top of page

Death Row

(c) Linda Hutchison September 2020

“Shoulders to the wheel!”
“What does he mean? I’m holding an oar.”
“He means ‘put your back into it’. Pull harder.”
“Let’s switch places. It looks easier where you’re sitting.”
“Hardly. The water’s the same density.”
“But you look like you’re slicing through fairy floss. I feel like I’m rowing through fudge.”
“I’ve been working out harder than you.”
“I’ve been going to the gym, but I avoid the rowing machine.”
“I fell off it.”
“The rowing machine, ten centimetres off the floor?”
“I was listening to Stamp, the track about the whale.”
“I tried to dance while I was rowing. It didn’t end well.”
“Not really. I could hear the girls on the treadmills still giggling fifteen minutes later when I grabbed my towel and left. I’ve been sticking to the weight machines and the ski trainer.”
“So if we had to propel this ferry using pulleys, you’d be fine?”
“I’d be killing it.”
“Twist your arms to change the angle.”
“That’s better. It feels more like chocolate sauce now.”
“What’s this obsession with sugar? Since when did water feel like fairy floss, fudge or chocolate sauce.”
“I was trying to find a handy metaphor.”
“I think there’s more to it than that. What’s her name?”
“Who? What?”
“The girl. The dessert queen of your dreams. Come on.”
“Ah, I’ve met a girl called Mara. She works at Sprinkles Of Death.”
“Mara? From the Goth Donut shop?”
“Since when were you into Goths?”
“Since they invented the ‘Rip Your Guts Out’ cruller.”
“The what?”
“It’s a twisted, scored doughnut glazed with blood plum syrup. Tastes seriously awesome.”
“Pull, you scabby dogs!”
“He’s a bit of a stress-head, this bloke with the sickle.”
“A man on a mission. At least make it look like you’re trying. So, have you asked her out yet?”
“We had a coffee after her shift last Thursday. It was their special ‘Roasted Darkly’. Not bad, strange flavour. It’s what I brought back for you. Anyway, how do you think you ended up on this trip?”
“It was Mara’s idea?”
“She said it'd be deadly.”
“You invited me to a Goth rowing event? I thought it was a midnight fundraiser for medical research.”
“Row for Your Life?”
“Out in the sticks.”
“No, across the Styx. Drive to the river, then row across to Hay. She said something about Dee’s.”
“And the gold coin donation?”
“An entry fee?”
“What about this old bloke in the Death Metal hoodie? He’s been on our case since we left.”
“I thought he was an ex-SAS personal trainer. She did warn me. Phew, we’ve landed.”
“Hey, he’s pushed us back out.”
“Here’s the hoodie and the sickle, boys. They come with the job.”
“But we just got here.”
“That’s how it works. You row back and pick up the next crew. Get their coins before they land, or you’ll have to do it again. Ciao!”
“More rowing. Man, this is starting to feel like an eternity…”

Death Row: Work
bottom of page