Gallows

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birds in dead tree

I watched his face.

The play of emotions twisted his features into a grotesque mask as he tried to grasp what was happening. His face seemed to melt as he showed disbelief, then shock, anger, and hatred.

Never a good card player, I hoped my face wasn’t as animated. For weeks before his trial, I practiced in a glass, holding tight to a façade of nonchalance when I wanted to cry out from the roof tops. No one could see my inner turmoil, nor know my role in his undoing.

I stood behind a pillar in the church chancery, listening as barristers presented evidence. Under the sheer weight of proof, he was unable to refute the allegations. The case against him ironclad, the magistrate’s justice was swift. He couldn’t evade responsibility this time, couldn’t manipulate the outcome to his benefit at the expense of others.

The tide of public sentiment turned against him, and they clamored for an exhibition. There hadn’t been a hanging for far too long, and the people were bored. What better than to see someone who stood on such a high pedestal come crashing down, his neck snapped by the hangman’s noose.

When his time to swing comes, I’ll be in the front row where he can see me, the cruelty he inflicted clear on my face. He will know his lies returned to him, and he alone will realize that I am the one who delivered him to the gallows.

He should be proud of all I accomplished. I did learn from a master.

The Trifecta challenge this week is: Grasp [ verb \ˈgrasp\] 3: to lay hold of with the mind : comprehend

23 comments

  1. “I am exactly what you’ve made me.”

    the writing was so tight and flowed, carrying us right to the end on a tide of his anger and resentment.

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      1. I completely understand, because I do too. I chair dance and grin, as if “I’m UNDERSTOOD!”

        this one was very very good.

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  2. That was a nice unexpected twist at the end. I figured the narrator was upset at the results, sad this person was being sent away but as we went further you could see the loathing and anger come through. And the satisfaction at beating the Master 🙂

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  3. I loved this (and the comments were entertaining as well!) The tables were turned here and the master is taking the fall. It just makes me wonder when the person responsible for that demise will be the one toppled from the pedestal. I also hope to see more about this story…there is so much left to be told.

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