It was starting to turn cold, as was Her wont in late fall in the High Sierras. The crisp wind startled Henry; more like a light slap in the face as snow bid its time and perched on the higher elevations.
Henry Davis was a criminal; it was no secret, nor did he do anything to shy away from his tainted past.
The air was clean and fresh, giving a playful nudge to birds heading south. If their formation led them overhead, the soft collective flutter of their wings in unison joined in the chorus of trees whistling and occasional honks from the Canadian geese.
Henry couldn’t think of a sweeter sound.
His father brought him here some fifty-five years past and he shared with his son the beauties of nature and impressed upon him our duty to maintain stewardship of the planet and all her resources and residents.
Henry looked down to the lake and remembered when he caught his first trout just off the jutting rocks. He was lazily sitting on a rock ledge when, in the blink of an eye, he was suddenly pulled into the water.
Dry one second, wet in the next.
He cried out for his Dad for help.
“You hooked him, you land him,” was all he offered.
The Rainbow trout he hooked turned out to be a 23-pound monster that fully drained Henry of every last bit of energy in his eight-year old body. It was even some sort of lake record.
He awoke to wolf calls and a breakfast of ranch beans, sirloin steak, eggs, and tortillas. And plenty of fresh coffee.
His Palomino Bandit had nuzzled up to him last night and Henry’s head lay on his muscular neck all night.
Life was good.
And, right on cue, as if it were scripted, Henry looked over to see Cassandra.
What was good just got WAY better.
No words can describe the depth of desire and level of fulfillment of true love. When you are embroiled in it, you cannot begin to understand the sense of urgency you develop.
But damn, does it feel good.
Henry spent a full twenty minutes holding on to Cassie.
They smiled and wept.
Then, the room started to grow cold.
Henry could hear the rattle of keys and muffled voices from down the corridor.
“Who’s out there? Speak up!”
He could hear voices in the hallway.
The door slowly creaked open.
Desmond Frederick, prison guard for Death Row in an Alabama federal prison, shook his head and smiled.
Henry was not particularly fond of this demeaning asshole, so he waited until exactly the right second, to poke a twenty-inch dagger into first his liver, then his lungs, and a final deep twist into his heart.
Then Henry did what he always did: he stepped over the body and lay down to take a nap.
He was exhausted.
It hadn’t been ten minutes until Henry felt something tugging at his shoulder, urging him to “Wake the fuck up!”
As he swung his feet around the side of his bed, he noticed.
Desmond Frederick secured his leg shackles and handcuffs and escorted Henry Davis to his death.