The cell door swung out, and Sherdon saw a beautiful young woman standing in the opening.
“Philip? I’m Jana, and I’ll be with you this morning. If you’ll stand up, please?”
She had a pretty smile, but she was not overdoing it. As the jailer handcuffed him behind his back, Sherdon noted that Jana’s dress was both low cut and short, but only pleasantly so, not enough to be titillating. The jailer led Sherdon out of the cell and Jana took over, putting her arm around him.
“It’s sunny and warm out in the yard. That’ll be nice after the cold cell and this hallway.”
Her voice was soft and pleasant.
“There won’t be anyone there who doesn’t have to be. There’s a camera, of course, but it’s well hidden and you won’t need to worry about that.” She patted him gently and they kept walking toward the door.
The lights in the hallway began to get brighter. Sherdon looked up as he noticed.
“Yes, that’s right,” Jana said. “We want you to be used to the light as you walk into the yard and not be blinded by the sun.”
And when the door at the end of the hallway opened, and Jana led Sherdon into the yard, he was not blinded. The sudden warmth was pleasant, though.
“It’s nice to get warm again, isn’t it?” Jana asked.
“Yes, it is,” Sherdon agreed.
The yard was not a large area and it took only a moment to reach the foot of the scaffold.
“It’s all right, Philip,” Jana said smoothly. “I’ll help you up the stairs. Take it nice and slow.”
Thirteen steps later, Sherdon was positioned over the trapdoor and his legs were loosely tied together. A noose was placed around his neck. Jana kept one hand on his shoulder, patting him and talking to him softly. “It will take only a second, Philip. It won’t hurt and it’ll all be over. Don’t be worried.”
She stepped in front of Sherdon and kissed him gently on the lips. “I’ll be right here, Philip. Goodbye.”
“Goodbye, Jana,” he said. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Philip.”
A hood went over Sherdon’s head and he could still feel Jana’s hand on his shoulder right up to the instant the trapdoor opened.
After a moment, Jana smiled pleasantly at the executioner. “Three more to go this morning. I’ll be back in a little while with the next one.”