Friday Fictioneers for 9/11/2020 (When I Met Sparky)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another midweek, Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. Her weekly challenge is for us to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt (this week, hers).

photo by Rochelle


Genre: Memoir
Title: When I Met Sparky
Word Count: 100

Old Sparky was its name. A useless device, except for taking out life 695 times.

I could have been seeing any old gallows, a chopping block, a guillotine, but it was an ugly wooden chair with dried up leather straps and old wires. It was a creative invention to kill in a kinder, gentler way.

I felt a willfulness choke me.

I kept my emotions hidden. When the warden asked if I would like to sit in the chair (against the rules), without moving my eye from what must have been a sight for thousands, I mumbled a muffled, “Nope.”


Look both ways when you kill.
Mind the gaps death cannot be undone.

Click for link.

44 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers for 9/11/2020 (When I Met Sparky)

  1. Excellent telling, Bill. I’m ambivalent about Old Sparky. One part of me wants it burned to ashes in a crematorium and another part wants it stand as a testament to the barbarity humans love to visit upon each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the time I was there, the chair was still located in the room where executions were carried out, so the whole death row environment could be seen and felt. Now, there is a Texas Prison Museum and Sparky has been relocated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s weird–the notifications show up on my stats page, but not on my main page. My “like” button doesn’t work for me, though, and no one else’s does, either. I’ve done a little searching, but I get so impatient trying to weed through things I don’t understand!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey Linda,
        The post has 31 likes, which is about normal. When we interact with WP sites, we need to be sure that we are in the “blog.” I can’t tell you exactly how to do that.
        Sometimes, when I hit like I get a flash but nothing really changes (most likely did not take). Also, some folks comment and do not like. Or, maybe it is not working for them either.
        But I thank you for caring enough to tell me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Branda.
      Back when I saw Sparky, it was not “on display” but still in room just off of Death Row. I was being given a private tour with a friend. Now, it is on display in a Prison Museum.
      I think it should be on display. When I saw that chair that day, my view of capital punishment was firmly fixed in my memory. I think we need to know and to face the truth.


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