A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

It's time for Jules Junkface aka Faceless to be executed...


The Apex Floor, a platform erected in a past age between two mighty pines, was hushed.

The team of executioners had been gathered from the many corners of the Forest, though mainly from Farmer Spiky’s pens, and they were waiting patiently. They were all distant descendants of the infamous Belob, twin of the renowned Shelob, of which much has been discussed elsewhere. And they were anxious to do their bit.

Which was executing the evil man who had tried to destroy the Forest society with evil poison.

The Apex Floor, as I said, was hushed.

Then came a sign that things were getting underway. Sounds like shoving and resisting, pushing and snarling, heaving and screeching, came from the Ancient Ladder leading to the Apex Floor.

“Get up there, you murdering devil,” snarled one voice.

“Get up yerself,” replied the hoarse voice of the man.

“I’ll stick you with this pike, so help me I will,” grunted another.

“Stick yerself!”

“You’ll feel my fangs in your groin of you don’t shut up!”

“Shurrup yerself.”

And so it went on, threat and counter-threat, until Jules Junkface appeared at the far end of the Apex Floor. Then two guards armed to the teeth with cocktail sticks sharpened to spiteful points and glistening glacé cherries roasted until they glowed, pushed the miscreant who finally and reluctantly stood on a painted cross in the very centre of the Floor, and fell to his knees, weeping.

Elflight was there, to make the execution legal, and Longshanks to make sure that the convicted miscreant ended up totally dead. He had a collection of razor-sharp implements with him, and two or three useful looking hammers, to help him in his judgement.

Then Toowitty fluttered in and perched out of range of the sometimes flailing convict.

“You were sentenced to death by tickling,” he pronounced to the prisoner, “have you anything to say in your defence before the sentence is carried out.”

“Ged stuffed!”

“Then the sentence will be carried out! You are convicted of the attempted mass murder of an entire population here in the Forest, and as a result of a studied and careful hearing in front of the wisest Judge in the Forest...”

“You mean you, you feathered goon!” snapped the prisoner.

“As I was saying as a result of a studied and careful hearing in front of the wisest Judge in the forest you were found despicably guilty of said crimes, as well as of incarcerating me in my nest as if I was a crippled sparrow!”

“Easy on,” grumbled Cedric, a one-legged sparrow.

“Have you anything to say before you, er, pass to the great big sewer in the skies?” asked Toowitty.

“All I wanted was to make a decent life for myself and my kin,” moaned Jules Faceless, who still had few features remaining on his visage. “All I wanted was to rid this world of the scum that spoil its forests and woodlands, cut down all the trees and level the land. It wasn’t too much to ask, was it, that I live out the rest of my life in stinking rich luxury, with dozens of blonde-haired virgins at my beck and call and a fountain of best French wine plumbed into my belly?”

“Seems rather selfish to me,” muttered Elflight.

“Bad for the health, I’m sure,” grunted Longshanks.

“Possibly terminal,” grinned Elflight.

“I’ll check later,” promised Longshanks.

“Is that all, prisoner?” asked Toowitty, “have you no words of sorrow for what you did? No regrets that might make me reconsider my verdict and sentence?”

“Mebbe. Mebbe I regret,” sniffled the prisoner.

“Say again?” hooted Toowitty.

“Mebbe I regret it,” sighed the prisoner, seeing there might be a way out, a possibility that he could return to his home in the village and come back to the forest with the biggest bulldozer he could get his hands on and an army of sturdy workmen, and knock down every damned tree in the Forest.

“It’s good to know you’ve had a chance to regret,” said the Judge, “but it doesn’t alter my verdict or the sentence passed on you one jot! Where are Belob’s Babies?”

There was a rustling and the patter of countless tiny feet, and a furry host of black spiders, all with glistening multi-faceted eyes and mean faces, surged forwards.

“Are you ready?” demanded Toowitty.

The chief of Belob’s babies, a huge arachnid with what looked like spite written in every line of his face, nodded.

“Then play your part,” commanded Toowitty, “and do it well. Remember, we want no blood, just death!”

“Yes sir!” grated that spider chief, and the host of his followers surged onto the prisoner.

“I’ve got arachnophobia!” screeched Jules Faceless as he saw them coming towards him like a black hairy sea, saw their eyes, their mouths, their hairy legs, their bulging bellies, and heard the whisper of their words as they hissed and giggled with each other.

“I’ll take his left armpit...”

“Then I’ll take his right...”

“And when I get there I’ll take the sole of his left foot...”

“And me the right...”

And so on until the arachnids had described every sensitive part of his body, including some they had no reason to know anything about.

He screamed. Of course he screamed! The hirsute legs of his tormentors combined with the way they licked him with such a gentility that it hurt, the smell of their breath, the endless gaggling of their conversations, the way they described this or that amusing follicle on his body, the way they wriggled inside his clothing and nibbled gently at his belly button, and all the time the weight of so many giant spiders seeking their own tiny parts of him to tickle and tickly and tickle.

At first he giggled. He couldn’t help it because tickling had always had that effect on him. Then it became annoying, then a nuisance and finally painful.

And it went on and on. As soon as one group had exhausted itself and was ready to retire for a cup of something hot a second group took their place, then a third and a fourth and so on.

The day, which had dawned bright, came to a shadowy end, night fell, and still the tickling went on until, finally, in order to escape the torment, Jules Junkface aka Faceless passed into something a great deal deeper than sleep.

“He’s pegged it!” announced the leader of Belob’s babies.

“And about time too,” grunted Toowitty, who was ready for bed. “Leave him, fellows, and collect your wages for a good job well done.”

And Belob’s Babies, still chattering, melted away into the forest, and Jules Junkface lay still and grew colder by the moment.

© Peter Rogerson 03.11.18

© 2018 Peter Rogerson

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on November 3, 2018
Last Updated on November 3, 2018
Tags: torment, arachnophobia, arachnids, execution, tickling to death


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..