axe, creative writing, execution, fiction, flash fiction, good short stories, how to write a short story, K Patrick Moody, Kim P Moody, king, Royalty, writer's block, writing, writing help, writing ideas, writing prompts
“It’s been a bloody long day.” he stretched his arms above his head and arched his back.
“You’re telling me. I didn’t realise we had so many.”
“They’re saving the best until last, I think.”
They looked towards the studded oak door.
“It’s the big names that draw them in. We can’t have many more to go.”
He nodded towards the crowded square. People had travelled from all the villages within walking distance. It was packed. Those at the back were climbing on window sills, carts and horses to get a better view. Those at the front had been there since dawn to make sure they missed none of the excitement.
It had taken the carpenters a week to build the staging, making sure it was positioned just so. The audience were on all four sides, and steps led down to a wide footway leading to the entrance to the castle.
He poked the older man in the ribs, “Here we go!”
The pair stood solemnly to attention as the drummer started. Just a single beat with each footfall. The Lord Chief Justice was in front, then two soldiers, then two more flanking the king. Another two were behind, with the cardinal at the back.
As the king stepped off the top step and on to the staging, the two bowed their heads. The crowd fell silent. The king removed his crown and passed it to the Lord Chief Justice, then knelt before the huge oak block.
The executioner took the axe from his apprentice and stood to the king’s left. The drummer’s solemn beat changed to a roll. After a few unheard words from the cardinal, the king passed a gold coin to the executioner.
“Thank you, sire.” he took a strong grip on the shaft of the heavy axe. “Hold very still.”
The king bowed and rested his neck on the blood soaked wood. He held very still.
Inspired by Bekindrewrite’s Inspiration Monday for 23 April
(c) 2012, K Patrick Moody