Vigil On The Row

Another domino is falling, to be toppled over by a substance injected into its core, within days to be marked by a grave stone in memory of who it was and what it represented in this lifetime.

For hours it’s a waiting game, defined by the unknown, to live or to die, what will be their fate beyond this day, these minutes, each and every second that passes?

Everyone is holding their breath and wondering with conflicting emotions.  Family members are embracing hope that humanity will come to the forefront, and they will not have to mourn this day.  The victim’s family also wait, but with anticipation and a different kind of hope that is laced with pain, anger and vengeance, wishing for a twisted form of justice that will never bring the closure they seek.

Guards wait with the indifference of those who’ve done this before and, just as factory workers view boxing up goods for shipment, they glance at their watches, waiting for the shift to be over and thinking of going home.  They are blind to the fact that a man’s life will be taken as part of their work shift, it’s become routine.

The clock continues ticking, later and later the day wears on and the sky begins to darken, the stars making an appearance, and the sun finally lays down to rest as darkness descends.  The street lights come on, and still, nothing is decided.  The cruelest part of it all becomes when there starts to form within the heart of the the condemned a false sense of hope that they will survive, they will get a stay of execution.

Even the family begins to hope with the passage of time and no news coming.  For whatever reason could there be such a delay in such a monumental decision?  Everyone gets antsy within their own thoughts that are all based upon what they hope to come out of the situation.

Then the ax drops, all the lights and power of hope are extinguished with the ring of a phone.   The execution is to proceed as planned.  No stay, no last second decision after so many hour of nothingness, and with the finality of a last breath, the leather straps and restraints are buckled and locked on the body of the condemned.

This is the hard core reality of legalized, state sanctioned murder.


Travis Runnels, is a published author, who is currently working on his second novel.

Travis Runnels #999505
3872 FM 350
Livingston, TX 77351

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