The night before, one.
He laid on the soft comfy sheet of blanket, turning over and over again. It was weird, to be honest. For months, he wished for something even merely resembles the thing that was covering his back, but now that he had got it, he wasn’t sure if he liked it anymore. Maybe he was too used to the lovingly chill from the cell’s ground. The whole “last day special treatment”, really was unnecessary. He would be dead soon, anyway, so maybe he’d want to enjoy the cell in its usual glory, one last time?
The familiar cracking of the “door” (to be fancy) sat him up. Took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the sudden source of light. It was painfully bright, or maybe he was just too used to the dark by now.
A quirked smile cracked up on his long face. So at least there was one thing he liked from being treated well, they let his cell mate join him, one last time. Thankfully, his mate wasn’t one to die the following day, so he might be able to enjoy the softness of the blanket. In his place, of course.
“Yo…”-his voice sounded weaker than it should’ve been. Another strange thing of that day. He was well fed, but didn’t really enjoy any of his favourite food; treated (a tiny bit) more kindly, but it just felt awkward, since then he’d have to try to reply nicely to them, too; and now this. He didn’t want his mate’s last memory of him is someone who broke down under the idea of death. No! Since he himself wasn’t even scared. He gave no thought about it, and that should be enough of proof. Well, to him, at least.
“How’s it going for ya?”-his mate, tried. The guy tried to choose his words properly, he could tell. But he could also tell, that he failed. And the miserable pitiful look on his face, was seriously award winning. Come to think of it, if he had put on that kind of face, no, that exact face, in front of the jury, back then, he might have been able to get away with it. Or at least get some sympathy from them, since for some weird reason, people seemed to care a bit more for those who act like they know their doings were wrong.
Well, that’s bullshit. Because it might be wrong for others standard, but you yourself, chose to do it, so to an extent, you kind of accepted the righteousness of it. At least to you, and by you, he meant him. So yeah, he wasn’t one to bullshit, and he wouldn’t.
“Well, good food, good manners, good blanket, good mate, what more a prisoner could ask for?”-there, sounded better.
His mate sat down next to him, grabbed a corner of the blanket and played (or any word to describe the action of the hand with an object in a state of unconscious) with it. The sadness on his face was so obvious, it lightened the mood up a bit.
“Aren’t you scared?”
“Of what?”-laughed-“Of all of these coming to an end? Fuck, yeah, I’m scared.”
His mate’s brows furrowed, and the guy sighed. He hated seeing that guy sad, he reminded him so much of the little brother he once had. Before law and theoretical justice separated them. At least they gave him a new one.
“I don’t know, man. Some guys said it’s extremely painful.”
He cracked up, again. The guy never failed to cheer him up.
“Well, those guys who were still able to say that obviously haven’t gone anywhere near the blades yet, eh? And also, have you ever seen any of them screamed?”
“Because they’re dead!”
“And that’s exactly the point. I’d be dead to even tell if it hurts or not.”-a devilish grin appeared, as he whispered in glee-“Andd, I’ve got him.”
“Him? OH, you mean HIM?”-eyes widened-“HOW?!”
“Eh, nothing a respectable amount of money couldn’t do.”-said with a smug.
“Oh man, lucky you. He’s said to be the best.”
“Of the best of the best of the best.”-“People compared his cuts to an artwork. And think how honourable it is, to be a major part of art. Without me and my head tomorrow, the art couldn’t even be completed.”
The excitement in his voice worried his mate a bit. The guy knew He was the type of guy who enjoys romanticized everything, everyone could tell, listening to the way he talked. But to look forward to his own death? Man, that’s just a bit insane.
“Also,”-his tone lowered a bit, and for once, it sounded like there was a bit of genuinity in what came out of his mouth-“His cuts are supposed to be so swift, no pain could be found. That’s mercy, you know.”
“I don’t know, man, you don’t really associate ‘mercy’ with a job like that.”
“Eh, to help people with a painless death, you don’t get any more merciful than that.”-he laid down, eyes on the ceiling, as his mate’s grip on the blanket tightened-“He’s a good guy. I’d like to think so.”.
The night before, two.
Stroke. Turn. Stroke. Wipe.
Stroke. Turn. Stroke. Wipe.
Remember that you are not sharpening the edges, you are removing metal until the edge is exposed.
Stroke. Turn. Stroke. Wipe.
Remember, there is such a thing as a blade that’s too sharp. If it’s too sharp, it will very rapidly loses its edge when cutting, and may even chip and break. So less, is always more.
And that should be enough.
Very carefully, run the piece of sandpaper along one side of the edge of the blade with your finger at a 30 degree angle. Be careful. Trust his words. He had seen some of his colleagues, rookie or not, cut their pretty little fingers off with a smug.
It’s not the blade’s fault. It’s their stupidity. Don’t blame it on the blade. And unlike them, he’s not stupid, so he would be careful.
See, no fingers lost.
He held up the blade, checking, and satisfied. It should be ready for the following day’s work. Very carefully, he put the blades away. He wouldn’t want any damage to them, since it’s his means of putting food on the table.
People prized and complimented him on his “techniques” and “skills”, but to be brutally honest, it’s all the blade’s work. He was merely the one holding it. Try putting a dull blade in his hands, the result would be messy, he was sure of it.
