Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)
TITLE: Prisoner X9J7
By Debbie Sickler
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“Y-yes ma’am, I would like to say somethin’ to everyone here and everyone listenin’ over the com link.” X9J7 lifted his chin confidently and stared through the one-way mirror concealing the witnesses there to view his death. “You all know me now as prisoner X9J7. My name is Thomas P. Jordan. Whatever you call me, I am not the man you arrested back in 2013. Not the same man at all…”
“Get in there you scumbag! Can’t wait to see you fry!” The guard had enjoyed being even more rough than usual, tossing a wild Tom Jordan into the tiny cell like you would dump a bucket of mop water down a drain. Tom picked himself up off the germ-infested floor and stood defiant, spitting in the guards face. The shock collar doubling him over in pain hadn’t even come close to making him regret it…
“When I was sentenced in your courts, I deserved everything I got. I’m truly sorry for the stuff I did. The lives I took. The spirits I crushed. The women I used for my pleasures. All of it. I was guilty of everything your prosecutors claimed. But I tell you, I stand here before you today innocent of any wrong doing.”
Behind the mirror, witnesses were appalled at X9J7’s words. They were his victims and the loved ones of those who had been tortured, raped and killed by this prisoner who now had the audacity to stand before them, proclaiming his innocence.
“Flip the switch now!” “I’ll kill him!” and expletives flew across the room at the prison official.
“Settle down people. He has the right to speak. We’ll nuke him in a minute. Don’t worry. He’s not going anywhere.” The guard patted the weapon at his side both as a reassurance and a mild threat to the riotous group…
“How are you doing today Tommy?” The kind voice of Officer Sounders startled X9J7 as he slept on his lumpy bunk. He rolled over to greet his visitor.
“Oh hey man. You back on duty already? I’m okay, I guess. Could be better if I was on that side of the force shield with you, but I’m doing alright.” The aging man sat down in his usual spot with a slight chuckle. Tom swung his legs over the bed to sit up and receive his morning rations through a narrow slot in the shield.
“Did you finish the text tablets I lent you last week?”
“Uh, yeah. Got ‘em right here.” Tom reached under his sleep mat and retrieved the tablets. Handing them through the food slot, he smiled gratefully. “That last one was pretty good. Never knew history was so interestin’ before.”
“Tommy, these texts are far more than just a history lesson. Sure Jesus was a man who lived many centuries ago, but he’s still alive today.”
“And I thought my ma was old.” Tom joked as he began his meal.
“Tommy, He’s not here in the physical sense anymore; He’s up in Heaven, but He’d like to live within each of our hearts. Don’t you remember when I explained all this last time?”
“Yeah man. I’s just messin’ with you. That’s all. I think I get what you’re sayin’. Still seems crazy to me though…”
“That day, I became a free man. Free of guilt, of shame, free of all that stuff. Officer Sounders made me realize that God hates everything I did that got me into this mess, but He already paid my way out by giving up His son in my place.
“I thank God for letting me get caught and for sending a man of faith as great as Officer Sounders to show me the way to salvation. Now you can kill my body today, but my soul was set free a long time ago. I know where I’m goin’ and I can’t wait.”
The room behind the mirror was silent as the guard proceeded and prisoner X9J7 drew his last breath.
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