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.)
10 Back to the Firing Range
It turns into a long, lingering bubble bath, some much-needed private time. Images of the previous executions of the day flash through my mind. I am filled with grief, but I also tremble from the disturbingly erotic memories.
I deliberately finger myself, hoping to flush out those disgraceful stirrings. I even slip my head below the surface of the water, holding my breath in the bath while imagining how my poor sister must have suffered on that tidal stake. Then I climax in a burst of bubbles before rising up and gasping madly for breath.
I am hopeful it is out of my system as I dry myself off and then get dressed. Gabrielle is nowhere to be found. So I take the time to go for a long walk.
No matter where I go I cannot escape the purpose of this island. Every now and then I hear the faint sound of an occasional execution. This place has become both disturbing and yet compelling.
I wander down by the tidal stakes where I witness a young woman in a one-piece swimsuit being bound to a post. Her back is to me as she looks out at the open ocean. Strangely her executioner leaves her to stand alone.
I observe from afar how the water is only up to her knees. She has a long way to go, and I shake my head in wonderment. But as I think of my drowned younger sister I feel those shameful stirrings return as I imagine what that young woman will soon be facing.
Off in the distance I hear the sound of sporadic rifle fire. Someone is improving their accuracy… or perhaps preparing for an execution. I shudder as I remember brave Fornay, our town mayor.
I wander back toward the hotel, only to discover a topless young woman kneeling on the scaffold. When I draw closer I discover to my astonishment she is blowing her executioner. A couple steps closer allows me to see his discharge on her face as well as inside her mouth.
He helps her to her feet where I discover her knees and ankles have already been strapped together. She is attired in nothing but a flimsy skirt, one that will billow lewdly when she is dropped. Her breasts jut out proudly.
The stirrings return with a vengeance as I pause to watch him noose her up. He fondles her mounds and then reaches under her skirt, no doubt fingering her as I did earlier to that brave Bakir. Then he steps away and grabs the lever. I am unable to look away, watching hypnotically as…
Her skirt billows as she plummets, her neck breaking in an instant. He quickly descends the steps as her body twitches and jerks against the noose, swaying back and forth. Then he walks over and stands beside her dangling body, caressing her naked flesh and groping her breasts again.
He finally walks away, appearing quite satisfied. But the execution has left me breathless and trembling again. Why am I thus affected?
I see a familiar figure rush toward me. “There you are, little one!” my handmaiden responds breathlessly. “Where have you been? I have been looking all over for you!”
I start to reply but she quickly grabs my arm. “No matter,” she says hurriedly. “We must go.”
“Go where?” I ask.
I see a pained look in her eyes. But she does not say where. She simply repeats, “We must go!” before leading me away from the hotel.
I get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my gut as we head off toward the firing range. “Gabrielle?” I ask nervously. But she is maddeningly silent.
When we crest the ridge I see Prince Osman with a rifle in his hands and a smirk upon his lips. I also see my parents. They are all dressed up in their finest as though they are about to go out for the evening.
My eyes widen in horror as a lump forms in my throat. I pull away from Gabrielle and rush forward. “Mother? Father? What is this??”
There is sadness in her eyes as she receives me into her arms. My father solemnly hugs me as well. “We love you very much, little one,” he tells me with tenderness.
My world suddenly comes crashing down as realization sets in. I let out a wail of grief, sobbing as I hug them both. Through my tears I see an instructor approach with my rifle. Then I turn to see the Prince standing there. Surprisingly the smirk is gone.
“We accept the words of the council, little one,” my father tells me solemnly. “We regret the burden this places upon you. We are prepared to go out in our finest if that is what is required of us.”
“Do not worry about us, little one,” my mother adds kindly as she strokes my hair. “Our only regret is that we will not be there tomorrow to see you during the wedding ceremony. This peace process has affected everything, even something as beautiful as your wedding. I am so sorry we will miss it.”
