“I am not here to make decisions upon your guilt or innocence. I am here to carry out the order of execution. If you wish to speak of your sins, I will listen. As the customs of old dictate, I have eaten them, and you are absolved.” The Executioner said. “What remains, between the two of us, is a short walk, five steps, and the keen edge of my axe.”
The condemned looked up at him, through scraggly, dirty hair. A smile split his cracked, parched and scarred lips. The one eye that was not swollen shut regarded him with something akin to mirth.
“Does that mean we’ll kiss and hold hands all the way to the end? Before ye lop off me head, you’ll whisper sweet things in me ears?”
The man hacked, coughed and then spat out a wad of phlegm onto the dirty cell floor. They were locked in together, and the guards had left, thankfully. The Executioner disliked taking a confession before witnesses. He had been forced to do so, time and again, in cities where the old ways had been thrown out. Here, thankfully, in the north, some still held to them.
“No.” He said simply.
The condemned man eyed him. He swung his head, flipping the dirty hair from his face so that he could have a better view of the Executioner. The haughty, prideful, challenging look fell away, replaced now with something close to sadness. The man pulled himself up on the stool that he had provided when the guards allowed him entry.
“Perhaps a cup of water?” He asked.
The Executioner, while an instrument of the law and the left hand of the King, was not without mercy. This lost, poor soul would swiftly be ushered from this world and into the court of his Mistress. He would find an entire existence, one that spanned for all eternity, would be his punishment or reward. A cup of cool, clean water was the least he could provide for him.