The Executioners Son

November 22, 2012
January eleventh. A light rain was falling, unusual for this time of year. All of the townsfolk were lined up on Main Street. This was a day of death.

Vlad Kilmer, a foreigner, walked into town one snowy day. Mrs. Hahn, the baker’s wife, took pity on him, taking him in. And yesterday he was charged with witchcraft and devil worship. In this small town, that’s an execution.

The black horse drawn sleigh was driven around the last corner into town. My father sat beside me, driving the two horses. As we passed by the people, I caught a few of the curses. When we past the stone church, the curses ended. The church bells were ringing. “No Johnny. Those men are cursed by the Almighty God.” I heard a woman’s voice say quietly. I looked over my shoulder, seeing a woman in a black dress holding the shoulders of a little boy.

Ahead, I saw the wooden platform. My father directed the horses around the back. He dug out his red face cover from his black overcoat. He jumped off, heading towards the back. He grabbed a bundle, a shapeless weight keeping it down. My father walked up the steps, and dropped the bundle in the middle. He took a shining knife out of his coat, cutting the rope, opening the bag. A small crowd had gathered.

Vlad was lying on the floor, gasping. He wore very little, helpless to the grip of the cold rain. My father harshly grabbed Vlad’s shoulders and yanked him to his knees.

“Father, come deliver this damned man his final blessing.” He said. His voice was rough from years of yelling and smoking. A small, scrawny old man walked shakily up the old steps. “Lord in Heaven, Hallowed-“ He was cut off by the laughter from Vlad. “Your empty blessings,” He spat the word out like poison, “Means nothing to me!” The old man looked expectantly at my father. “Vlad Kilmer, you are charged with the practice of witchcraft and the worship of the Devil. You are here by charged with an execution. Any last words?” Vlad just smiled at my father’s masked face. My father beckoned me with a wave. I hopped off the sleigh heading towards the back. I grabbed a more slender, lighter bundle. I carried it up the stairs. My father met me. “You should know what to do.” I nodded quickly. He took the bundle and opened it. He grabbed the silver sword as he let the bag drop. I grabbed Vlad’s shoulders tightly. My father raised the sword.

She stood in back. At the age of fifteen, most would think of her a kid, too young to witness a killing. But this was her first. She had slipped out of the front door, her mother to busy baking and her father too drunk to do anything but sleep.

She saw a boy that looked no older than her, grab the shoulders of the damned. His shoulder length hair blew gently in the breeze. His dark eyes looked sad. The executioner raised his sword. She bit her lip. The sword dropped.
The man dodged to his left. He misjudged the distance; the sword plunged deep into his shoulder. He cried out in agony. The boy fell back. The executioner raised the sword and brought it back down. The man raised his arms for little protection. The blade cut through both arms. The man yelled out.

Blood. The scarlet liquid that gives us life. Except his was pooling under and around him. The executioner smacked the boy aside the head, cursing at him. But she thought he must be dead now. Has to be.

But there was a low moan, coming from the dead man. She felt sick. Maybe this was a bad idea. Everybody was right, she decided. Too young to witness this. This wasn’t an execution. This was torture. The killer brought his sword back up. Blood splattered everywhere.

The executioner kicked the dead man. The girl walked away and threw up. To much blood. She heard satisfaction from the crowd. “He deserved all of it.” “Should of just ran the sword through him.” Were what she heard. She pushed through the crowd, reaching the front. The boy looked at her. Tears were in his eyes. She felt sorry for him. No man should have to do that.

I looked at the girl in front. She was about as old as me. Her hair was short and white. Her eyes were dark enough to be called black. Why was she here? She didn’t look so good. My father set to work wrapping the body in the bag. I jumped off the platform, arms raised. “Ok people, he’s dead. You can all leave now.” I yelled. The girl looked frozen.

I grabbed her shoulders and looked her in the eyes. “Miss, it’s ok. You don’t have to see this ever again.” I said to her in a low voice. She burst out sobbing and hugged me. “That was terrible! Why did he have to die… like that?”

I was surprised. “It shouldn’t have happened like that. It was my fault. I wasn’t-“ I was cut off by my father. “Gregory Victor Williams, what in the hell are you doing?” He grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back roughly. So roughly that I slipped, taking the girl with me. My father took her shoulder and yanked her up standing.

“What are you doing here girl?” He said, voice cold. She looked scared. I just stood there, eyes down towards the ground. “I-I was just-“ My father smacked her across the mouth. “What would your father think, your mother think, if they heard you were here?”

I looked up. She looked at me, hoping that I would somehow help. “This way Gregory.” My father said, walking towards the platform. I just stood there. The girl was crying. My father crossed the line with this one.

My father grabbed my shoulder. “It’s this way.” He pulled me. I smacked his hand away. I was furious. “Why are you like this? This isn’t you!” I yelled at him. He grabbed the collar of my shirt. “Watch your mouth when you’re talking to me!” He pushed me to the ground. He picked me back up and pushed me towards the carriage.

I caught a smell of his breath. It smelled heavily like alcohol. I sat down on the seat and took the reins. My father sat next to me. He yanked the reins from my hands and snapped them. I looked away from him. I couldn’t look at him, not anymore.

She ran. She ran away from the executioner. She ran into her house, slamming the door shut. She sank to the floor. “Wha were you doin’?” She heard. She blinked away the rest of the tears. Her father came stumbling down the stairs. “I was with some friends.” She lied. She had to. “Then wha are al the tears from?” He grabbed her hand and pulled her up roughly.

She looked at him. “It’s the wind. It bugged my eyes.” She said. He looked me in the eyes. “Don’ you lie to me. Tell me the truth.” She looked away. He forced her to look into his eyes. “You went to se the killing, didn’ ya?” He said. “I forbade you to se that.” He smacked her face. She pulled free from his hand and ran up the stairs. She opened the door to her room and ran in. She slammed it and stuck a chair under the door knob.

She laid on her bed crying. She heard a pounding on the door. She didn’t care. Her eyes felt heavy. Too much had happened today.

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