The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter

A Story by SheActsLikeSummer

She’d been behind me the whole time. How I didn’t notice I haven’t a clue. She heard every word I’d spoken and yet not a sound from the other side of the conversation. And even though no one else had seen me, her word and my eyes were proof enough.

            I was sentenced for contact with demons. Rightly so. They blamed me for the death of two children, brought on by high fevers and dry coughs. Rightly so. They held me responsible for driving the inn keeper mad. Rightly so. But they got one thing wrong. They said I was the one who trapped disturbed souls in their graves.

That was not me. I’m too young to have such power. I’d admitted to what I’d done but announced my innocence where I have no guilt. Of course, they did not believe me. To them I’m just a witch. A lying, thieving, murderous witch who has no place in the Lord’s heart.

A witch that can see what others cannot. I can see forgotten curses that crippled with time. Dark drops of ink that stain even the purest of hearts. Forgiven sins that still lurk in the recesses of one’s mind. I can see demons and creatures long engulfed in folk lore bound together with thickening lies. That is why my eyes are black. A black darker than a moonless night and darker the shallow sockets of a skull. Eyes dark as the devil’s soul.

 That is why I ended up here. My hands grasping cold metal bars, my face pressed up against them. Bare feet settled on the rough wood of the prison carriage. I’m looking out the only window, staring at the dirt ground that has yet to move away from me. I’m waiting for the coach driver to climb onto his seat and flick the reins. Waiting for the horse to kick up its hooves and trot away.

Two men walk past me, one wearing the brown leather of a coachman. He continues on without a glance in my direction. The other man however, meets my eye and as he does he smiles. A menacing smile that tells me he can’t wait to see my body hang limp from its noose. I smile back. A sickly sweet smile that tells him I’ll see him in hell.

The carriage tilts to the right as the driver hops on. I hear the snap of his reins and the bray of his horse and the beating of hooves trampling the earth. One patch of dirt road is replaced by another and the path stretches on for miles behind me. I watch the blood red leaves spiral in the wind stirred up from the spinning wheels.

Soon we enter the village where the people who used to be my neighbours and my friends rush from their houses to see the witch get driven by. Some yell at me, some shake their heads in abhorrence. I see someone pick up a stone and send it skimming though the air towards me. I stick my hand through the bars and catch it before it can do any harm. As the carriage comes to a halt I drop the stone and listen to it clatter to the ground.

I turn my back to the window and the prison carriage door is opened. Strong hands grab my shoulders to keep me from running away. But I’m not going to run. The two men I’d seen before lead me past a crowd of people and to the hanging platform. They nudge me forward and I walk carefully up the stairs and across a layer of leaves that had fallen from the tree above me.

My father stands in the center of the wooden platform. His hands behind his back, his head almost unable to hold itself up. He is ashamed of who I am. He’s disgusted at who at I am. I’m disgusted at whom he is. A man willing to kill his own daughter.

I look out at the hordes of people gathered to watch me die. Because the girl named Ann is wicked. She’s a witch. But even a witch gets to say her last words.

    “It’s autumn,” I announce. “Autumn is not like spring.” The noose is slung around my neck. “It is not the season of birth.” I look at my father, his eyes rimmed with red. “It is the season of death.” And as if it had been rehearsed the ground is pulled from beneath my feet and the rope tightens around my neck. I don’t close my eyes but the world turns dark all the same.

© 2012 SheActsLikeSummer

Author's Note

Tell me how to make this better!!!!! Or else.

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Beautifully written with a flowing and interesting story line...though short, you've made it sound like a mile of story. Lovely...just a little correction: paragraph eight where there's a stone thrown...i guess you meant "through" not "though"...then third last paragraph "...He’s disgusted at who at I am."
This lovely...and i love the title

Posted 7 Years Ago


7 Years Ago

Oops. :) Yeah. Thanks so much. I'll be posting an edit for this soon. Going to make it better. Yey. .. read more
What I like here is the style - all the elements fit, the atmosphere, the content, a bit Tolkien, a bit fantasy, a bit Twilight - a great mix that will do very well...

Posted 7 Years Ago


7 Years Ago

Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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2 Reviews
Added on November 26, 2012
Last Updated on November 26, 2012
Tags: witch, hanging, daughter, hangman




I wish there was a single moment in my life that summed up who I am. Just a short snippet of time that I could copy and paste here so I didn't have to rack my mind for something to say. But I kind of .. more..