The sun was just rising over the horizon when McNally heard the shuffle of feet. There were four men, including a minister who was reading the Bible.
"Okay, McNally, it's Nov. 4. It's time to vote."
"Any word from the governor?" McNally asked.
"No, there doesn't seem to be any chance of a pardon. You're going to have to go into the booth and pull the switch."
"I don't want to do it," McNally said. "I'm innocent. Why do I have to vote?"
"We're sorry. But we are only here to take you to the booth."
The minister came in. "McNally, it's God's will. We will all pray for you. Is there any last word of comfort I can offer you before you go into the polling station?"
Why me, Father? I've been a good man. I worked hard. I never did anything to hurt anybody. Why do I have to vote?"
"Everyone has to vote sooner or later. Go bravely, my son. It won't take long to pull the lever, and then it will all be over."
"I'm scared, Father. I've never been so frightened in my life."
"We're all frightened of the unknown, my son. But try to think of it as taking a nice journey into a beautiful country that you have never seen before. Imagine that you will be reunited with all the loved ones who have voted before you. Pray with me."
One of the men said, "Come on, McNally. You're just stalling for time. We gave you what you wanted for dinner, and let you order anything for breakfast. We have to get the show on the road."
"Can I see my wife before I vote?"
"It won't do any good. She can't help you now. Nobody can help you."
"I won't go. You can't make me go."
"McNally, you can either walk into the voting booth or we can drag you there kicking and screaming. Which way is it going to be?"
"Okay, I'll go, but someday you're going to find out you got the wrong man to vote and it will be on your conscience forever."
Two men walked on each side of McNally as the minister read from his Bible.
Other men along voters' row shouted at him.
"Good luck, McNally. We'll see you soon."
The group arrived at the green door.
By this time McNally was perspiring and shaking. One of the men opened the door and McNally saw the forbidding booth. A man was making the final adjustments on the voting machine.
A registrar was seated at a desk. He checked off McNally's name.
"Maybe the governor has pardoned me and nobody knows it," McNally said.
The man in charge said, "We've been in touch with his office and he says there is no reprieve. You're going to have to vote."
Two men took McNally by his arms and shoved him into the booth. They pulled the green curtain behind him. They could only see his legs, which were quivering.
Suddenly there was a scream from behind the curtain.
NcNally had pulled the lever for one of the three presidential candidates, and his scream would be remembered by everyone in the room for the rest of their lives.