Thursday, August 31, 2017

Executioner's Lament

When they pulled the blindfold from my eyes I could see the crowd baying, balled fists raised and pumping overhead punches to a beat that I couldn’t hear for the breathless wind that howled in my ears.
I cannot say what passes for honesty from the mouth of the condemned witch but I can testify to the fact that terror tints the world a dark and brutally honest hue: my confessions to occult practice were extracted in terror.
Reynard had promised a future when he handed me the hacked key to the records of the Ministry of Human Kindness three years ago; he’d said that we couldn’t go wrong; that they were too stupid to notice.
I see him now, pumping his fist in time and I realise that the crowd is focussed not on me but on some point to my right; the strap around my neck prevents me from turning to see; I strain my eyes to their orbital limit but my view is further blocked by the black shape of the executioner who is shuffling in almost imperceptible anxiety from foot to foot, the trigger drenched in the blood pouring from his clenched fist.
Between the platform and the crowd a double line of armoured security shuffles in anticipation of action; blue-black and armed to the teeth with the latest in riot control tech.
The black shape of the executioner moves toward me and I draw a sharp breath; my mind clears and as the roar of the crowd rushes in, I am splattered with the executioner’s blood, hot and viscous as he is taken out by something barely seen, moving fast and steel encased.
I dare to hope.
The security phalanx goes limp, weapons clatter and tinnitus screams as the pulse of off-world tech whips across the square. The crowd freezes momentarily, static hair-raised, before turning to flee in all directions – I cannot hear their shouts.
Reynard vaults the scaffold, his ears bleeding, his hands reaching for my throat.

Tales for the attention deficit reader

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