He sat quietly in his cell room. He looked over at the petite woman in front of him, who had her eyes closed, as if in deep thought. Or maybe she was just asleep. He remembered when she had first come in to the dungeon, accused of murder, and set to be hung within one moon. She always had a defiant look on her face. He couldn't remember a time when she didn't. For the first few days, he would ask her questions. When was her birthday? What was her name? She would never answer, only shake her head. She never spoke a word. He had watched, only a few feet away, as she had been interrogated roughly, the blood lust clear in the questioner's eyes. She just stood there, and looked up at the much taller man, with a blank look on her face, as he asked each question. To each blank look, she had been whipped multiple times, yet she never yelped or winced, and showed no response when these wound started to fester and get infected. It was almost like her tongue had been cut, as she never ever made a sound. It was a fortnight later when he finally asked her. "Why," he whispered, "Do you never say a word?" She opened her gray eyes and looked at him. Her response is one he would never forget.
"To be silent, I think, is a gesture of extreme defiance. It speaks louder than any rude remark I could ever say. Over these two weeks, it has become a habit for me to not say anything. And for the next two weeks, that habit will stay." She closed her eyes again, and tucked her bloody hair behind her ear. She had never answered another question of his since.
Today was the day of the execution. Everyone in town was forced to go, as it was a manditory event. He couldn't imagine why. He watched sadly, as they tied a rope on a thick block of wood jutting out from a wall. They led her up, and she walked up the stairs, as they tied the rope around her neck. She smiled. "Do you have any last words?" The male executioner asked tiredly. She took a deep breath, and for a while it seemed like she would say nothing. The man tightened the rope around her neck, and she nearly choked, but caught herself. She looked at him, and in a hoarse voice, said, "I have been silent for quite a while. This gesture of rebellion is a gift. And, with my last breath, I offer this gift to you. May you treasure it and honor it for as long as you live." She sighed, and true to her word, passed the gift on to him, and died.
And he had never spoken a single word since.