Prologue

He leaned against the post with a mixture of relief and disappointment;
excitement and fear. Relief, because the moment had finally arrived.
Disappointment, because it fell short of his expectations. But then, reality
seldom measures up to a person's illusions. Naturally, a man would fear
death; the unknown factors. How can a man know in reality what death
holds? Those who experience it are not available to explain it.
    What will it feel like?  How long will I suffer before the nothingness of
death swallows me?  
    But what excited him, what he so desired, was the relief he hoped to
find in death. Justice would be served. But more importantly, he would be
free of this guilt. It would all be over.
    The guard approached holding a drab piece of cloth.
    "No! No blindfold. And please don't tie me to the post. I'm not going
anywhere. I want this."
    The guard looked to his superior who, after a moment's hesitation,
nodded the okay.
    Thirty yards away five skilled marksmen nervously awaited the order to
execute judgment.
    A shudder ran the length of his body. Fear? Anticipation? Both! This
was the fate he had chosen. This is what he had requested.  
    His knees grew weak; his breath became shallow; his mouth went dry;
his chin began to tremble.  
    Let's end this! Get it over with!
    Finally the countdown came.
    "Ready!"
    Here it comes.  
    He held his breath.
    "Aim!"
    I can't wait to be free.
    "Fire!"
    BANG!  
    Huh? No! This can't be happening!