Prompt: A journalist writing a story about living on death row begins to fall for one of the inmates she’s interviewing.
If there was one thing Kate Lorrie would never forget, it was those blue eyes. They were vibrant eyes, full of life and wonder, waiting to, no, wanting to see more of this world. Nothing in those eyes reflected the emotions one would think would come from a man sitting on death row.
“Hello, I’m Kate Lorrie, a journalist from the Good Day Times. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions about the life here.”
Those eyes shifted over to her and sparkled.
“Of course, I don’t mind at all.” The owner of these eyes was a vibrant young man, blonde hair, muscular – almost like your typical surfer boy, but he had an intelligent air to him, curious and always wanting to learn more.
Kate pulled a chair up and sat down in front of him.
“Life is good.” He said immediately, without even waiting for her to settle down. “Not too much food, not too little. There are showers here so you can wash up just fine. The water’s a little cold, but it’s more tolerable in the summer.”
He shrugged and fell silent.
“Oh, ok. Thank you Mister…”
“Jacob, Jacob Evans.”
“Thank you, Mr. Evans.” Kate shuffled her notes a little, slightly ruffled by his sudden outburst.
“I hope my sister’s fine.” He began musing. “It’s been a while since the last time I’ve seen her. She seemed to stop visiting after a while.”
“A while? Sir, how long have you been here?” Kate frowned.
“Ah, maybe four years.” He shrugged. Kate scribbled in her notebook. “It’s really nice here. You almost don’t want to leave, but leaving is inevitable on death row.”
“Death row is like a machine. Live people are forever going in, bodies forever coming out. It’s kind of depressing in here really, all these men and women waiting for their deaths to come. It’s cruel, waking up every morning, knowing that this may or may not be your last day to live yet none of your family is here to see you. None of them care anymore, because you’re a criminal and criminals aren’t family any longer because they’ve broken the trust of a family.”
His eager eyes dimmed.
“At least not in my family.” He added
Kate was about to ask him another question when the door creaked open.
“One more minute mam.” The prison guard announced. Kate nodded. When the door slid closed once again, she decided that none of the questions she had prepared would be fit to ask now. There only really seemed to be one question that nagged at her.
“Excuse me for asking,” She finally mustered. “What brought you here?”
He smiled real wide, pride in his eyes.
“To save my sister’s husband.” He pat his own chest. “He messed up, but it wasn’t his fault. There was no reason for him to die, so I came in and stepped in for him.”
Kate’s heart lurched.
He would come back to haunt her in her dreams for years to come.