Chapter 3 (Cont.)
The Executioner poured the water from a clay decanter and set it on the wooden table before the condemned.
“I am here to listen. To understand. To help you make sense and peace with the finality of your last breaths in this world.” He said, taking his own seat across from the shackled man.
He reached out, the chains weighing his arms down, and fumbled with the cup.
“Could ye… at least free me hands?” the condemned man begged.
The Executioner had been through this same dance many times over the decades. Those who would kneel before his blade would use any chance to free themselves if they had not already accepted their fate. Each time one tried to run, tried to overpower him, or tried to fight, their last days were only made excruciatingly painful. The Executioner reached over and removed the shackles from the man’s wrists.
He picked up the cup, pressing it to his lips and gulped down the cool, fresh water, like a man who had just crossed a great desert and found himself at an oasis.
“When you are ready, we may speak freely. The guards have gone.” The Executioner offered.
The condemned glanced at the door, back to his cup and finally up to the steady hazel eyes boring into his soul. The Executioner waited for him to finish drinking. To find a place to start. At times they fell straight into it, others they need to approach it from a different angle, like a hunter stalking a large cat. The man stared down into the cup for a long time, before speaking.
“My Da was a farmer under King Reginald. He grew apples. Royal Reds they was called. I was told before I was born that they were the sweetest you could find across the nine kingdoms, and me Da was given a writ what said his were to be used by the royal court only.”
The Executioner nodded. “Your family held much esteem then.”
“Aye, ye could say that. Until his and her Ladyship’s heads was removed from their shoulders, like…”
“Like I will do to you.”