Joined: 25 August 2009
Joined: 02 November 2010
Joined: 22 March 2010
Joined: 09 January 2009
28. Gravity of the gallows
Everyone knew he did what he had to do because it was a job; a job like teacher or a carpenter. But the looks of scorn from the affected family managed to churn his insides. The profession was much needed like any other in the society, his father had told him when he tearfully rejected the notion of continuing the family profession.
She had come from the north where snow was generous and sunshine was treasured. Her cheeks were naturally rosy hued but had turned deep crimson when she saw him for the first time – the day of their wedding. They traveled that night to the south where he belonged.
There was a job that had to be done the next morning.
It took her three days to find out what her husband did for a living. Her father hadn't thought it was important information for her to know. The neighbors spared her looks of pity while few of the onlookers had narrowed their eyes at her. At the well, women whispered; few laughed at her while many simply shook their head.
On the third morning she knew why.
She walked around the lanes which she was familiar with when a hurried whisper reached her eyes.
"It's the key maker!" A woman said as she walked in front of her with hurried steps. The young bride looked around her, confused.
"What he do?" A man asked the woman. The new bride stretched her neck to hear the response.
"He stole from the gardens of the richest man of this town," the woman whispered.
"What did he steal?" The new bride asked before she could stop herself. The man and the woman who were conversing turned back in surprise at the new voice that interrupted their conversation.
"He stole apples," the woman replied giving the new bride once over. "He will be punished now," the woman added after realizing that the young girl in front of her looked fairly harmless.
"What will be the punishment?" She asked the woman as they started walking towards a destination the young woman didn't know of.
"An unfair one," the man grumbled under his breath.
"May I come with you?" The new bride isn't sure the customs of the new place. The woman smiled warmly in reply.
They arrived at the gathering in market place where the key maker lay in chains – tired, humiliated and beaten. The new bride saw his family dressed in black standing few feet away from the stage.
She gasped when she realized what she was about to witness.
Death wasn't new to her land and she had seen a fair share of it.
But death as a spectacle was completely foreign to her.
She had heard about it from people in her village had travelled far and wide and told her stories about gallows and guillotines. And now, she was about to witness an execution for the first time in her life.
The entire market place was bursting with hushes of whispers, sniffles and sound of injustice. She carefully hid behind the woman and the man hoping that the ordeal would end soon. She didn't know why she had come but a compelling reason unknown to her seemed to beckon her.
She felt bile rising up her throat as she felt sick about the thought of watching someone die as "fascinating". She wheezed as she felt the wind knockout of her lungs when the key maker was made to stand under gallows.
And then she understood the looks of pity, sympathy, apathy, and disdain was so casually thrown at her.
The man who held the noose in his hand was none other than her husband.
He was the executioner – the man who put the noose around the convict's neck and performs the job of execution.
A part of the crowd yells at the key maker while his family cries out in open. She watches the family, the key maker and her husband one after other.
A strong bond between the three seems to exist and the thought sends chills of hopelessness in her spine. At the same moment she meets the eye of her husband. At first there is surprise, closely followed by shock. And then apprehension follows.
Shame is the only thing that remains in his eye for a long time.
When it's time, shame is replaced by responsibility.
Execution is complete and so is her phylogeny in the new society.
The key maker hangs in midair while she collapses on the ground.
Gallows stand unperturbed at the dichotomy.
Joined: 13 April 2006
Joined: 02 November 2010
I have always wondered, what kind of people carry out a job of an executioner, which out being affected by it. I guess a job is a job and shame is overshadowed by responsibility. There must be some psychological make up needed to be able to kill another human being, the one who lack empathy have no trouble doing the job. Though I would have loved to read more on the "life-of-an-executioner"... just a thought! :)
I truly feel sorry for the bride, as she will have to live day-and-night with a man, who kills for living! The soul who brings the bread to the table is Satan in disguise!
Sooks, brilliant take!
Joined: 27 August 2010
Joined: 29 May 2008
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