Hanging Love

Reads: 1143  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

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

A hangman is faced with the task of executing his own wife.

Hanging Love
Copyright Michael Sherlock 2007 all rights reserved
By Michael Sherlock
Love…in every respect of word, beautiful. In life one will experience love at least once, be it from a mother or lover. People cry and resort to madness in the face of lost love, or love out of their reach. There are a select minority that must sacrifice love for the sake of their lovers benefit. This story, however, is about someone who had to break free from the binding chains of love with death itself.
This man…this executioner, unnamed for his own safety, killed for a living. Each knot in the rope…each pull of the lever; ending life was a job…not a chore. As long as ending a life put food on the table for his wife and children…he was happy. When there was a life to take, he would wait for the sun to rise in familiar anticipation. Was this all he had to do? Pull a lever and watch them fall…dragging their ego and protests down into the pit below the gallows.
Once again the sun began to peak above the surrounded stone. The cold air slowly embraced its first touch of warmth. The balaclava side solemnly over his face, smearing a long surprised tear onto the material. This time the rope was knotted for his own wife. Accursed was he to be the only hangman in the whole town, he had no choice but to pull the lever for her.
Three children now sat at home…eating alone. Where was their mum? In a prison…. where was their dad? Standing by the gallows lever. This time their father would come home with a bag full of blessed food, with one less mouth to feed.
Telling a lover you no longer feel the same about them can tear at your heart. Telling your children their mother wont kiss them goodnight when the sun is set can make a man cry. Telling your lover to speak their last prayers…telling your children that you put the noose around her neck…it is different.
Wiping a tear from his child’s cheek will leave a red smear this time. This blood on his hands will never wash off…not even if held under the waters of the world.
The sun was high now, the clouds were pushed from its glowing aura, leaving a shining patch of blue sky in the otherwise grey sky. The occasional bird streaked across the sky with a screaming song, then replied to by another.
The knocking sound of feet against wood pounded the hangman’s ears. Looking down slowly he could see his sobbing wife through the holes in his balaclava. A wind had picked up and the air became cold. Whether he had only just noticed the turning temperature or whether the heat of the occasion had spread he did not know.
The beautiful woman stood on the trap door with her golden hair flowing across her fair face, longing for a long forgotten smile to return. Blue eyes stared absently into the distance, she did not know the man holding the rope was her husband.
With a shaking hand the man fastened the rope around her neck. Each fibre in the rope tore at his tender hands, causing them to shake with the prick of guilt. The cold hands of hesitation grasped his wrists and held them still. Slowly, he tightened the knot and exhaled slowly.
A word goodbye…a assurance of love…lost now in anonymity. The cries of his absent children weeping for their lost mother screamed from the cracks in the wooden lever. His fingers slowly wrapped around the lever handle, the joints in his fingers giving a submissive crack.
Her last prayers were spoken.
“I wish for my husband and children to live happily without me, and not to mourn my passing”
The prayer was spoken…a well wishing towards her executioner. If only he could assure her he loved her, if only he could share her burden…if only he could say goodbye.
All he had to do now was sharply draw his hand back towards his body, taking the lever with it. Despite the bulging muscles on his arms, he shook in agony as he tried to pull this lever, as if it were made of the earth itself.
Love, beautiful and glorious, yet it always ends with a tear. In life, few are rarely so in love…yet only an arm’s jerk away from ending it.
His arm drew back sharply, the sickening thud of the trap door swinging open. A growl of anguish gurgled in his throat, trying desperately to mask the cries of his choking wife. His fingers bled as his grip tightened on the lever. The bones in his fingers snapped as the wood crumbled in his hardened grasp.
As the screaming stopped, silence proceeded, broken only by the crash of a broken man falling to his knees.
End


Submitted: November 25, 2007

© Copyright 2022 Cheesedog. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

Yvonne

wow... so intence =O

Wed, November 28th, 2007 1:38pm

Author
Reply

Thanks

Wed, November 28th, 2007 4:04pm

Facebook Comments

More Literary Fiction Short Stories

Other Content by Cheesedog

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Short Story / Literary Fiction