Ugh, messy. Blood, was not his favourite thing. Especially if it goes everywhere. He had seen some of his colleagues letting the blood spattered on their faces, and bragged about it. He disgusted those. He would rather die than letting any of the gory stuff touches his face. That’s why there comes gloves. Not only would it look fashionably cooler, but also cleaner. More hygiene. And that’s why he practiced, and practiced, and practiced, for the swiftest, cleanest cut possible. So no weird stuff would get spattering anywhere.
See, that’s a dilemma. If he hated blood so much, why would he do such a bloody job?
Well, it’s kinda like once you’ve gotten involved, you couldn’t get out. First of all, the wages sure were better than his old butcher job. Second, his great grandpa was quite legendary for his cuts, so yeah, it’s a family thing. And last, and might not be least, it’s the first and only thing people complimented him on. Complimented, and prized. For some reason, no one cared when he handed them a perfect slice of filet, taken from the most delicious smaller end of the tenderloin. No one. They simply paid, and walked away. But with this, with this new….thing. Everytime a head fell, he heard cheers. He heard applauses. He heard love. And that’s the thing he liked to hear.
Don’t get him wrong, there were absolutely no similarity between cutting off someone’s head and chopping a pork chop. They were people. They spoke the same language as him. Therefore, he would understand their cries of pain or any of the sort. Definitely not something a pig would be able to do to him. Sigh, maybe that’s why he liked to keep his cut as neat and quick as possible. To lessen their pain (or to prevent them from having enough time to even scream). It’s kind of….better, he’d like to think so.
But you kinda get used to it. He knew. The feeling of scare and sorry for the person kinda faded along with time, and experiences. He didn’t know whether he would want that smidgen trace of feelings to linger a bit longer, or to just wipe It out, and only focuses on the finesse of the cut. Both of them had their own pros and cons, that he wasn’t willing to consider and choose.
He sat down, hands laced together, and sighed. It was the part he hated the most before any day of work. Fear and anxiety would eventually start clumping up, and he couldn’t do anything more than to just sit there and wait for the whole thing to be done with. Just to wait for it to happen again with the next job.
Fear and anxiety, ha, what could they be. Others, they wouldn’t understand. Everyone looked at his professionalism with such envy, thinking how confident he must have been. After all, it’s his job. But what they didn’t know, was the more they looked up on him, the more scared he was. With so many people staring, just one slip of hand, one second of tremble, one drop of sweat, all could ruin his cut, and his reputation. To be completely honest, he didn’t consider himself to be the best in the job. He wasn’t one to appreciate every single cut or go crazy over the new best kind of blade. He just do what he had to. And that’s why, if he slips, people would realize what a con he was. Someone who didn’t even appreciate the art of his work. And from the viewpoint of the top, he would get kicked down to the very bottom, along with all the heads that had been artfully cut off. No. He must get it right. Again. For the sake of the money, the glory, and his pride. He must get it right. Like he always had.
Enough of sentiments. Now he go to sleep.
The day, one.
Every steps felt heavy. Maybe it was the weight of the chain, but he thought it was more because they had to put chains on him. They didn’t even trust him enough. What kind of person did they think he was? Definitely not the kind to run away from his death. By that, he refuse to believe it was his yearn for life that weighed him down. He was walking to his death, and he would do it proudly.
The dude dressed in classy clothing read aloud his crimes. A bit proud, they were his doings, and they were sure to impress.
A pastor walked up and started blessing him, or whatever the fat man thought he was doing. Ugh, didn’t they read his profile? He was clearly stated as a godless man. No religion could do him any good. He was his own religion. Ugh, it was just….embarrassing.
C’mon, the process is taking unnecessarily long, and he wasn’t enjoying it. Where’s the big man? He needed to see him. He needed to make sure….
The fat man (finally) finished, and his sight lit up. Walking up from the stairs, there he was. The infamous executioner/artist. The one who would lead him to his painless and glorious death. And he sure looked worthy of the price. Bear-like figure, sturdy and strong grip on the tool, and oh my god (ha), look at that perfectly sharpened blade. He was fine, then. He would be fine.
The artist, living up to his name, satisfied his expectations. He took no time to mess around or to linger, he walked to where he was bending down, and just one mere second of perfectly timed, artful stop (must be for the dramatic vibe), the blade slid down, touching his long neck, and went nicely through his throat.
That was when, he finally understood, that he was wrong. Everyone was wrong. It might be quick, but it was sure to hurt. In fact, it must’ve been the most painful thing he had ever, and could ever, experience. But he wasn’t there to tell his mate anymore.
They were right about one thing, though. It was quick. And he was soon painlessly dead.
The day, two.
It was done. Again. It was over.
It still surprised him, all the time, how quick the process actually was. All the long-ass preparations, all the heart wrenching sentiments, all flushed away in slit seconds, as the familiar “thud” appeared. The head has successfully cut off, and was lying perfectly neat in the basket.
A quick check, no splatter, no nothing. At least not on him. Good, then.
The guy didn’t scream, as usual. And as usual. His face was facing down to the basket, so he couldn’t really see the guy’s expression. People said there shouldn’t be any, since it would be too quick for them. Yeah, hope that it wasn’t too painful.
He lifted his sight up, giving the headless body one last look, quickly examining the open cut/wound that his blade left.
“Looks alright.”-mumbled, putting away his blade, and walked down in the cheer of the crowd. Pretty sure that was the only sound he could hear.