Late Night Visitation
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by Frank Shortt
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Just like the fog that steals silently into San Francisco Bay late at night, she came softly
to the young prisoner. Her essence filled the dark cell where he lay helpless and hopeless.
She somehow knew his awful, secret plight! He had been accused of a crime he did not commit and now would pay with his life. The jury
had voted not to acquit, even with such slim evidence.
“Don’t worry, I will be with you
through this whole ordeal,” she assured him after they had warmly embraced.
“But how, He
asked, there is a gulf fixed between us that is impossible to cross?”
“You will understand
things more perfectly as this day progresses,” the young girl assured him.
He had met a
young, beautiful socialite at a party on the Hill. Their desires matched perfectly and they had taken their fill of love. Her dainty,
alluring delicacies were too much for the young dock worker. As he had dropped her off at her mansion, he had reeled to think that
one of her status would grant him free amenities.
“Will I ever see you again? He enquired.
“Maybe sooner than you think,” she quizzically replied! Had she sensed something that he
had never expected?
The headlines in the Chronicle next morning read simply; “young socialite
found strangled and rifled!” His testimony at the trial was shaded, to say the least. It stifled his chances at acquittal as there
had been other murders lately just like this one.
“Where did you go after you left her
quarters,” asked the unflinching prosecutor!
“To my place of abode” the young man replied.
“And where might that be?” the DA continued questioning.
“Down by the docks,” he humiliatingly responded.
“So! You’re one of those dock rats! Hammered
the unrelenting barrister!
“Objection!” squeaked the effeminate defense attorney who had
offered no help whatsoever.
When questioned by the prosecutor, the cabbie asserted, “I
dropped them off at 11pm, that’s the last I saw of either. I remember them because they seemed such a perfect match and I took notice
of their appearances.”
How had she crossed the large prison yard, unbeknownst to the guard?
Her words, “I have missed you as no one else has ever missed anyone,” comforted the young man and raised him to heavenly heights!
Past loneliness dissipated as he heard her words of consolation.
“I have prayed that you
would come, he softly replied, It is almost like a dream.”
“Remember! I told you that I
would see you sooner than you thought,” she cryptically replied!
“Thank God, you remembered,”
was all he could say!
Having displayed her pure intentions, the young socialite silently
made her escape from the awful confines of the prison. The young prisoner was left with soul aflame. The guard shack was unaware that
she had come and gone at such a late hour.
At exactly 5 a.m. the young man heard the guard’s
key turn in the cell door lock. “Time to go,” the kindly jailer informed him. They led him away to be executed for killing the only
ray of sunshine he had ever known. The guard often wondered afterward how that a man on his way to the chair could smile as if he
was being led to a picnic.