Humane (a story)

“Hey, Rocco, your lawyer’s here…”
“Rocco! Great news, my man – no chair for you! The judge just laid it down!”
“Really? That’s awesome, man!”
“Yeah! This is your last day in this joint! We’re gonna get you out of here – but first…”
“What – how’d you get those beers in here?”
“Hey, this is your day, man! I know people, I got permission…”
“Alright, man! Best lawyer ever! Cheers!”
“Yeh, you bet! And hey, I managed to call a couple of your friends… Come on in, guys!”
“Hey, Chico! O’Reilly! Great to see you!”
“Yeah, man, we had to come… psst, here, I brought ya a couple of tabs… it’s good stuff, it’s legit, we got ya a prescription and everything…”
“Oh wow, guys, thanks….”
“Yeah, right, enjoy that….”

They talked about the good times. They talked about future plans, the possibilities of a new life ahead. The TV started playing Rocco’s favorite tunes. Some ladies came in. There was dancing, and more beers. The lighting somehow became festive, colors flashing off the grey cell walls. Rocco lost track of the drinks – he was so elated, so relieved. O’Reilly passed him some other pills. The party went on for about an hour… then Rocco, feeling a little light-headed, sat down on his bunk.

And fell over.

The prison doctor was the next guest, followed by the coroner. The death was officially ruled a suicide by overdose.

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