Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Dark · #1540576
The hanging comes first, but is not the last. (MicroHorror)
There would be little time between daybreak and the hanging, so Geneviève rose early to prepare for the wake. Since the marketplace would be crowded today–hangings were popular, especially among the young men–Geneviève had bought supplies previously, but the preparations were still daunting. There was barely time to properly cook the stew, and certainly no time to shed tears for Henry, long since split from the family and little mourned by any, not even their mother. The Danforths were respectable and pious, and not inclined to be forgiving of a son whose impropriety was denounced by the bishop himself.
Alone in his cell, praying piteously for salvation, Henry was not to know that he was the luckiest Danforth that day. His death would be nearly instantaneous as the sharp drop broke his neck. While his body twisted in the breeze, helped by the pelting rocks of the younger children, his family attended the wake. Few were sad to see Henry hang, but all were glad to partake in the feast.
While Henry’s family did not suffer overly from grief, they did suffer greatly afterwards. Since trichinosis would not be discovered for centuries, the villagers blamed evil spirits who, not satisfied with taking the son, took the whole family as well, but only after several weeks of prolonged, hideous suffering.