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By the road

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thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
I’m shuffling down the back roads. I round the curve and what do I see but a bevy of naked women all nailed to crosses! Not being one overcome by such a sight, I take a moment to look they over. Whoever was in charge of crucifying them did a fine job.

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They are mounted on tall crosses and nailed to their crosses to spread them out for easy viewing.

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Not that they could, but there is no way they can cover themselves. The trio of spikes hold their arms spread wide and their feet crossed over the stipe.

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It is a wicked way to punish somebody. They are displayed quite completely for any passer-by to see them.

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The women seem as overwhelmed by being showed off as they are in pain being crucified.

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I stop by one of the crosses. The woman is obviously feeling the agony of being crucified. She squirms between the spikes but there is no escaping the nails that are pounded through her wrists and feet.

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My curiosity is raised so I ask her what she did to deserve being nailed to a cross. She glares down at me and says the government wanted their land and she and they others wouldn’t sell the farm.

I’m not much of a government guy and I say “So they crucified you?”

She rolls her back against the stipe and groans “There is more to it than that! Can you get us down?”

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I may not be a government guy but I have a still back at my place and I hardly need the government coming round. I say to her “Tell me more.”

She huffs the best she can and says “It is a long story… and my name is Barb, by the way!”

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“We both have time. I’m off today- it is Good Friday- and you don’t seem to have much else to do but hang around up there” I note.
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
“So, you won’t take us from these crosses” Barb asks in an almost accusing voice.

I shake my head and say “I don’t get involved with government affairs. Besides, all of you would need a hospital really bad and I don’t have the money to cover that.”

It is a bit of a lie. I certainly have the money but my still is… um… less than legal and I’ve got about 500 gallons of product that is just about ready for delivery. I ask Barb “Do you think a hospital ‘round here would take care of you and keep their mouths shut?”

She huffs and shakes her head. They have been crucified to be put to death and it would be a shame to go through the process twice. I ask her how this all came about. Between her gasps for breath she explains.

“They sent out their goons and arrested us.”

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“I was the last one taken.”

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“We were brought to court and arraigned. We kind of got the idea we were in trouble when we were brought to Judge Lynch’s court naked and bound in chains.

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We were assigned an attorney… he looked sort of like you… and we were found guilty of ‘being subversive to the government’s planning’- whatever that mean.”

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“We were tried separately or in pairs, but the outcome was always the same.”

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“I was the last one to be tried and was sentence to be hanged just like the others.”

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“Needless to say, I thought we’d do out last dance on the public gallows.”

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“You know, strung up and hanged on their premium French nooses.”

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“I must admit I didn’t expect this” Barb groans.

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I must say she looks pretty good hanging from her cross…
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
Barb wheezes her next words. It is obvious Judge Lynch’s sentence of crucifixion is taking a toll on Barbara and her friends. She says in a raspy voice “The son of a bitch ordered us to carry our crosses here.”

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“It is over a mile from the dump they call a jail. I didn’t know if I could make it but our march drew a good crowd for that time of the morning. I guess you can even get people up early to watch women carry their crosses to their execution. It didn’t hurt matters that we were as naked as we are now.”

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“I’ve been called some bad names in my life, but I never expected to be jeered as I was coming here!”

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“Anyway, a bunch of naked ladies sure draws a crowd!”

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“We made it here and then our day got worse. I tossed the cross down- this damn thing is heavy when you have to drag it up here- and the guards circled around us waiting to crucify us.”

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“Seems like you were treated like criminals” I say.

“Our business at the farm isn’t considered to be legal” Barbara explains.
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
There is no reason for me to ask her what might be illegal on her farm- she didn’t ask me about my side business so there is no reason to ask about hers. Anyway, I don’t get involved with government issues. Barb continues on…

“We got here and they set about nailing us to the crosses. There was no concern shown us. We are condemned women, after all. They seemed to be on a schedule and our concerns about being crucified were not theirs. One by one we were taken to our crosses.”

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“We were nailed to our crosses and when one was done they came for the next of us. There was no mercy shown.”

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“Messaline was next. They held her down and drove the spikes through her wrists.

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“She took getting her wrists nailed to the cross better than I would but she bucked like a crazed animal when they did her feet.”

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Kathy was next. She had seen two women nailed to their crosses and was less than willing to participate. The head guy there told her she better get on her cross or they would drag her to it.”

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“She went but reluctantly. In didn’t matter. They pinned her to her cross and nailed her arms to it! Will they were putting the spikes through her arms, another crew lifted the first woman nailed to her cross.”

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“Are you sure you weren’t on the team that did this to us? You look like one of them” Barb exclaims.

“I don’t undo government work and I don’t take it, either” I respond. I pity the poor fool that looks like me. Still Barb continues.

“They repeated their debauchery one after another. They would finish nailing one woman to her cross then move onto the next.”

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“They showed no mercy. It was one woman nailed naked to the crosses after another.”

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“They nailed the last woman to her cross…”

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“…then they came for me” Barb says with anger edging her words.”
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
“…then they came for me” Barb says with anger edging her words. “the leader calmly led me to my cross.”

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“I guess for him crucifying a bunch of women was no big thing but I had just witnessed my friends nailed to their crosses and raise so everyone could see them. I was scared to death”

‘Funny choice of words for someone dying on a cross’ I think. Thank god I don’t say it. Again Barb continues. “I had seen the cruel torture my friends endured and while there was no avoiding what they would do to me, I hardly was willing to place myself on the last cross. Two of the men grabbed my arms and dragged me to the cross.”