My body is wracked with sobs. My father asks the instructor for a few more minutes so I can compose myself. The man is understanding and nods his consent.
Through my tears I see that filthy Prince Osman’s best man approach with an older couple in tow. They are also dressed in their finest. The Prince appears alarmed.
“What is this, Dunstan? Why have you brought mother and father here? Are they to watch the proceedings?”
“No, son,” his father tells him solemnly. “The council has sent us.” His mother has tears in her eyes.
Instantly I am suspicious. The Bakir have been deceiving us this whole time and I sense a trick. But the Prince’s reaction indicates otherwise.
“Mother… father… NO! They cannot DO this! Not you TOO?? Dunstan, tell me this is an error!”
His best man remains silent. Then he bows his head in sorrow. Now it is the Prince who is in anguish. The same as I was mere moments ago.
He hugs his mother fiercely as his father tries to explain. All my parents and I can do is watch in shocked silence. We are privy to their conversation.
“Son, the fault is ours. We did not wish to put you through the stress of executing members of your family. So we tried to skirt around the process. But our… our…” He lowers his head before he finishes with “…our deception has been discovered.”
“We only did it for you, my son,” his mother tells him softly. “We thought the Capree were acting in a similar fashion. But we were wrong.” Then she motions in our direction as we stand there watching the drama.
“That young woman you are about to marry? She is the honorable one in all of this. We assumed the Capree would act as deceptively as we did in an effort not to sacrifice members of their own family. Now our deception has come to light and we must pay the price.”
“No, mother! Not you and father too?? Am I to be left with NO members of my family??”
“Son, you will be starting a new family,” his father says reassuringly, “just as our two countries will be starting a new and lasting peace. The council may have ordained this path…”
“…but the decision was ultimately our own,” his mother finishes. “Son, it is the only honorable thing left for us to do. We come gladly and of our own free will. Dunstan has our signatures on the consent forms.”
She looks over in our direction and calls out to us as we stand there watching in astonishment. “Please accept our humble forgiveness for this act of treachery and deceit. And do not hold this wrong against our son.”
My eyes blaze angrily, my heart having hardened. I will never forgive him or his family for the suffering they have put me and my family through. And I will never forgive him for causing me to lose my parents!
The instructor clears his throat, indicating the time has come. Then he motions that the men are to go first. I am resistant until mother nudges me gently but firmly. “Go, little one. Do this with a brave heart.”
“Come, little one,” father motions for me. “Walk with me one last time?”
Gabrielle takes my rifle as I take his arm. Then I escort him to the waiting post. Next to me the Prince walks one last time with his father.
“I cannot love him,” I breathe quietly to my father. “Surely you can understand that.”
“I understand, little one. This has been so hard for you. Maybe you cannot love him now, perhaps not even tomorrow. But someday this will all be a distant memory, a painful reminder of the price of war and the effort to bring a lasting peace. You will grow to love him as your mother has grown to love me.”
His words bring tears to my eyes as I bind him to the post. Then I place the little red “X” on his magnificent jacket directly over his heart. The last thing I do is apply the blindfold. I do not wish to see his eyes when I am forced to pull the trigger.
“Make your shot true, little one” are his last words to me. My last words to him are, “I will, father.” Then I turn away, choking back a sob.
I so want to tell him how deeply I love him and how much I will miss him. But the words hang up in my throat. So I numbly walk back and take my place.
Gabrielle silently hands me my rifle. She is somber; there are tears in her eyes. I sincerely believe she hurts for me and the heavy duty I must now perform.
The Prince returns from securing his father to the post. I see a haunted look in his eyes as he prepares his rifle. “We will start with Capree,” the instructor tells us solemnly and we both heft our weapons of destruction.
“Ready…” and I lift my rifle up. “Aim…” and I carefully focus the sight of the weapon upon the red “X” of my beloved parent. “I love you, father,” I whisper as my finger starts to wrap around the trigger…
My aim is as true as the Prince, and my father slumps. I hear sobs of grief from mother and Gabrielle as they stand behind me. Then I prepare for a second execution.
