Hangman’s jig

This is my attempt at:


“Why a tree?”

It was not until I reached the oak, and rested my hand on the rough bark, the site turned towards the curious face of the judge. “I find that the modern method involving the platform can be very impersonal.”


“Very.” I did not elaborate, but the look of disappointment that I received from the judge informed me that I was expected to do so. Unfortunately, I liked my job too much to put it into jeopardy by voicing my actual opinion. You see, I like the idea of watching as somebody died and they started to spin in some unearthly dance. As far as I was concerned, this was my final act in their life, and I was making them dance to my jig. I know that I am macabre in my own little way, but, I can actually hear music playing when somebody dies. I like to be the person pulling on the rope and making them dance like puppets to my tune.

This was another reason why I had chosen to use a tree rather than the platform. As I said, I wanted to be the person on the end of the rope that could pull them like a puppeteer. This is absolutely impossible if they drop through the floor with nobody holding that rope. I really do not like pulling the button that releases that trapdoor. I prefer to be the person that is delivering death, using rope as my method. I do not want to be a simple button pusher.

I threw my rope over the branch of the tree, and began tying the noose. “So, what do we have today? Murderer? Robber? Scoundrel?”

“None of these. Today we have a witch.”

“Witch, you say?” Well, that was certainly different because the witches were usually burnt at the stake, and not hung. Not that it actually bothered me who I was going to be making dance under that tree, of course, and then some strange way the idea that it was going to be a woman made it even more sensual.

“This one is quite vocal, and burning them at the stake can take quite a while. Hanging is a lot quicker, and will certainly be quieter for us.”

The mob came approaching up the hill, pushing a young woman in front of them. I finished my preparation, and turned to greet them. The woman got propelled into my waiting hands, and I slid the noose about her slender neck. “Are you ready to dance for me?”

Her eyes, which were filled with fire, met mine. “The town is not ready for what is about to occur.”

“Silence. We have had enough of you cursing us, so now it is our turn to curse you. It is time to you to meet your maker, and may you, and all of your kind, exist only in hell.”

The judge nodded to me and I pulled on the rope. The music began playing, but the woman remained still as the rest of us began dancing around her. It seems that the only people dancing the hangman’s jig, where the people who had decided that she would die.


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