THE ISLAND OF CONSENSUAL EXECUTIONS
The Peace Treaty
Author’s note: This is written by request for Arachnid with his permission and with him previewing the material, being as how it is his original idea.
An impoverished Caribbean island nation nears bankruptcy. In order to raise cash income from “tourists”, the nation’s leaders in desperation pass a law — consensual executions of sane and un-coerced foreigners by other foreigners will be legal in public execution areas on the island. (Original idea for the Island of Consensual Executions created by Arachnid.)
1 Sacrifices to be Made
When mother comes into my room I can tell by the stoop in her shoulders and the look on her face that she brings bad news. She always seems to be the bearer of bad news lately, considering our people are at war with a neighboring country known as Bakir. But this time she has news far more devastating.
“Pack your bags, little one. We are flying out to Santamos Island later this afternoon.”
“Santamos Island, mother? For what purpose?” I am aware of the nature of the island. Surely this cannot be good.
“The council has sent out emissaries to the Bakir,” she says heavily. “An agreement has been reached. Both our countries will finally have peace.” Now I am totally confused… and more than a little concerned.
“Peace, mother? That is good news, is it not? Why are you so downcast?”
“Because sacrifices are to be made on both sides, little one.”
“Sacrifices? What sacrifices?”
I know all about the consensual executions that take place on Santamos Island, and my heart leaps in my chest in alarm. I am betrothed to Akiel of a neighboring clan in our country. Does this mean I may not survive to see my wedding day?
“Mother?” I gasp with fright. She sees how pale I have become. She comes over to reassure me.
“No, little one; you will not be executed. It will only be your brothers and sisters.” The news comes as a major blow, and my chest tightens.
“All of them, mother?”
“Yes, little one.” She lowers her head as a tear trickles down her cheek. “Even Shareel and Dontel.” I am devastated.
“But their children!” I protest. “What will Nathan do without his wife… and Martine without her husband?”
“Nathan and Martine are both coming as well,” mother says sadly. “The children of both families will be left with their nannies.”
Shareel my oldest sister has been married to Nathan for five years. She has three beautiful children. And my older brother Dontel has been married to Martine for three, both of them blessed with two precious young ones. I am next in line, pledged to Akiel before my younger brother Bortan and youngest sister Anoria. She is the most precious of the family, having just passed her eighteenth birthday. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact I am going to lose them all.
“Mother, this cannot be happening! They do not deserve to die!”
“But this is war, little one,” my mother responds wisely. “None of us deserve this fate… and yet all of us do. Do not worry, for they have given their consent for the sake of peace.” Then she comes up to me and lovingly strokes my hair as she often does when she wishes to express her love for me.
“What about me, mother?” I ask, suddenly feeling a chill run down my spine. “What is to be my part in all of this?”
“You are to help execute our family, little one. Then you are to marry Prince Osman of the township of Onessa of the country of Bakir. That final gesture on both sides will consummate the peace.”
She sighs heavily. For a moment it appears as though the weight of the entire world has fallen upon her shoulders. And now I feel a similar weight upon mine.
“I am sorry, little one,” she tells me sadly. “Pack quickly. Then go see Akiel one last time. I believe his parents are giving him the news even as we speak.” That’s when she lovingly strokes my hair one last time.
“This is much to place upon the shoulders of such a fine young woman of 21 years of age. I am sorry it has to be you.”
Tears start to stream down her cheeks. She hugs me tightly as though never wanting to let me go. Then she rushes out of the room, overcome with grief…
2 First Kills
Upon arrival at the island I am given precious little time to spend with my family. Gabrielle my handmaiden soon rushes me off to the firing range to begin my training. That is where I meet Prince Osman for the very first time.
Actually he is a rather handsome young man. Were it not for the fact our countries are at war with each other I might find it enjoyable to be in his company. As it is, he is Bakir.
I have nothing but utter contempt for him and his kind. But I assume his role will be similar to mine. So I decide one of the few joys of my stay on this island will be to watch him suffer as he executes members of his own family… as I will suffer executing mine.
At the range my marksmanship is not the best. The trainer reminds me my shots must be true if I am to make sure the victim does not suffer needlessly. I cannot begin to imagine having to shoot any of my brothers or sisters. But it will be far worse if I fire and leave them suffering without delivering a mortal wound that kills them quickly. So I redouble my efforts until I begin hitting the target consistently.
Prince Osman is much better than I, and he finishes early. Two men come up to him who I do not recognize – one his age and one much older. Then the three of them walk away. I spit at the ground they were standing on mere moments ago before going back to complete my training.
I have just completed my last few rounds to the trainer’s satisfaction when I turn to see my handmaiden approach with someone I recognize. It is Fornay, the mayor of my town! His hair is graying and he looks distinguished in his fine suit.
