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Ending at the Rope

By Jordan Brummett All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Drama

Chapter 1

The darkness was disrupted by a shaft of blinding light as the iron barred door was thrown open. Heavy boots marched down the hall purposefully headed for their owners destination. The swish of cloth could barely be heard above the tread of boots on thick worn stone, as an arm rose with a slight jingle.

He listened as water droplets fell around him making him shiver at the reminder of his unquenchable thirst. How long had it been since he'd last tasted cold water or felt it's blessed relief? Murmured voices in the corridor echo as the newcomer speaks to the guardsman outside his door, his day had finally come. The keys scrape the bars as the barred door is unlocked, the sound deafening to the prisoners in the darkness around them.

Iron bites into his wrists as he pulls as close to the wall as he could possibly be, his fingers unable to find purchase in the smooth walls or a place to hide. His back is drenched by the cold water dampening the wall. He finds that he cares not, as all his attention is focused on the door, as the light is cut off by an imposing figure.

Glowing eyes watch as the figure is pulled roughly from his room as the boots return to where they came from. They all knew the day would come, the day they would take him. The hope died from their eyes as the metal door clanged shut behind the man and his prisoner.

The walk was one of silence, he knew his pleas would do nothing to stop his fate now. He was forced into a room where more soldiers waited on them. No they would not risk him getting away from them today. The iron was pulled from his wrists and smaller ones took their place cutting into the already bruised and bloodied skin.

The pulling began once again to a door on the far side of the room. His first sight of the outside of the prison bunker nearly blinded him as the rising sun made it's appearance over the distant mountains. The sky shone a brilliant shade of blue belying his feelings of coming dread.

Cheers sounded all around him even though they sounded forced and full of deep sorrow. The false cheer was evident even as he walked past them. No one wanted to be there but they had to be.

Rising before him, a contraption made of wood and stone loomed, in the sight of the glaring sun. The air seemed permeated with horror as the march continued forward toward it. The steps rose before him as he was forced up them.

The uneven stairs tripped him halfway up, his half-starved body failing him. Once more he was pushed from behind forced further up the stairs by the man behind him. He could feel the pleasure of his escort, the man reveling in the cheers and his power over the days events.

At the top he turned to face those in front of him. Watching the tears falling from the eyes of his people...the ones he couldn't save and now never would. He wondered how many of them would die before finding their freedom. If they would would really only find their freedom in following him and fighting to their deaths.

As a deep voice began speaking words that were his supposed crimes, almost gleefully, he turned his face up to the skies. He hoped in that moment that someone somewhere out there would continue his life's work and save his people, his whole world, from themselves, from those who would rule them.

He felt the presence beside him once again as the cloth was pulled over his eyes cutting off his final view of his people. The rope ground into his shoulders as they settled it, and so he took one last breath as the time came. The weight of the rope oddly comforting in that second, he could almost imagine it was his little girl wrapping her arms around his neck for a hug.

Never would he regret what he'd done he couldn't stand seeing his people, his family suffer. He'd tried to help them, and now they would be on their own, he had failed in his mission.

The crowd grew silent seconds before the floor moved and gravity stopped for half a second as death arrived. The crowd cried out in fear as the rope bit into the neck of their last hope, stealing him from them forever.

As the prisoner stopped moving the executioner and his commander laughed at the anguished cries of hopelessness of the people far and wide. No matter how strong their rebellion it would always end at the rope, but from such executions revenge is born and grows.

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