"aipotu"

I turn the corner, and I abandon hushed streets to a stoic silence awaiting me in the village square. The gallows made of solid marble loom ominously over the crowd. There is a nearly imperceptible chip on the bottom left side from where some poor fool tried to end it sooner than ordained by the magistrate. He ended up suffering longer, of course; they nursed him back to health before hanging him again.
Hershel, the Speaker of Truth, is still announcing what exactly will happen to the crowd, who has heard it all before. The offender will be hung, and if he isn’t already dead, he will be thrown into the public incinerator. It is a grim spectacle, but even the youngest of the Young are required to come. It is a teaching tool in the ways of Aipotu, a necessary evil that must be known.
When the Condemned enters the square, all must avert their eyes. Looking into someone’s eyes is a sign of respect, one that must not be lauded on such filth. Anyone who deserves such a punishment must be a danger to the government, and therefore the people, of The Republic of Aipotu. Nobody holds any mercy for the Condemned. The Assistant to Punishment is swift and merciless in his occupation, moving with a purpose and a vacant expression, a soulless puppet of Aipotu.
I survive the masses only because they part for me. I walk slowly, giving myself up to the fact that I was going to die, and there was nothing anyone, much less myself, could do about it.

The Assistant to Punishment nods at me slowly as I ascend the steps to the gallows. The silence deepens, and I pick out my wife’s face in the crowd. She turned me in for Suspicious Activities Contrary to Beliefs of Aipotu, a capital offense. The punishment is Death.
I am allowed to make a speech before the execution, or as the Magistrate calls it, “the main event.” I decline. I want to spare this weary gathering of having to see my ugly mug any longer than necessary. The Assistant puts on my blindfold, opaque so that I can see the crowd, but they can watch without looking into my eyes accidentally. The Magistrate sits directly in front of me, so that he can pleasantly view my execution. He wears a silk chiffon shirt over a tunic of the finest cotton. He is quite tipsy from the ever-present flask of vodka at his hip. He smirks as he looks into my eyes, daring me to do anything.
When the Assistant motions me forward, I step up to the gallows. The marble is cold and smooth under my bare feet, and I cringe inwardly. My wife has her head in her hands. The Assistant settles the noose around my neck, not scratchy like in so many imaginations, but smooth, tinted red to hide the blood.
My wife is being dragged away screaming, overwhelmed with uncontrollable grief, exactly the kind that is not allowed, according to Aipotu rules. She will die by lethal injection in a sterile room in an underground government compound. Nobody will put flowers on her grave.
She disappears from me…





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poetishstar13 said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm
haha i wrote this... really short i know! please read! thanx. also, plz view my other post, a romantic story called "solace"
 
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