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“I was less than cooperative. No, I didn’t want to feel the spikes pierce my arms and feet. But the men were too strong and, with all my friends crucified, the whole team turned their attention towards me. There were too many of them and any one of them was stronger than I. They threw me on the cross. On my back I could feel the unforgiving hardness of the stipe and they pressed my arms over the cross bar. The team leader took it upon himself to drive the spikes through me.

“There was no way I could have imagined the pain of the spikes ripping through my arms. I did not want to endure the second spike, but I laid on the cross, I guess howling like a wounded animal, with my left arm held to the cross while the second spike ripped through my right arm. I could feel the spike spreading the bones in my arm, but the second spike had entered the crossbar and there was no escaping the torture of him driving the spike through me and into the cross.”

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“Next he drove the third spike through my feet. If the spikes through my wrist were awful, they didn’t prepare me for my bones being shattered as the spike was driven through my feet. I guess I was hard work for him, nailing me to the cross. He grabbed a drink while I laid spread nailed to the cross. Despite my pain, I glared at him with all the contempt I could muster.”

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“He ignored my glare and ordered the men to raise my cross. Balancing me and the cross were their only worries.”

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“Two strong men lifted me and my cross seemingly effortlessly.”

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“They struggled more with the weight of the cross. As the cross was raised I fought being crucified wiggling between the three spikes. As I was raised higher I should have realized I was both their prisoner and was firmly fixed to the cross.”

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“I was almost upright when the cross dropped into the hole they dug to mount it in. I thought my arms would rip from my shoulders. The men were satisfied that I was successfully hung from the cross, high enough for anyone to see my body stretched out for them to see.”

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“I was crucified between Kathy and Messaline. The three of us hanging naked with spikes holding us to our crosses.”

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“Did I mention there was a crowd watching us” Barb asks.

“I didn’t think they would have left” I reply…
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
Barbara and her friends are crucified. The state’s reason for their brutal execution is that they unlawfully were subversive by thwarting the state’s plan’s for developing a water reservoir that would supply fresh water for the town downstream. It was fortunate the government did not know of their side-business that they had not paid the required taxes on. They would have been publicly scourged the day before they were crucified.

But their crucifixions seem like adequate punishment as a way to put the women to death. As Barbara has noted, they had to carry their crosses to the hill they would die on. An unruly crowd had gathered to watch them be nailed to their crosses and raised to hang crucified until they died.

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The crowd stayed around for most of the morning’ only to thin out and eventual disappear when the lunch hour approached. The crucified women were left to dwell on the pain of being nailed to the crosses as their hunger and thirst grew. The most interesting thing to view was their own bodies struggling between the spikes that held them naked and exposed on the wood they are nailed to.

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People traveling to and from town would gaze at the women before continuing their journey. It wasn’t until Tree stopped and talked with Barb had anyone bothered to stop.

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But even Tree seemed to tire at the sight of the crucified women. They didn’t know- nor did he share- he had a stash of brew in his stills back home and he was almost as hot and thirsty as they are. He bid the ladies a half-hearted ‘good luck’. Barbara asks if she will see him tomorrow. He replies that he will see them but doesn’t say they will be alive to see him.

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He departs, shuffling down the road. The women are left crucified by the road. They don’t talk much.

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It is hard to talk when you are fighting to breathe.
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
It has been since early morning that they crucified us. It has been well over a day since we have been given anything to eat or drink. My body is all but dead. I was forced to carry this damn cross from the jail to here. They drove spikes through my body then raised the cross with me mounted to it. And I’ve hung from the cross all day. I know my feet are ruined. My lungs barely can draw air. My arms are still attached to my body but I don’t think they work anymore.

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To my left, I hear Kathy’s voice. She is like me. She struggles to take each breath. With barely more than a whisper she asks “Why aren’t we dead yet?”

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With what feels like the last effort I have I say “I don’t know. I guess they wanted to punish us first.”

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For the world, I don’t know why we are not dead yet. I feel like shit but I still breathe. -Barb

Down the road from Barb, Eulalia wonders the same thing. Mentally, she is just as broken as the others. Physically, she wonders why she can still breathe as every movement hurts somewhere in her body. She moans as she pushes up with her feet. The sound of the bones splintering fills her head.

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Eul looks down her trembling body. The pain is more than she stand. She sinks back and hangs from her arms. With a grimace etched on her face, she groans “Just die, will you?”

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But the comfort of death eludes her…
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
Night approached and the women succumbed to the endless torture of their crucifixion.

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Dying crucified may not seem like a fair ending to one’s life but it ended the hell of their suffering. Like motionless dolls, their naked bodies hung from the nails the secured them to their crosses.

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Tree would come by and see their bodies displayed on the crosses. It was not uncommon for prisoners to be left on their crosses if someone did not buy their bodies for livestock feed. Tree went to town and paid the fee to claim their remains. Even he dealt with the government when it suited his needs.

He went back to the crucifixion site and took the bodies from the crosses.

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He took the bodies back to his farm and instead of feeding them to his livestock, he placed them in a pit.

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The women were not given a ‘proper’ burial. They were arranged in a large pit.

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Then Tree buried the women’s remains.

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The site would grow over and become an unmarked grave. Tree still felt that was better than leaving them to rot hanged from their crosses.



the end
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
An excellent story, Tree. I’m sorry I was away from CF when it was posted and missed the opportunity to wreck ruin enhance it with my usual trash talk bitching applause and appreciative commentary.
 
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