He was deep in thought, contemplating the dilemma before him. He walked back and forth, trying to figure out how he could light five fireworks without the first one exploding before he could light the fifth. These fireworks, or bangers, made in Japan, were not average bangers. Each one was like a miniature bomb. These ones were strapped around the head of Carl Gershan, who was tied to a chair, barely able to move, near a wall painted white. He couldn’t make a sound as his mouth was strapped also. His wide eyes bulged with fear, pleading at Lance Emery not to light the fireworks. Yet there was no doubt that Lance was going to do it. As he paced back and forth, he flicked a lighter without even knowing it as he thought about his dilemma.
The silence was heavy, pierced by the flicking lighter and Lance’s pacing footsteps. Perhaps it was more for effect that Lance taunted Carl with the lighter, stretching out as much time as he could to make his fear level reach as far as it was go. Carl knew he was going to die, knew Lance had done this kind of thing before, and knew Lance never let anybody of the hook, ever.
He knew he was no different, but couldn’t bring himself to accept it. Perhaps Lance was in a good mood, and if he sees the fear in Carl’s eyes he might feel a fragment of sympathy which meant he would change his mind. It wouldn’t happen, and Carl knew it.
Lance finally worked it out, and smiled not a sinister, but a genuine happy smile because he knew that all he had to do was light one firework, and that would cause a chain reaction, causing each banger to explode. There was a moments silence within the room, broken by the flick of the lighter which he slowly brought towards one of the bangers. Carl tried to scream, and his eyes nearly burst forth from their sockets as the blue touch paper of one of the bangers was lit. For several seconds, the only sound was that of a barely audible fizz as the paper burned. When it had all burned, there was a split second where nothing happened, and in that amount of time Lance thought it hadn’t worked, but then it did, and he was correct about the chain reaction.
Carl’s head disintegrated, splattering in all directions, over Lance, over the white wall where it glistened bright red in the bright lights. Lance stood staring at the stump of the neck for a few moments as it gushed out blood, then he turned and looked at the TV camera that had captured it all.
"See that folks?" he said, "See his head explode? Look at me, I’m covered in blood and bits of brain. At least I think it’s brain, who knows if he had any?" There was a roar of laughter from the studio audience, and now with a microphone in hand, and an inane grin, Lance addressed the TV viewers.
"You’re watching live executions here on the Lance Emery show on LBN, Live broadcast network, bringing you inmates from death row here to die in all manner of exiting ways which you the viewer," he pointed at the camera, "send in. Many thanks to Stan from Texas for sending in the fireworks strapped to the head idea, he wins a trip to the site where Carl Gershan murdered his wife and father, where he’ll see the bedroom where he took an axe to them, and actually get to hold the very axe he used. Maybe if he’s feeling brave, he will spend the night in that room. So remember folks, if your execution suggestion is used live to the nation, then you could win a trip to the scene of the crime where the inmates committed their acts. Keep your suggestions coming in, and join us next time for an outside broadcast where we’ll be throwing an inmate over a cliff. We’ll capture every detail as he splatters against the rocks".
The Lance Emery show came to an end. It was the most popular show in the world, taking advantage of people’s taste for violence, basically giving them what they wanted to see. No longer was the death penalty carried out behind closed doors. Well, you would watch, wouldn’t you? even if it was out of curiosity. The public had become so desensitised to violence through films and the media, that in order to satiate their desire for more, the blood and guts had to be real. There were no special effects here. Such was the demand that criminals who would normally receive a lengthy jail sentence were now receiving the death penalty. One who had stolen a police car and taken it for a joyride had received the death penalty, and it was becoming increasingly apparent, that soon every criminal would probably be executed on TV.
Its popularity was such that across the world whenever it was shown, society came to a halt, with most, if not all TVs tuned in to the show, and that outside, for the shows duration, there was nothing but silent streets.