That cold, slow burning disease that never ceases to constrict my heart. guilt. I have it.

There is not one hour, one minute, one second where I can forget that I am a murderer by default. The last time I was okay with life was in my parole officer’s room, before he jumped on the opposite end of my seesaw.

“So who did it? Either there is a killer on the loose, or a killer sitting across the table from me. And if it’s the latter, he won’t be for long. Death row’s got a vacancy.” He narrowed his eyes at me.

And our survey says-

“I didn’t kill them. I told you, McCarty hates them all and has a reason to do away with ’em.”

He nodded, scribbled something in my folder, and I was free. Free from prison, anyway. My own personal hell had yet to come.

I didn’t go to the execution; I was planning my own. I didn’t deserve peace, but I wanted it.

Later, I sat on a dock, cinderblock tied to ankles. I peered down, and the haggard shell of a man looked back up.

Do I know you? I thought, as I acceded to my disease.

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