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by Rober 1997

He stared out from between the bars, home now for going on 36 months. Parole board just repealed his last hope. Death row. He stared down at the cracks in the cement floor and tried once again to shut out the sounds of the others. Jenkins, serial killer, was sobbing in the cell next to his.

Fowler didn't know if Jenkins was crazy or not. The guy had talked about trying it as a way out. Dreams of some plush psycho ward in a state run hospital carried the guy. There was nothing here to carry life very long, that was for sure. What was hell? He'd found out. Hell was boredom.

"Shut up!" Fowler threatened as the guy screamed and threw more of his hair out into the short hallway. 

"Make me! Haaaaahahaaaa"

Fowler thought about how he'd like to make Jenkins shut up. What's one more? He wondered. What's one more life? Just give him five minutes and Jenkins would be quiet as death... 

It made Fowler grin. It would feel good to have Jenkins at his mercy. Damn fool. Wrap his hands around the guy's throat. That would cut the guy's words off. Watch him struggle for air until his face went blue. His eyes falling back as he caught the last sight of himself dying. 

No lethal injection. That was no way to go. Death was meant to be violent. You were supposed to feel it, fight it. Fowler liked a good fight. That's what kept him going. Figuring how to go out in style, himself, when they came to get him. He'd held back so they trusted him. Part of the plan. But it was hard. Killing flies slowly in the confines of his cell was about all the killing he'd done lately.

He fingered the rough edges of a scar along his forehead where that hooker had hit him over the head with a lamp. Hadn't done her much good. He'd got her, all right. Now, she'd known how to scream. Ripped her apart with a knife he had ... bathed her in her own blood while she watched. What a way to go. He envied her. He'd never used up the memory. She still managed to haunt his dreams after all this time ... she and the others they didn't know about.

He listened to Jenkins, laughing this time, and stuck the carefully wadded-up spit balls into his ears. He closed his eyes and let the dreams cover him like a blanket. The sweet killing dreams.

The guard looked in on him as he passed by to quiet Jenkins. "Sleeping like a baby, how does he do it?"

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Revised: March 6, 1999
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