His eyes glide over all to the throne where his soul will be expelled.
He advances with a shuffle, the weight of the shackles not quite present.
The guards sniffle.
A woman behind the glass coughs in a singular fashion
The nun tucks her tunic between her legs.
This fading ginger-headed one time prosaic poet, whose deeds are so unspeakable that this narrator can only speak of them in terms of “consumption” is asked by the chaplain for the final time of his regrets.
Time after time, to the DA, to the judge, to the soft faces of the husbands and mothers of his victims, he spoke of no such thing.
This unrepentant man, founding member of a notorious gang spreading blood across this Holy Land (no not that gang or that one either), only harped on his need to immortalize his victims in their consumption.
As the shackles are loosened, the sponge dampened, a series of smiles form around the chaplain’s question of regret.
The killer’s fading mustache rumbles with a hollow breeze as a guard passes next to him to tighten the straps.
In his stint waiting for the final moment of immortalization, he had condensed the consumption into a legible format. He spoke with a series of publishers of a manuscript, something meant to redefine American prose for the next two decades. A literal and metaphorical vomiting of the souls of the women he’d swallowed into a written form.
7 of his 10 years on Death Row were spent carving this manuscript into the dynamite he pledged would salvage American writing from its ironic wreckage. Several inmates attested to seeing him actually spit into the paper itself and seeing words fully formed.
It was in fact a kind of either medical coincidence or writerly truth that after a particularly long session, his rib cage protruded and punctured his garments in an especially Christlike fashion.
The publishing house he had promised his manuscript to had set his execution as the deadline for the book and as a result properly aligned the release of the book while simultaneously preparing the film rights with Benedict Cumberbatch attached to play the lead.
And so at long last, deadline in tow, hands at the lever, bucket wet, and manuscript complete, the moment had come. All that remained was his answer to the question the chaplain posed. His agent, a fragile and especially nervous woman not unlike a shivering greyhound, sits with her phone out ready to tweet anything noteworthy for the all too hyped launch of the book next week.
Seated upon his throne, with a sift of his brow and the horribly contorted sneer he replies:
“I regret nothing.”
His agents taps with relief.
“But I reject it all.”
A swift hush with the rhyme of the first Passover cools throughout.
The guard with whom the killer had spent 2 of his 10 years on Death Row preparing for this exact moment produces the manuscript in one hand and places his other on the lever.
“I disband the Boys of Summer forever now.”
The guard, a weak willed man replete with an intricate history of rejection, tosses the manuscript at the killer and slams the lever down.
Flesh and Fire, baby.
The Ultimate Refusal.