Of Ashes and Wings
“You have been sentenced to death as you are well aware,” said the strict, uncompassionate woman wearing the navy blue uniform that marked her as a guard of the prison, “Is there anyone you wish to talk to in the next 24 hours?”
At this monotone proclamation, Jonathan lowered his eyes to the floor, “but I didn’t do anything,” he mumbled to himself under his breath. It was no use to try to fight it any more.
“What was that?” asked the lady in blue.
“Nothing, I don’t want to see anyone. Leave me alone.”
“I can’t exactly do that. Now that you’re in your last 24 hours, you are not to leave the sight of a guard.”
“Then just quit talking to me, I want to be as alone as possible.”
“As you would like,” the lady in blue exited Jonathan’s prison cell and took up a post outside the door. The click of the useless lock rang through the hall. Useless because Jonathan didn’t care for life anymore. Useless because there was nothing left to want.
Jonathan thought of his wife and infant daughter of whom he had been charged with murdering. He was now being sentenced to die for their deaths which never in a thousand years could he bring himself to cause. In a way, it was best, for he no longer wished to be in a world where people would be so cruel as to deprive a man of the only two things he loved. The pain that he spent without them would be a white scar on him for the rest of his life, but there was nothing he could do about it now. Nothing but wait until he could rejoin them in the next world.
Food was pressed upon him close to three hours later, spaghetti with a Caesar salad and garlic bread. He wasn’t hungry. He just watched as the steam rolled off the food in shapes that resembled the faces of his love. He watched until they came no more and the cold spaghetti was removed from his cell. Then the lights were dimmed and he lay on his cot and watched the bumps on the ceiling dance in and out of shadows as the guards shifted weight from one foot to the other, and moved in front of the lamp.
As the sun rose, the lights were turned on again as an artificial morning set in. The slightly blue tint that the florescent lights gave the world of prison halls free of windows reflected his mood. But there was so much more to it than sadness, there was blood red anger and a grief that none but the wrongly condemned could ever know.