Author : Nigel G. Mitchell

Detective Laura Harman fingered the small device in her pocket as she looked down at the frail old man lying in the bed before her. It took everything she had to keep from wrapping her fingers around that thin and slender neck, and snapping it in half.

Harman snarled, “My father gave his life to put you here, Kristoff. And this is where you belong. Death is too good for you.”

Maxwell Kristoff’s wrinkled face fell into a smile. “Yeah, that’s probably true. But the good thing about life sentences is, you can only serve them once. Even if you have a couple hundred like me.”

Harman pulled the small box out of her pocket, only a few inches long with a single button on its face. She held it up for Kristoff to see. “Well, I’m about to change that.”

She pushed the button.

A flash of light blinded Maxwell. He cursed as the redness filled his vision. When it faded, he looked up at a cracked gray ceiling instead of the smooth white ceiling of his hospital room. He looked down to see the hospital room had been replaced by a darkened cell, only eight feet wide. He lay on a prison bunk, not a prison hospital bed. Kristoff felt a chill as he realized it looked familiar. Too familiar. But it couldn’t be.

He looked down at himself. The white hospital gown had become a gray prison uniform, and his yellowed and wrinkled flesh had become firm.

He stood up to move to his cell door. It had a small window that he slid open. Through the bars, Kristoff could see a prison guard walking down a narrow hallway.

Kristoff called out. “Hey, screw, where am I?”

The guard grinned at him. “Forget already? Too late to pull the amnesia defense. Welcome to the first day of your multiple life sentences, Kristoff.”

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