The Prisoner

By Joseph Logsdon

Peter Green was a doomed and miserable man. As a young man, Peter made it his mission to love and support his family. After many years of happiness and prosperity, Peter Green received the news that his son had been murdered. At first, Peter was confident that the police would find the murderer, but his opinion changed when he was falsely accused of killing his son. Like most innocent men, Peter felt empty inside as the jury announced the tragic and unfair verdict. He was found guilty of murder, assault, and molestation. Once convicted, Peter Green became a lonely and forgotten prisoner.

To Peter's surprise, he was sentenced to death. Despite his anger, Peter Green knew that he would soon be reunited with his innocent son. On the day of his scheduled execution, Peter's wife was allowed to see her husband one last time. Rain poured as Martha Green approached her husband's jail cell. Once there, the sad and traumatized woman cried as her husband accepted his fate.

"I'm sorry," she cried.

"Martha, you don't have to apologize," Peter replied.

"If I hadn't left him alone, he would still be alive," she cried.

"Don't feel bad, I forgive you."

"I'm a horrible mother," Martha exclaimed.

"We can't change the past," Peter replied.

"He was alone for an hour," she declared.

"I already know the details of the case," Peter replied.

"You were framed!"

"I know, stop talking about it!"

"How did the murderer manage to place your gun beside our little boy's body?"

"I'll never know, at least not in this lifetime," Peter answered.

"Are you afraid?"

"Death comes to us all," he answered.

"I wish I could take away your pain," she exclaimed.

"Don't worry, the gas chamber will do that in a few hours," Peter joked.

"You're innocent!"

"At this point, my innocence is irrelevant."

"What do you mean?"

"No matter what happens, I will always be remembered as a child killer. I know that the truth might be revealed someday, but it will be too late."

"It's never too late," she whimpered.

"The public has already condemned me," he exclaimed.

"The world might hate you, but I will always love you," she declared.

"Did you ever believe that I had killed our son?"

"Not once, not ever!" Martha shouted.

"After I'm gone, will you remarry?"

"I don't want to think about it," Martha replied.

"If you do, make sure that he is good to you."

"You've always been good to me," Martha replied.

"I've always been good to people, but what do I have to show for it?"

"You have my love," she exclaimed.

As their conversation continued, Peter noticed that Martha's tears were false and full of empty words. Her eyes darted from left to right, suggesting a troubled state of mind. Peter didn't want to believe that his wife could lie to him, but he couldn't ignore his own judgment.

"Martha, are you being honest with me?"

"Of course, why do you ask?"

"You look nervous, is something wrong?"

"Of course, you're going to be executed in a few short hours," she whimpered.

"True, but I suspect that you might be keeping something from me," Peter stated.

"What are you talking about?"

"If you love me, don't lie to me," Peter stated.

"I don't want to hurt you," she replied.

"At this point, nothing can hurt me."

"You have to understand, I loved our son," she stated.

"What do you mean?"

Without further hesitation, Martha's lips touched Peter's pale ears. Peter was not only afraid, he was terrified of discovering the truth. Like an eager eavesdropper, the rain stopped and listened to Martha's dark secret.

"I always told you to keep your gun in a safe place."

"What are you talking about?"

"I found it," she answered.

"Yeah, so?"

"I used it," Martha confessed.

"What are you saying?"

"He was a good boy, but I had to get rid of him," she declared.

"Martha, you're not making any sense," Peter exclaimed as he went into a state of shock.

"You were always slow, Peter," Martha laughed.

"I can't believe it, I won't believe it!"

"Trust me, you can believe it."

Tears poured down Peter's face as his world fell apart. Within seconds of receiving the tragic news, Peter Green collapsed.

"As I said before, I loved our son, but I couldn't allow him to tell you about my boyfriend."

"What boyfriend?"

"If you had been a little smarter, maybe you would've noticed my constant moaning as you worked downstairs," she laughed.

"This can't be happening!"

"This is the best day of my life," Martha exclaimed.

"Go fuck yourself!"

"Don't worry, I will, especially when I get my hands on your life insurance."

"How could you do this to me?"

"I don't know, I was born this way," she laughed.

"Did you ever truly love me?"

"If I didn't love you, I wouldn't have told you the truth."

"As much as I hate to admit it, you're going to get away with this," Peter grunted.

"Don't blame me, blame the justice system," Martha stated as she walked away.

Several hours later, Peter knew that his time had finally come. After several agonizing moments, a priest walked into Peter's jail cell.

"Are you ready?" the holy man asked.

"Father, can I ask you something?"

"What is it?"

"Do you think I'm guilty?"

"They say you are," the priest answered.

"It doesn't really matter," Peter replied.

"What do you mean?"

"If everyone thinks that I'm guilty, I must be guilty," Peter stated as he was led to the gas chamber.

The End