father forgive them for they know what they doThe crowd starts to chant CRUCIFY THEM, CRUCIFY THEM CRUCIFY THEM....
Then I am there, I lift my left foot and step it over the beam that is lying under me now, my ankle chains scrape across its surface, with a shove from the soldiers i lower my body, stretch my right leg first then my left one, sit on the cross. The rod guts up between my legs. The weight of the patibulum drags me back and I am laying in the cruciform position while the soldiers wedge the crossbeam, securing it to the top of my cross. My cross is complete and it is ready to crucify me. Under the banter of the soldiers I can hear Dismas babble his prayers. I can hear the clank of metal on metal as the executioners start to gather up nails.
They remove the manacles from my ankles, they have rubbed my ankles raw but I guess that’s not important any more.
My heart pounds so hard I think it will explode from my chest, I can feel tears of sheer terror welling in my eyes, I will not panic, I will be stoic, this is the last chance to prove my manhood. I will be brave. I will!
GET THE SPIKES, PREPARE YOURSELF CRIMINAL i take a deep breath, readjust my body on the hard wood YOU COMMITED YOUR CRIMES CRIMINAL, YOU WANTED THIS, HOPE ITS WORTH IT.
I try to realize what's happening now ... which soldier will nail my wrists?
CRUCIFY THEM, CRUCIFY THEM CRUCIFY THEM.... chants the small crowd.
my rib cage rises and falls, I’m desperate for air to quell my terror, the soldiers kneel down, another sits on my chest, crushing me down, many strong hands drab my arms, I am trapped.
I have been trapped by Rome, they have beaten me.
They had. The invader had caught me, humiliated me and now they were going to kill me. People try to say the cross is a symbol of victory. It was not for me. The cross was the ultimate symbol of my failure. Rome had beaten me and now I had to pay a terrible price.
I feel two washers of wood placed on each of my wrists, I try to lift my head and see an iron spike being placed onto each piece of wood OH MY GOD… I let my head sink again, military feet stand on my hands, I am trapped upon my cross, waiting to be nailed. I look up at the blue sky, trying to ready myself, trying to prepare for my torture. Two strong looking men with mallets tap the spikes into the wood until i feel the tip of each spike gently emerge from the wood and kiss the skin of my wrists. I feel a thrill of horror as the metal presses into my flesh.
OK, LETS DO THIS, YOU READY CRIMINAL?
I snap JUST GET ON WITH IT i want this done before my nerve breaks.
OK, HOLD HIM FIRM, LETS NAIL HIM the men with mallets nod to each other.
They raise the mallets, there arm muscles flexing, I want to beg them, to plead for mercy, but I bite my lip, I will be brave. I hope the old woman’s wine will lessen the pain.
Then the mallet men start to roar as they smash the mallets down onto the nail heads.
I feel a sharp, unknown and unbelievable pain, red spots flash before my eyes, my eyes open wide, I have my mouth open then I slam it shut, gritting my teeth. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR they both roar as they hammer with savage fury, both striking the nails with all their strength, the spikes cut into my flesh and sever nerves sending jolts of total agony up my arms, my body tensed, the nails rip between bones, they hammer with rage, sweat flies and blood sprays, I press my teeth together, I will not cry out, I will be brave, I must be brave, oh god it hurts, it hurts worse than anything. The nails impale through me and burst out the backs of my wrists, my whole body is shaking, I can taste blood in my mouth, my teeth grind together, the tips of the nails skid on bloody wood until they take hold, both my wrists, arms and shoulders are on fire, my whole upper body trembles despite the weight of the soldier who crushes me down. I can hear Dismas screaming, howling like a wounded lamb and I am even more determined not to scream, I will prove myself, I am better than him, better than Barabbas, better than anyone!
The nailers roar in effort as they force the nails, blunted by bone into the hard wood, pain, nothing else than pain, at last the nails take hold in the wood the heads of the nails lay flat against the wooden washers, I cannot stop crying but I will not scream I must not scream. I feel that they've stopped I try to handle the pain, i look to my left, my arm is securely fixed by that nail, cruelly they start to push my arms up and down, the splintered bones and nerves grate on the nails as they do so THEY WILL HOLD HIM UP OK, GOOD WORK LADS.
The agony is beyond anything; my face is screwed up against the raw pain that explodes up each arm.
I can hear Dismas wail PULL THEM OUT AAAAAAAAAAGH PULL THEM OUT PLEEEEEEEASE!
The soldiers stand and look down on me OK SLAVES LIFT IT
The pain is unbearable.
