Nicholas Alexander Bostic

Period 2

February 20, 1997

AP English


My appeal was overthrown today. At least, that's what my lawyer said. It doesn't much matter to me, what's done is done. I've been scheduled to meet my death by beheading this coming Friday, only three days away. I'm not sure if I'm scared, I just pass my time staring out at the sky, really seeing it for the first time. I'm amazed by the colors in the morning, more so by the ones at night. My death sentence has made me morbid, all I can compare the hues of the sunrise and set to is blood. Only, I'm not sure what to compare the yellows, oranges and purples to. They let Marie visit yesterday. She cried the entire time, saying she loved me and how terrible this was. I didn't say anything, so she left. It made me sad to see her leave so depressed. Earlier today, Raymond and Celeste came to visit. They said they would try everything they could to allow an appeal. Raymond even suggested a prison break. I told them to forget those ideas, I made the mistake by killing the Arab and I had to pay. They left after briefly arguing with each other on how best to free me. I can't think of anyone else who would come to visit, so I will now spend my last two nights and three mornings observing the cycles of the sun and the changes imposed upon my limited setting.


It's Friday and I am feeling no differently. Yesterday, I was surprised by a visit from Salamano. He reported that he had gone to the pound as I had suggested to look for his dog, but no one had seen it. As he was walking his usual route, he found his dog, a crumpled mess without a head laying on the trolley tracks. He said he had been sad for a while, but now he was feeling better. I could tell he missed his mongrel. After he offered his condolences to me, he stood from his seat on my bed and left. The guards told me I couldn't have any more visitors, except for one person I'd dearly like to see, according to their words. Early Friday morning, I was awake like usual watching my last sunrise. The sun was a brilliant red throughout, imprisoning an unnatural glow which I hoped my blood would possess when it flowed over the guillotine. The red light entranced me and I was whisked away to my childhood for only the briefest of moments, just long enough to partially remember the words of a poem; "Red sky at night, sailors take flight, red sky in morning, sailors take warning." I wondered if the color of the sky was a warning of things to come.

As I pondered, my final visitor whom I had been impatiently waiting for interrupted me. The chaplain came in and sat next to me on my bunk. I was instantly irritated. I silently wished he hadn't come and that he would go away quickly. Instead, he asked, "Are you ready to repent your sins now, my son?" I told him to get out of my cell and never come back, his God was a fake, a hoax, a myth. That was the ultimate insult to him, so he left, reminding me I'd go to hell. I sat down and waited for my executioner.


It was high noon when the black-shrouded executioner entered my room. He didn't say a word, he was a big man and his gestures were clear. I moved in front of him and he followed me down a long hallway to a door. Upon clearing the doorway, I looked out to see a crowd of people gawking and milling around the raised pedestal that held the guillotine. I climbed the stairs without complaint; death was my destiny. I took my position under the razor sharp blade. I look around; I saw Celeste, Salamano, Marie and Raymond, all crying over my death. I wish I could've requested that they not cry. Crying wouldn't help. I felt the blistering sun beat down on my neck, shoulders and back of head. As I gazed at the faces, some I recognized, others I didn't, I felt the sweat bead up on my forehead. Finally, my wandering eyes lead me to look upon a window across the square, reflecting an image of me, under a giant glistening blade. The executioner was given the order and he motioned to cut the rope with his large, sharp knife. The rope was surprisingly short, I had imagined a long stretch of rope holding the blade in it's up position. I continued to gaze at the reflective window as the blade fell towards my head. At one point, the blade reflected the sun perfectly into the window, blinding me while the sweat on my forehead poured into my eyes. I was blinded at the moment of incision. This last day of my life, I learned that it is true that a person can see for ten seconds after separation of the spinal cord. As my head landed on the pedestal, I looked over at my friends, and saw Marie faint. I wish she hadn't fainted.

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