Good one. The scenes reminded me of the movie "The Green Mile" as KK had pointed out.

Nithya said...

*Clap clap clap*
Too good...how the hell does ur mind come up with such ideas Harish ? :D

Awesome thought...Splendidly written..I luvvvddddddd it :)

Gayathri said...

I actually scrolled down to see whether you'd written "Inspired from The Green Mile"!!! Anyways, nice twist. Unlike a few others, I couldn't guess it! :-(

Priya said...

Kalakkal story.. Didn't expect the twist at the end.

prithz said...

"Ada paavi" is wat uttered after reading the last line!

prithz said...

correction - is wat i uttered*

Karthik B.S. said...

super post harish! chancey illa! :)

SKM said...

you are just awesome in writing stories.But ovvoru thadavaiyum manasu pizhiyara madhiri ezhudharadhu....thangala,but, I shd appreciate it.

Nivi said...

another flower for your bouquet of stories with a twist!!! must admit though i was expecting a twist i did not expect this. So guess u won :-)

amazing how the human soul crawls in front of emotions.How it makes us so selfish.
gr8 post!!! loved your attention to detail

//CK Meister// said...

really gr8 post d00d....keep up the good work....!

G3 said...

aaha.. sema twist.. chancae illa

Eppadi thaan ungalaala mattum ivlo supera ezhudha mudiyudho :-)

Krithika said...

very touching..wonder how u come up with such ideas

Aditya said...

in the quest to do what we think we need to do, we do the wrong things. most things in life are a choice between what we want and what is right.
Well written, well constructed. reminded me of the green mile a bit

Shreekanth said...

Harish, The stroy was really good. I get the feeling of reading my friends blog with his stories that he posts.


Bindu said...

As usual, unusual :)

Btw, I tagged you!

thepsychologic said...

"bloody shit!" that was my immediate thought after I saw the twist.. great!

Harish said...

As long as u loved the twist...I am previleged

Accepted that there is a streak of sadness....but I try to my best....that I end them happily. btw...thanks for the confirmation :D

I think i have to outthink myself :D

Harish said...

Chennai vanda udane nama oru short film edukalaam....unga choice of actors is damn apt :-)

Thanks a ton yaar

Thanks yaar :-)

Harish said...


Hmmm...nee romba terita nanba. Inimae ungala ellam kavukanumna nalla yosikanum pola :D

Nanba....previleged given such an exciting chance..

Harish said...

Returning to one after some time u see :D

@Ms C
Thanks a ton yaar :-)

Pity that such people exist in this world...

Harish said...

yes Sir. for once I wanted someone to give the answer...and u r spot on. Thats y i named the characters after the director and the author as well :-)

I try my best :D

Thanks yaar. Havent read the chamber...but I was moved by smething similar in Green Mile

Harish said...

Stephen King case poda maataru :-)

That video was awesome man. So posted it as well :D

Welcome to my blog. Good to know that you loved it :-)

Harish said...

Guess u have to wait till I stumble on something as good as that :-)

I have to burn my archives (kidding).
And es...i borrowed it from the Green Mile

I just pictured the scene from Green Mile...with some twist.

Harish said...

Guess I should do it. I wanted one of you to crack it and seems most did :-)

Good to know that u were satisfied :D

Its not for me right :D

Thanks yaar :D

Harish said...

If not for people as you who time and again encourage me....i would be nowhere. So...I must thank you for that :-)

As long as u loved it...its a pleasure

I will try my best sir...

Harish said...

Edho unga comment naala daan oru urchaagatoda panna mudiyudu

I try my best. All my work is inspired from somewhere....just that I act as messenger

"most things in life are a choice between what we want and what is right."
Perfectly summarized...

Harish said...

I have been to Keerthi's blog before. Boy...this guy is a genius. How does he dish em out daily?

Been here after a long time eh?
and the first thing u do is tag me.....

Enigma said...

woow amazing story

Heidi Kris said...

beautifully drafted.. felt like the butcher sharpening his knife so smoothly that his work got over perfectly and also like he had pity on the animal that it shudnt suffer too much during its death.. awesome as usual!

Harish said...

Back after a long time eh..

Thanks yaar...