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An Executioner's Tale.

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I stood, my back to the brick wall, the cool air crisp in my nostrils, a cloak wrapped around my shoulder. The room was barren except for a raised platform, a chair perched on its top, chords wrapping around its legs, snakes crawling up its wooden skin. They curled to the top and, when it reached the tip of the post, hung loosely down beside the wooden killer. Leather straps curled around the arms, clutching at the smooth rest, a mild comfort in a final moment. The gruesome chair faced a single window, a single portal to the outside world, the anti-chamber to hell. Padded chairs rested on its cold, stone floor, awaiting occupants, an audience to the terrible act. A single light hung over the single chair upon the platform, swinging though there was no wind, ever so slightly drifting to and fro. My mind wandered, thinking of the other appointments i had that day. A trip to the deserted mansion on the outskirt of the city was next, and after I had a meeting with some old friends, one which would be arriving here later. I was jolted from my day dream by a sudden clap of thunder, the rain pounding upon the roof of the otherwise silent room. My eyes swept across the stone, though all was the same. I peered out the window and realized the chairs had received their occupants, at least some of them.


The victims had chosen different tactics in dealing with the horrific situation, some denying what would soon take place, some weeping in grief at the loss. Then there were the paralyzed. They glared at the chair, willing it to disappear, their eyes tattooed with the stories of their pasts, all their memories playing as a movie crossed their minds. The chair stood silent, defiant, seemingly returning the stare that was focused upon it. Humans were a funny creature, always confident that they were in control, ignorant that they were actually influenced by the outside world. The door creaked on its hinges as it slid open, a being in black slipping through the crack that had appeared. He too was dressed in a cloak, a hood pulled over his head, eyes casting a red hued glow into the shadow. I nodded silently and he returned the gesture as he turned to stand in the opposite corner, unmoving, unapparent. We stood in silence, peaceful, waiting. The seats in the room behind the glass continued to fill, people dressed in black falling into the padded chairs. Time seemed to crawl by, a snail upon a branch, as we waited for the occupant of the silent throne in the center of the room.


Suddenly the wooden door slid open again, its hinges squeaking, and three men passed through it. The two on the outside were dressed in blue, holsters at their waist’s, though they expected no trouble. Deep Sapphire caps rested upon their heads, faces chiseled as if carved from marble, muscles bulged through the thin sleeves. They too stared straight ahead, eyes tattooed, black bags hanging below, for they had not sleep for several days, kept awake, contemplating the task they would have to complete, the terrible act which they were forced to perform. Veins rippled through their hands as the clutched the arms of the man streched between them, though he was a small excuse. A skeleton would have been a better description, skin clinging to the bone like wet clothes to occupents, wrists no farther round than that of a child. His cheeks hung from his face, exaggerating his pain and his age, for his appearance was far beyond his years. Pitiful.


Tears leaked from his stormy gray eyes, the one thing that seemed to clutch at life on his brittle being, head hung, resembling a beaten dog. His feet slid upon the floor, hissing as they marched him forward until he stood below the throne. I glanced at the black figure that stood at the far corner of the room, though his head was still down, hood obscuring his face. Another clap of thunder echoed from the heavens, causing us all to jump where we stood. The fragile man raised his head, looking up at the ceiling, pleading for another chance, a fate which would take him away from this horrible place. No answer. The light stared back into his eyes, still swinging, watching as he lowered his gaze back to the unforgiving stone floor. Sobs suddenly filled the floor, echoing off the crumbling walls, trailing off, an eerie silence left behind, filling the room as water in a jug. The door had opened, another guard entering the midst of the others, a bucket in one hand, water sloshing in its depths, a dark yellow sponge in the other. He had the same blank stare as the others, trying not to contemplate the act that would follow. I almost felt sorry for the guards, for they were to be forever changed by this day, its events haunting them for eternity.


Faces peered in from the window, a room unreachable, a safe haven that was so close, yet so far away. It was my time now. Suddenly I was beside the frail man, I could hear his quiet sniffling, sobbing under his breath. The two guards pushed him forward and he tripped into the chair, knees smashing against the defiant wood. Time to act. As a reached my hand to the man’s thin throat I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Despair filled me, though I had to act. My fingers clutched his throat as he lowered himself into the chair. His body tensed as he felt my presence, the frail body suddenly shaking violently, a cry catching in his throat. Cold sweat poured from his brow, running down the pale face and onto my cold hand as I glanced to the corner of the room, searching for reassurance. The figure in black raised its head ever so slightly, nodding in my direction. The two guards that had held his arms moved around him, like alter boys to a priest, tightening the leather straps to his shaking arms, never once glancing into his pleading eyes. I moved to his left, leaving my hand upon his throat, adrenaline still pumping through his veins.


Rain beat relentlessly upon the stone roof, its rhythmic pounding filling the small room, drowning out the sobs that issued from the haven into which the window peered. The man with the bucket stepped forward, water splashing from the pail as it twitched from the quaking in his hand. He dipped the sponge into the water, its temperature cold as winter, the icy numbness piercing his hand, drenching the pores of the sponge. He raised it the prisoners head and squeezed it against his already moist skin, the cold running down his cheeks, dripping upon my hand. The man spluttered, a cough issuing from his throat, windpipe vibrating against my hand as he choked on the moisture, his eyes blinking out its piercing temperature. I stood, still at his side, gazing at the scene that unfolded in front of my eyes.

A terrible squeaking filled the room as another guard screwed the the wires that had hung limp at his side into a thick leather strap with a light bulb affixed upon its tip, an indicator of the electrical surge. It was placed on his head, the leather strap tightened as a clap of thunder echoed through the room, quickly replaced by the relentless splashing of the rain. Tears streamed down the mans cheeks, his eyes pleading, though he still made no sound. The guards took a final look at the man and a sob issued from one of their throats, though there was no telling which it originated from. Then, in an eerie unison, they exited the room, the door creaking as it opened and closed. I released my hold, for the man no longer needed my presence. The shaking stopped and, though the tears continued to fall, the stream lightened. The fragile head turned on the fragile neck, his fragile eyes seeming to bore into mine, though he could not see me. “I’m..... I’m sorry.” His voice quivered as he spoke, his raspy whisper sending shivers down my spine. I turned from him, hairs raised on the back of my neck. He couldn’t see me. I was imagining things. He couldn't see me.



I trudged towards the corner as the figure in black approached me, eyes still lowered. He began to pass me without a word, still mute, but I caught him, whispering into the hood. “Make it quick.” He nodded his ever solemn nod, and continued past me as a buzzer filled the room. The final call. The final bell. I turned as I reached the corner, taking one final look over the barren, cold room. The figure in black stood behind the chair, still staring into the floor though suddenly clutching a staff with a large curved blade attached to its end, glinting in the low light. A scythe. The man in the chair sat, staring straight ahead, the tears dried upon his timid cheeks, teeth grinding against each other, waiting for the end. A shock filled the room and the light switched on upon the man’s head. His body suddenly writhed in its bonds, as if possessed by a demon, fighting the surge of electricity that passed through it. The scythe glinted as it swung through the air, passing through the body and the wooden throne, calming the man. The pale body fell back against the cold, smooth surface, lifeless, defeated. The black figure raised its head and nodded. I nodded back and, in a turn of my cloak vanished, for I was no longer needed. Fear was no longer needed.





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