On the Way To

by strannikov

            Robbie's wrists itched hard, the cord was sunk in so tight his hands bordered now on blue, now purple. Too late to matter. Almost too late: the cart was axle-deep in mud, the horse's hooves were mired deep, too. Open field on both sides, no place to hide, plus the ground on both sides must be all mud beneath the knee-high grass, same as this road.


            Robbie flexed blue and purple fingers, squirming unseen as the horse strained under the lashing it was getting from the bastard. The pikeman from Ellsworth, name unknown, steadying himself on his pike watched the horse strain, hand no longer on the cart, the bastard kept lashing the horse with a roar.


            Once freed of the mire, horse and cart were led to the right side to avoid more mud, the road had become one long mire, one black gash of mud splitting open the countryside, rain had poured for four days and the uncertain sky still spit from minute to minute. Robbie lifted his wrists to the spattering when it streaked his face.


            Robbie dared not think of Pamela, why would he? He shook his shoulders, even they ached from the rope twisting around his blue and purple wrists. What—what were the lines again? “—and from a six-foot cord at last, my neck will know the weight of my ass”, he smiled to remember. He then spat, while his luck remained: Villon wrote his lines afterwards!