Lonnie checked her image in the mirror, noting the dark circles under her eyes that even makeup couldn't hide. She quickly looked away, picked up her tote bag and hurried to the car. She couldn't be late. She was not unprepared for this ordeal, though her dreams had taunted her otherwise in various bone-chilling scenarios all last night, in between restless moments of
As she entered the back door of the chilly red brick building, Lonnie was prepared for whatever fate was determined to hand her. Life had been good to her; she had done her best to be a good person. She had few regrets. She made her way down the hallway to the chamber with painted cinder-block walls and sat on the cold metal chair in the back of the room, erect and outwardly composed. As the clock ticked away, Lonnie did not flinch; fear would not rule her last moments on earth. She began to count her breaths: In, out. In, out. In, out. Then, her heart thumping in her throat, her mouth suddenly cotton dry, she rose to her feet, clutching the tote filled with books, pictures and homemade visual aids to her chest, as the dreaded words were pronounced: "Sister Carrigan will now present Sharing Time."