~~ The tale of the night caller (Alternate opening to The
(A short-story by FoxMulder89)
When it finally occurred to them and sunk in that their prayers fell upon deaf ears, and that the guards cared little for their petty bribes, the prisoners fell silent and returned to wallowing in their self-pity and regrets. A handful of the men and women in the prison were luckier than others. Some were only serving a sentence of three to five years-but even the lifers would consider themselves lucky after speaking to a neighbour and finding out that said neighbour was awaiting their execution for crimes against humanity. One had to occasionally swallow that proud sense of hierarchy one feels when looking down their nose at the scum of the earth-especially if you recognised one of the condemned-waiting their turn-on death row as the murderer of a friend or loved one-because, on the odd occasion, mistakes were made, and the man-or woman-being observed through the thick iron bars of their cramped, stone cell, like an animal in the county zoo, was wrongly accused of a crime they didn't commit. Now, some would argue that the judge had it in for them the moment they stepped into the courtroom, or that the attorney provided for them was a shmuck who didn't know his arse from his elbow, even though they knew they were guilty. But there was every now and again a genuine exception. In this case, that exception was a man by the name of Victor Duphrey, a thirty-two-year-old aspiring author who made a deal with an undisclosed individual-who nobody believed existed-and now faced the death sentence for the murder of his wife: Elizabeth Crane, a twenty-eight-year-old accountant. The couple met back in July of 1890 and had planned to be married by the end of 1893. Victor had been unemployed for a year and a half since the job market in London fell into deep decline back in 1891, and relied on Elizabeth to support both him and herself; being an accountant meant Elizabeth's fortnightly wage packet was enough to pay the rent and put food on the table for both her and Victor, but Victor knew that with all the talk going around about the living expenses going up In London, he would need to start earning his bread, And if he was going to stand by and keep his promise to his future wife, he would have to stop moping around and start making his dream a reality, fast.