The Night Before


By J. Hardy Carroll

“It’s not fair. You just did what they asked you.” She holds my hand in both of hers. “Why are you the only one being punished?”

“I was the only one who got caught.”

Her eyes brim. “The sacrificial lamb.”

“It’s only for two years. Maybe less. You know how overloaded the justice system is.”

“It’s prison, Wade. Like on TV.”

I pull her close. “Not like TV. It’s minimum security. Tomorrow I report, they’ll do intake and soon it will be routine. In a week, you can visit me.”

We don’t talk about what happens after I get out.

J. Hardy Carroll is a novelist and cartoonist living in Iowa. His work has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Little Village, 101 Words, and PDXS.

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