“We will now do Bakir,” the instructor says solemnly. “Ready…” and I lift my rifle up a second time. “Aim…” and I focus on the red “X” on the breast of the Prince’s father. Despite my loathing of the Bakir I do not wish him to suffer any more than my father. It would be dishonorable, so I take careful aim…
He slumps against the post, our combined shots having been true. I hear a gasp from the mother of the Prince. I see the anguish upon his face, having just executed his own father.
Within moments two men from the military scurry over and check the bodies. Then they are dragged away to a horse drawn cart I have not noticed until now. On the cart are four coffins awaiting occupancy.
Gabrielle steps forward and takes the weapon from my hand. Mother has to kindly force me to take the steps to walk her to the post. I am starting to become numb with grief.
“I am proud of you, little one,” she whispers into my ear, stroking my hair. “Those were fine shots indeed. The Prince should be proud to wed an excellent marksman such as yourself.” She smiles lovingly at me and I try to smile back at her.
It is so hard tying her to the post. My hands tremble as tears well up in my eyes. But mother is loving and reassuring to the bitter end.
“I am so proud of you, little one. I love you so very much. Your father would be proud of such an excellent shot.”
“Mother, I cannot,” I say in a trembling voice. “I cannot do this.”
“You must, little one… and you will. I have faith in you and I have faith in the Peace Accord your marriage to the Prince will bring.”
I fumble for the blindfold. But she shakes her head. “I will see you to the end with my eyes open, little one. Now go and be brave. Go do what you must… for your father and I… and for Capree.”
“I love you, mother!” I gasp as I hug her fiercely, tears welling up in my eyes. What I would not give to feel her hand in my hair one last time. But her arms are bound behind her back and our time is so very short… each second so precious.
“I love you too, little one. Now go. Be brave.”
I blink the tears out of my eyes as I turn my back on her and walk back to my spot. I can tell the Prince is also struggling with this task as he accepts his rifle from his best man. Gabrielle hands me my weapon as I take a deep breath to compose myself. Then I make myself ready.
“This time we will start with Bakir,” the instructor says. Out of the corner of my eye I see the Prince flinch as though the words have cut him deeply. His mother is blindfolded.
“Ready…” and I lift my rifle up. “Aim…” and I zero in on that red “X” he has placed over his mother’s left breast…
She slumps in death, our shots ringing true. But there is no time for him to mourn his loss. The instructor speaks again… “We will now do Capree.”
I gasp, my heart pounding a mile a minute. Surely this is a terrible nightmare! Surely I will awaken at any moment!
“Ready…” and I lift my rifle up. “Aim…” and I zero in on that red “X” that was so hard to place upon my mother’s breast. She looks lovingly into my eyes as she proudly sticks her chest out, perhaps to help me with my aim.
“I love you, mother,” I whisper, trying to blink the tears out of my eyes. It would be dishonorable to miss the mark now. I am shaking, but I am fearful of only wounding her…
She slumps forward as crimson stains that beautiful dress of hers. Tears well up in my eyes once again as I drop the rifle and collapse into the sand. Gabrielle rushes to console me. But she has little to give as she suffers under her own grief.
I watch the two men in military uniforms approach to check on the bodies. I cannot look anymore and I turn away. When I glance over I catch a haunted look in the eyes of the Prince. Then I turn away from him as well.
Gabrielle takes me in her arms and holds me as the tears flow freely. “I am so sorry, little one,” she murmurs. “At least they did not suffer. You did a fine job. They would be so proud of you.”
It is not long before I hear the horse begin to move off with the four coffins in the cart… four coffins that were empty mere minutes ago but are empty no longer. I sniffle as I rise to my feet and watch, silently saying my goodbyes. Then I am overcome with grief again as I bury my head in Gabrielle’s shoulder and start to sob uncontrollably…
(written for Arachnid Dec 21 ’11 by riwa)