Display of Honor

Soon after, the entire crowd came to a complete silence as the Warden continued, “Today, we have gathered in the castle courtyard for a special occasion.” With his hands behind his back, the Warden began pacing on the stage, his metal boots making the wooden floorboards creek with every step. “It has been quite some time since our Queen has ordered a public showing of any kind—sometimes one of a newly promoted officer, or to announced a new law in place. Today, we are gifted with a special showing: an execution!”

The crowd exploded in a brief cheering session before falling silent again.

“Yes, my fellow Tavarians. We are all excited to see a new execution. And this one is no ordinary one. Our happy volunteer is a spy from our enemy kingdom, the Halthaians.” The Warden ended his pacing by stopping in front of the captured man. He leaned down in front of him. The Warden had his face-plate down, so I couldn’t make out what he said. However, it must have bee something nasty based on how our prisoner reacted.

His voice was coarse and rough, just like the peeling skin on his cheeks, “You Tavarians are the lowest of the low. You’re not even fit to be considered part of the human race. You’re nothing but bugs!”

In an outburst, one of the people from the crowd threw a rock at the stage, striking the man right in the center of his forehead, blood doting the floor in front of him.

“Who threw that?” the Warden called out as he turned to face the crowd.

There was a single hand raised high in the sky; it was a teenage boy, the skin on his face tight and vibrant with youth.

The Warden snickered when he saw the boy, “We could use an arm like that in the barracks. Make sure you join the ranks when you’re ready.” He turned back to the prisoner and, with a tight grip, grabbed him by a large clump of his hair, forcing him to sit up straight. “This pale, snow-loving weakling thought it would be a good idea to try and infiltrate our walls and assassinate the during the night.” Before going on, the Warden landed a strong right hook in the prisoner’s face, sending a tooth falling to the stage.

I need to make sure to give him a nice bonus for such a beautifully landed strike.

“However, before he could even approach the main gates, he was captured by our patrol units out in the forest and brought here to await his punishment.” The Warden shoved the prisoner back down and kept a foot on his back to prevent him from getting up. He then looked up at me and asked, “Your Highness. How would you like us to proceed?”

Dozens of different methods ran though my mind, each one becoming more and more painful to endure for whoever was caught in the middle. We could inject him with a potent liquid and watch him squirm as he tries to claw out the burning sensation underneath his skin. Or, we could dangle him upside-down from a hoist and submerge his head in a tar pool, but it would take some time to set up.

Even though all of those would satisfy everybody’s bloodlust, a classic method would be just fine for now.

I felt my mouth form an evil grimace as I kept my eyes on the bloodied prisoner, “Bring out ‘The Queen’s Wrath.’”


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— via Daily Prompt: Mallet

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