I cannot imagine why he is here. Perhaps his role is to encourage me and my family for our role in the peace of our village and our country. It is a kindness that touches me deeply. But I learn he is here for another purpose.
“It is so good of you to do this for us all, little one,” he tells me, referring to me the way my mom… nay, the way everyone around me refers to me. “I am ready when you are.”
“I will do my part if I must,” I tell him solemnly, finding his words a little strange. What could he possibly be ready for, other than to watch me at my gruesome tasks?
Oddly the trainer instructs me to hang onto my rifle. Then the four of us walk away from the training range together, only to descend a small rise. That is when I see two stakes set up with two coffins lying nearby.
The grey haired man who I saw earlier is already standing blindfolded in front of the first one. Prince Osman and the one who by his age I can only assume to be his best man are both waiting a few yards away. I take a small pleasure in noting the two Bakir looking so ill at ease.
I am startled as the trainer leads us to the second post. “What is this?” I gasp nervously.
“You and the Prince will be committing your first executions together as practice,” the trainer tells me. “The mayors of both your towns have agreed to serve as your first kills.” I am shocked as Gabrielle lowers her head in sadness.
I turn to our mayor in horror. But he just bows before me. “I am honored to serve as your first, little one. I have signed the consent form with the concierge, and your handmaiden has signed for you. Everything is in order. But you need not worry. There will be an election for a new mayor the first of next week. So that will be taken care of as well.”
I am stunned as a tear comes to my eye. “I cannot execute you, Fornay,” I tell him softly, even though I appear to have no choice in the matter. “Besides, you are the town mayor and not a member of my family!” He just strokes my hair sympathetically.
“You may consider me a part of your family, little one, if it makes it any easier. Besides, I have complete faith in your marksmanship as well as the peace you will help bring to both our countries.” Then he bravely steps up to the post and turns around, waiting for me to prepare him.
Tears come to my eyes and I instinctively wrap my arms around him. “There-there, little one,” he murmurs kindly. “We must proceed. Do not weep for me. I am here of my own free will. It will be all right; I assure you.”
I nod, blinking tears out of my eyes. I still cannot believe he has volunteered to allow me to execute him as my first kill. He is an honorable man, and I vow to make my shot as accurate as possible.
I am required to blindfold him and then tie him to the stake. I do both with trembling hands. Gabrielle watches over my rifle as I secure him to the post. Then I tape the red paper “X” to his neatly starched jacket, right where his heart should be. His breathing is heavy and labored… but then again so is mine.
I take my rifle back from Gabrielle, and the two of us walk back to where I am supposed to stand. She then steps further back along with the Prince’s best man. The Prince and I are left standing side by side.
“As a part of the Peace Accord you both will be working together,” the trainer tells us. “First you will fire upon the mayor from Capree. Then you will fire upon the mayor from Bakir. May your shots be true.”
I look at Prince Osman, and for a moment disgust fills me. Then I lift my rifle and prepare to do my best so that brave Fornay will not suffer.
“Ready… aim…” I notice the mayor of my town stiffening as I take aim…
Fornay slumps forward as his jacket is stained with splotches of blood. My breathing is heavy and labored. But he appears not to have suffered. Tor that I am eternally grateful.
I prepare for the Prince’s mayor, my heart beating fast. A part of me wants to wound him only, to make him suffer as a Bakir. Then it occurs to me he has probably volunteered just as Fornay has done. It would be dishonorable to treat such a sacrifice so shamefully. So I determine to make my shot hit its mark.
I take careful aim, noticing he is starting to squirm a little. ‘Stand still and be brave like Fornay!’ I think angrily as I adjust my line of sight…
He slumps forward. I see a similar crimson stain appear in the breast pocket of his jacket. Then I look at Prince Osman. He seems cold and hard like a true Bakir. But is that a flicker of something in his expression… something that almost makes him look human? Perhaps it is just the sun in my eyes.
The trainer leads us back as two men in military uniforms come to place the bodies in the coffins. I close my eyes and sigh, asking the gods to forgive me for killing Fornay. If I had only known what lay ahead I might have asked that filthy Bakir Prince Osman to tie me to the post and shoot me instead so that my body could lie in the cold ground instead of that of our brave mayor…
3 Beheading Practice
“Why did you not tell me about Fornay, mother?” I ask unhappily as we walk along the beach.
“I am sorry, little one,” she says sympathetically. “Obviously the council made decisions your father and I were not privy to. Besides, someone had to be your first kill. I am so proud of you for such an efficient shot. Your trainer said you did very well.” She strokes my hair and it settles my anger and grief.
