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Minute by Minute

Terror is in the eye of the beholder.

By Mark GagnonPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Minute by Minute
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

This was it. The day that was circled in red on my calendar. I reluctantly opened my eyes after a restless night’s sleep, knowing what awaited me. Simple denial, procrastination, appeals to higher powers, none of it worked. This was my fate, and I had to accept it.

At least my reckoning wasn’t until the afternoon, so I still had some time to enjoy life. For some inexplicable reason, I was starving.

The best way for me to start this noteworthy day is with a big breakfast. The smell of bacon wafted through the air. Pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and an endless cup of coffee was mine for the taking. The sumptuous meal took my mind off of what awaited me for a short time, but slowly reality forced its way back to the front of my mind.

Time is a commodity we all take for granted, even while it slowly slips stealthily away. Similar to a tire with a slow leak, time gradually escapes unnoticed. Unlike a leaky tire, time cannot be replenished. Once it’s gone, it will never be replaced with more time. The clock on the wall is a constant reminder of this.

Once my breakfast was over, I looked around for something to busy myself with until it was time for me to meet with destiny. I made a few phone calls to understanding friends and family, read a couple of magazines, even did some of crossword puzzles. All these activities designed to waste the very thing that is so precious to me—time.

It was early afternoon when an attractive woman in a wrinkle-free uniform emerges from a long hallway and stops directly in front of me. I try, but it’s impossible to ignore her.

“We’re ready for you now, Mr. Jackson. Please come with me.”

We walk down the hall she has just come from and are immediately joined by two more uniformed attendants. I wonder if I’m her first or last of the day? Now I hear it, faint at first but growing louder as we approach the room.

Whir, click, silence—Whir, click, silence—Whir, click, silence.

The old analog wall clock beats out its steady cadence, registering the minutes of my life I had just used, without a hint of how many remained. The constant reminder of time lost infuriates me, but I am out of options. Nothing could be changed.

The attendants who placed me here were pleasant enough, though professionally indifferent to my situation. What else might I have expected? After all, I did this to myself. They guided me to a specialized piece of furniture that wasn’t quite a gurney, but not a chair, either. Once they were satisfied that my body was oriented in just the right position, a blinding light sparked to life, filling the room. I could still see, but the light created halos around the various objects in my cell of solitude.

Whir, click, silence—Whir, click, silence—Whir, click, silence.

More time drained away from my ever-shrinking pool of minutes. I knew what was coming. I just wasn’t sure I was ready for it. First would come the shot, followed by several more minutes of waiting as a foreign liquid slowly spread from the injection sight, numbing the cells it passed through. My mind’s eye shows a view from the ceiling, looking down on my prone body bathed in a halo of light, mouth agape in an undignified pose.

A noise from the doorway roused me from my reverie. People entered my chamber, and I knew it was about to begin.

“Well, Mr. Jackson, let’s get started on that tooth, shall we?”


About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (16)

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  • Andrew Stuart2 days ago

    Great work! Enjoyable read! Be sure to read mine too as I'm new on this platform and struggling for views.

  • Tina D'Angelo25 days ago

    I must be pretty dumb. I missed all the death row stuff and knew immediately that you were going to the dentist. How did I know? Because I would rather go to death row than the dentist.

  • Poultry Hub2 months ago

    I appreciate how well you portray death row and a lethal injection! But in all honesty, events like these can distort our perception of time throughout the buildup and after it has ended. Please Visit Now:

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  • Shailesh Shakya2 months ago

    It's like I was living the moments you wrote. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing...

  • F. Leonora Solomon2 months ago

    i love how you make it truly sound like death row and a lethal injection! but honestly, things like this can warp our sense of time--the build up--and then it is over.

  • Yesenia 2 months ago

    Ufff the suspense!

  • Productify2 months ago

    really nice peice of art

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Isnt it amazing how we use it up to avoid noticing it pass.

  • Gina B.2 months ago

    I love the perspective you told this from and the twist at the end. Brilliant!

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  • Isobel 2 months ago

    Same issue here and i cant find any solutions

  • Kim2 months ago

    Love this

  • Kendall Defoe2 months ago

    Damn, I liked this!

  • R. J. Rani2 months ago

    Ah! Fantastic! You built intrigue in from the very first sentence and had me reading till the end. 👏👏👏

  • was not expecting that end 👌🏻🥂😂

  • Miriam Lundgren2 months ago

    I really liked this! It's very well written and has a good flow that captivates the reader. Anxiety is very relatable and I liked how, as a reader, you're on edge nervous alongside you, waiting to find out what's going to happen - what the source to your anxiety is.

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