The French Executioner – Patricia L. Getz

As I prepare to do the duty for which I have been properly paid, I regret sorely the task ahead of me in just a few short hours. I know not this Queen Anne. I have seen her, however. And she is a sight to behold. She steals my breath .

I have never executed a woman. I have done away with many, many men. Some old, most fairly young, and one time, just a boy of 16. I shall never forget that, and it haunts my nights. I almost did not accept this duty. But I have a family. And my first duty is to them. I cannot move past this desolation I feel in my heart. This does not feel right to me..I hope for a reprieve for the lady, even as badly as I need the purse.

My beautiful sword is ready. Such a magnificent piece of steel, gold, and silver. And such a cruel instrument of death. There is a knock at my door, so I am sure I am being summoned to go out and prepare for this day. I slip the sword in to the velvet sheath, open the door, and walk out to see a blue sky, with immense clouds billowing above me.

A large crowd has gathered. I glimpse the scaffold, and walk toward the 5 steps leading up to it. I am only on the scaffold a few moments, when the crowd becomes a bit rowdy and their is much talking, shoving and pointing. The Queen is being led this way. Her gown makes her even more lovely, if that is possible. She holds herself tall and proud and I want to clap my hands together and shout “bravo” , my Lady. At the top step she stops before me, & I ask her pardon for what I must do. She says nothing, nods, & looks at me with eyes that hold no blame or accusation. Turns away, walks a few steps and addresses the people. I feel tears begin to form in my eyes. I bow my head so no-one sees. I’m ashamed of my weakness. This may very well be my last execution. This may very well be the un-doing of me!!!

If I turned, walked down the steps, and refused to carry through, it would just cause the Queen more anguish. And most certainly a worse fate than my sword would provide. She is beginning to kneel, now. I have to do this fast. For her……God forgive me.

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