The Confession of Lyle Timmons

An essay by Lyle Timmons, as provided by Jacob M. Lambert
Art by Errow Collins

There must have been something in the injection, some chemical that made them that way, like zombies, but without the macabre stipulations: no eating flesh, brains, or pathological virus spread through biting.

No, from what I’ve heard–in the news and papers–they’re something completely different, but this is just speculation, of course. The only people who’ve actually seen them are the ones who’ve died.

Convenient, huh?

Anyway, some have heard them coming. The reports say witnesses claim to have heard light knocking. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK–pause–KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. Each of these instances happen in five-minute intervals, then …

Well, I’m sure you’ve heard what happens next: the person who actually answers the door remains silent–no greeting, no nothing–and then wipes themselves out. I know this all sounds like some urban legend, and I wish that were true. Trust me, I’ve often wished just that. But I’m afraid the reality reflects the reports, and I can tell you from experience everything (and I mean eve-re-thing) is absolutely true, down to the very letter.

After all, I’m what you call living proof of what took place in that death chamber. I emphasize those two words to remind you–and myself–that I am in fact still living, though some wouldn’t call barricading themselves in the east wing of a monastery living. But fuck them, and you; it’s better than the alternative, tying a noose and dangling from the center beam of my cold, miniscule room like a coward (yes, I’ve thought about it a few times). Or, as some of my contemporaries, simply jump into oncoming traffic.

No, something in me keeps pushing forward, but the force of that push keeps getting weaker, weaker, and weaker. And I know, eventually, I’ll become complacent, like everyone else. I don’t know what it is, you know? Why I continue, especially when I know I’m no different from the others, but I have to try; what else am I doing? It’s not as if I can go back to work, not when that’s the reason why I’m here now.

And that brings this full circle … am I right?

Yes–back to the beginning.

The Confession of Lyle Timmons

As I said, there was something in the injection that made them that way. And when I say them, I mean the prisoners–the ones on death row. Remember that botched execution in Ohio a few years back, the one where the guy screamed something like “I can feel it burning–like fire. My whole body’s on fucking fire.”

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2016 collection.

Lyle Timmons received his B.A. in criminal justice and, after college, joined the U.S. Army, serving four years before receiving an Honorable Discharge. His last known occupation was with Alabama’s Department of Corrections (DOC), where he specialized in prison procedure–executions. According to the state department, Mr. Timmons’ status is ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE.

Jacob M. Lambert has published with Flame Tree Publishing, Third Flatiron, and Midnight Echo Magazine. He lives in Montgomery, Alabama, where he teaches English Composition and is a slush reader for THAT Literary Review. When not writing, he enjoys time with his wife, Stephanie, and daughter, Annabelle.

Errow is a comic artist and illustrator focused on narrative work themed around worlds not quite like our own. She spends her time working with her partner on The Kinsey House webcomic and developing other comic projects when she’s not playing tag with her bear of a cat. More of her work can be found at

“The Confession of Lyle Timmons” is © 2016 Jacob M. Lambert.
Art accompanying story is © 2016 Errow Collins.

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