A Gallows Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 17, 2017

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Submitted: August 17, 2017

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They looked through yellow gauzy light that was defused by dirty brown clouds. They looked though they had no eyes to see. A crowd had gathered on a rough cobbled street that ended abruptly into the stairs of a stately building.Their long silver hair falling on shoulders mantled, with gray flowing robes hanging off of them. A gallows had been erected the previous night by those who work without light. People gather by windows in their ten story mud brick tenements that lined either side of the street. They observed without expressions. They felt but they had no faces. Their long hair framing only sick white discs. The young and the old passing through time at different speeds, all paused to take part in a happening.

At the top of the stairs the two great doors opened outward slowly. A tall female figure with raven black hair, flanked on either side by curly wigged men, walked to the edge of the stairs and stopped. She seemed to be taking in all that was before her. She then raised her sick white disc to the dirty heavens and let out a scream like a crow being plucked alive for ten heart beats. Her chilling caw echoed down the street, through the dingy canyon and out into the dust colored world.  There was silence for another ten. Her escorts then took her by her arms and descended the ochre stairs.

They packed the streets, sidewalks, alcoves and windows ten thousand strong. There were pets and puppets alike, all there to take part in the happening and all silent as a rock.

A family on the top floor of the building closest to the gallows witnessed these proceedings through less than clear window pains. They saw the tall woman mount the gollows’ treads and then on to the platform. They even heard the timbers creak under her feet as she came to a stop over the trap door. Others had a view of this female creature with her face framed in a rope as she stared out into an ocean of her own kind. A third man in a curly wig stepped forward with a scroll. He unrolled the yellow document ceremoniously and bobbed his head several times while seemingly reading it before tilting his sick white disc toward the nastiness above his world and respectfully cawed loudly. With that, an executioner stepped forward and placed the rope around the condemned woman’s neck and stripped her robe off, leaving her naked to the world. He then turned and faced the faceless crowd with his right hand on the lever.

At that very moment the gathered slapped their hands together once simultaneously. The sound shook windows and rattled bones. Then, as if part of a great machine, they rubbed their hands together in a rhythm. Scit Scrat, Scit Scrit Scrat, Scrit Scrat, Scrit Scrit Scrat. The volume and frequency increased steadily. It built up a palpable tension in the air around the gallows. Soon, the woman in the noose started to shake from her feet up and ending in a vibration at her head. The intensity increased until the moment the woman’s disc fissured like a cracked egg. The disc fell away in small pieces, landing at her feet and leaving her birth face exposed to the crowd. She looked out over a sea of unified blind hate through her true blue eyes and cursed them. Her voice sounded alien in her own ears as she turned her head up, once again, and cursed her wretched maker.

Her maker replied in the sound of the trap door opening.

 


© Copyright 2017 R.Guy Barringer. All rights reserved.

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