“So what do you think of Prince Osman?” she asks curiously.
“He is a filthy Bakir! He is not Akiel! What am I supposed to think?”
“I know, little one,” mother says kindly. “But it will help bring peace to our respective countries… a peace we have not had in a very long time.”
“I cannot love him, mother! I will never love him! I love Akiel!”
“You will learn to love him, little one… for all our sakes.”
“I doubt it, mother. But I am a Capree” and I stiffen proudly. “I will do what I must.”
“I know you will,” she says lovingly as she strokes my hair again. Then Gabrielle comes for me. That’s when I feel a sharp intake of breath.
Surely her presence means something unpleasant is about to happen…
Sure enough, I am taken to a private section of beach. A block and scimitar are both awaiting me. “You must practice,” Gabrielle tells me. “Surely you do not want to miss. That would be most gruesome.” What she says next chills me to the bone…
“Practice, little one. I will go and retrieve your ‘practice victim’.”
I feel a shudder run through me as she turns and walks away. Who will it be this time?? Then I heft the scimitar, bringing it up over my head and then back down…
I wince, realizing I would have hit the shoulders of my target.
My aim has greatly improved by the time Gabrielle returns. But who she has brought with her makes me drop to my knees in shock. A lump forms in my throat as tears well up in my eyes.
It is Akiel…
I rush up to him, accepting his embrace as we kiss each other fiercely. But I cannot stop my tears. “Why?” I sob. “Why, Akiel?”
“I know how important this is, little one,” he says with a smile. And like mother he too strokes my hair. “You are to be wed to another. Therefore I do this as a show of my love for both you and our people.”
“You did not tell me this when we said our goodbyes back home!”
“You would have tried to talk me out of it, little one. Besides, my parents understand and accept my decision. I do this with a glad heart because of how much I love you.”
“Oh, Akiel!” and I sob into his shoulder as we embrace again.
Gabrielle gently tugs on me. “I am sorry, little one,” she tells me sympathetically, “but there is not much time. The schedule is maddeningly tight. He has signed the consent form and I have signed in your place.” I nod, blinking the tears out of my eyes as Akiel and I pull apart.
Once again I am forced to take part by tying his arms behind his back. But my heart is broken. I have never felt his member inside me as the two of us were waiting for our wedding night. And now I never will. Ours is a love that can never be consummated.
Before he can kneel I fall to my knees and struggle with his belt. Then I quietly tell him, “Allow me to bestow upon you this last little gift, my love.”
He looks down at me and smiles with a nod. Gabrielle bends over and whispers to me that she is not sure if we have the time to spare. But I decide I will make the time, especially if I am to be forced to execute my betrothed.
His member comes free and I handle him with great tenderness and love. It is the first time I have ever touched him thus, the two of us having chosen to remain chaste until our wedding night. Now all I can do is love him and his manhood for a brief period of time before he is taken away from me forever by an act of my own hand.
I take him into my mouth, savoring the flavor of his flesh and pre-cum on my tongue as he slowly thrusts in and out of me. He hardens and I feel an inner joy that my ministrations are arousing him, giving him some small pleasure. It is not long until he swells in my mouth.
I feel an eruption of his creamy warmth on my tongue as some of it dribbles down my lips. I savor the salty flavor before swallowing it down. Then I tenderly zip him back up before helping him kneel.
I kiss him one last time, his tongue probing mine. Perhaps he wants to taste the residue of our one and only act of intimacy together. Then we pull apart, our betrothal about to be permanently severed.
He kneels, slowly lowering his head upon the block as I stand up and reach for the scimitar. Gabrielle stands back and wipes a tear out of her eye with her finger. Then I raise the lethal blade above my head…
“I love you, Akiel!”
“And I love you, little one!” Then I bring the blade down, praying my aim is on target…
My swing is true as his head leaps away from his body to roll onto the ground. His body spasms in death as blood spurts from his neck stump. When I pick up his head I swear I can still see the love in his eyes.
Perhaps it is wrong. But I cannot resist tenderly kissing those lips one last time as the light of life fades from his eyes. Then I see 6 members of the military approaching, somberly carrying a coffin between them. At least my beloved will receive a special honor guard to take his body away.
Tears well up in my eyes once again. I cannot hold it back any longer as I start wailing with grief. They are gentle with my Akiel as they carefully place his body inside the box. Then they formally pick up the coffin and begin marching back from whence they came.
Gabrielle helps lead me back to the hotel. But my footing slips and I stumble, sobbing inconsolably. She tells me it is a noble thing Akiel has done by offering himself like that. But I do not hear her words as I mourn the loss of my one true love…
(written for Arachnid Dec 15 ’11 by riwa)