“Uncertainty is worse.”
That’s what the guard had said, shrugging his shoulders. The loose-fitting black hood was an attempt at anonymity. Even though the same three men had looked though the bars each day, eight hours apart. The certainty of uncertainty had been welcome, really. Knowing that today was not to be the day you died. The certainty was far worse.
The sunlight was like a slap to the face.
“You are all the same,” he said, his hand resting on my shaking shoulder. “You all think you are invincible, invisible. But we catch you in the end.”
The rope swung from the scaffold. They hadn’t bothered to clean the shit from the floorboards.
“Any last words?” His breath was hot on my neck.
“And so the flowers screamed.” A coded phrase, my final plea.
He laughed, a boyish tinkle, odd coming from such a large man.
“They do little one, they do.” His hands reached out to encompass the prison’s garden, the neat rows of borlotti beans and staked tomatoes, the sprawling pumpkins and regimented stands of silverbeet. The droning of bees filled the silence he seemed to encompass with his gesture.
“They scream for your blood. We gotta fertilise them somehow.”