The bitter wind cuts through his dirty thin shirt. His legs ache from standing for so long and the rough rope scratch at his wrists.
Suddenly he falls forward as the cart moves. The guard grabs him by the collar and pulls him up to stand. He blinks at the sudden sunlight as the cart moves out from the dark archway. In front, rides the executioner on a fat burrow.
Crowds of adults and children stand on the sides. His execution procession has become a parade, people laughing and cheering. Vendors selling roasted nuts and bruised fruit. The stench of cooking meat reaches his nose, his stomach growls in response.
He scans the crowds for a glimpse of a red velvet dress. But to no luck. He looks again forward. The scaffold looms closer and closer.
“NO!” A voice screams high above the cheers. He turns his gaze to the left; and there she is pushing her way through the dirty bodies and loose chickens, getting closer to the cart. He smiles sadly when they make eye contact. She reaches out to touch him, but is brutally pushed back by the guard.
She disappears into the crowd as it swarms bigger. The executioner spurs his beast and makes way for the cart to reach his death.
As he walks up the few steps, the fruit throwing begins. Cheers of victory became exuberant every time a rotten produce hit its mark: him.
As he kneels at the scaffold he only feels relief at being able to rest his aching muscles.
Cocking his head, he skims the mob. There in the front she stands. She did look nice in that red velvet dress, he was glad he stole it. He smiled his last, closed his eyes, and waited.
Weeping into her handkerchief, she walks alone in the deserted street. Litter decorates the pathway, left overs from the “parade”. She let the hem of her dress drag, the red velvet soiled by mud. She doesn’t care, she never did.
- Title: March to the Scaffold
- Artist: Sharmayne
Inspired by the musical piece by Berlioz called March to the Scaffold. Which is only a piece of the Symphonie Fantastique. This is also only an excerpt from the play I'm writing, but I've obviously tuned it into a story form. And it's my favorite piece.
A young man's journey to his death.
- Date: 04/07/2011
- Tags: march scaffold fiction death