Deathwish 052: Colin

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, April 18th, 2017

"...your arms and legs stretched in four directions..."

Colin Essay Nailed Magazine

The cold iron grinds into the raw sores at your neck and wrists as you are yanked into the blinding sunlight. You are dragged by your manacles down a filthy cobbled street, and you choose your steps carefully, trying to set your gangrenous toe on only the smoother stones. The street is lined with jeering townsfolk, their curses and insults fill your ears. A frigid gust cuts across your naked body.

The Magistrate is waiting in the square, reading from a parchment.

“Peter Smith, you have been accused of witchcraft, blasphemy, and heresy. For these sins you must confess. Renounce your evil ways!”

You look up at the Magistrate, and answer, your voice raspy with thirst, “I believe in the True God.”

Orders are given, you are shoved to the ground, your arms and legs stretched in four directions. A bucket of sewage sloshes over your face. A broad wooden board is laid across your chest. You cough as the first boulder is dropped on the board, the breath driven from you like a bellows. You take sharp gasps, partially refilling your lungs.

“Confess!” You don’t want to release any of your precious air to answer, so you shake your head no. Another boulder falls.You struggle to expand your chest cavity, heaving against the crushing weight.

“Confess!” You thrash against the chains, try to wriggle out from under the weight, all in vain. Thud, another rock. You feel two of your ribs crack. Bloody foam sputters from your lips and nose.

“Confess!” A fourth. Every cell in your body screams out for oxygen as the last pockets of air are squeezed from the corners of your lungs. As your vision fades to black, you whisper, “I confess.”

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 051: Kathyrn”, go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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Colin was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and currently lives in New Orleans, LA.


Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).