The soldiers step back and bare chested slaves step forward, no free man would handle an unclean burden like a crucified man, they look down on me and I’m nailed ... nailed ... have nails in my wrists!
One of the slave, an ugly young man mutters ITS GONNA HURT.... SORRY
I KNOW ... JUST DO IT I grunt through the mist of pain
They start to grab the wood; each tiny movement of the cross sends a fresh explosion of agony through my wrists, it’s impossible to imagine how much worse it will be when I hang from the spikes. They get a grip and cursing they start to heave me up, i feel how they start to raise the cross, there half naked bodies pressing against my flanks, at an angle of about 45 degrees I feel the drag of my own body weight. each movement puts more and more weight on the nails, the sedile starts to dig in
AAAAAHHHHH ..... OOOOOHHHHHH .....AAAAHHH I cannot help it, cries escape from my lips as the pain magnifies, I don’t feel shame at my outburst, I don’t care about anything anymore, just the pain. My feet scrabble desperately on the stipe I am frantic to get them under me, to support my body weight which is starting to pull down on the nails. I'm moaning, higher and higher I go, the crowd cheers, i feel the drag on the wrist nails, the base of my cross closer and closer to the dug hole, I can't stop moaning ... the pain is so intense, my bloody sweaty feet slip off the stipe and the sedile digs in hard crushing into my balls, my weight jolts onto the spikes.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MY GOD NOOOOOOOOO
i look down ... my genitals are mercilessly pressed by the sedile, then the slaves with a final shove drop the cross into the hole, it thuds in and i bounce on the nailed wrists OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
While two slaves steady the cross the others quickly fill in the whole with rocks and wood until the cross is wedged and stable.
i try to concentrate
take some deep breaths
the sedile is the only support from the terrible agony of the spikes
try to breath regularly best i can
my god ... the pain in the wrists is terrible
the slaves shake the cross, i judder on the spikes
THAT WILL NOT FALL MASTERS says the slave with a bow to the romans who don’t reply but start to select two more spikes from the sack
blood is running down from my wrists towards my armpits, I can hear Dismas screaming as the slaves start to raise his cross.
HA HA HA HA LIKE THE VIEW JEW? Mocks one of the soldiers THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED SO THIS IS WHAT YOU GOT HA HA HA
i moaned with each breath but stopped crying out loudly
WANT TO COME DOWN AND SAY YOUR SORRY HA HA HA sneers another soldier WAIT UNTIL ITS LEGS SLOW THEN WE WILL SPIKE THE ANKLES.
pain in wrists, arms, shoulders and upper body, pain in my balls, my wrists total agony. i look down my body, my legs are jerking like a frogs, try to do what is natural and support my body weight. The massive men with hammers flex their muscles and joke with the adoring ladies in the crowd. I don’t look around as each movement causes a new wave of pain, i try to calm down and to adjust as the big men saunter up hammer in one hand, iron spike in the other YOU LIKE IT UP THERE JEW? grins one
AAAHHH ..... i look in their faces ..... I .... CAN TAKE ... IT .... DO YOUR ... WORK YOUNAIL ... MY .... ANKLES ..... YOU EVIL BASTARDS
PULL HIS LEGS DOWN, MAKE HIS BALLS ACHE HA HA HA
It’s nearly done ... my god .... they are finishing my crucifixion ... the leg nailing will be worst I can feel it as they force my legs to bend slightly after they have wiped down my sweaty hairy legs with a rag so they can get a grip. My ankles are pressed against the wood. I feel their fingers stroke my ankles trying to find a good spot for the nails, my toes are twisting, they hold my legs firm and place the wood against the ankles and tap the spikes through the wooden washers, I am feeling light headed, like I cannot breath out, maybe I will faint and not feel the nails get smashed into my body.
The nailers nod to each other, carefully i watch their work with morbid fascination, they move my body about and raw agony explodes through my nailed arms, they draw back the hammers, then with a yell they both start to strike the nails, the whole cross shakes as the nails are driven into my living flesh MMMMMMMMPPPFFFFFFFF ..... GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR .... i clench my teeth ... suppressing the new pain, in total agony as the nails start to be driven into the stipe OOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! To think I thought I could take this without crying out. The whole cross judders, my nerves are grinding against the spikes that pain is the worst, my lower legs start to cramp, my toes are twisted in pain, I’m pushing up, desperate to escape the pain, desperate to breath.
They step back HE IS SECURED, OUR WORK IS DONE, JUST GOTTA WAIT FOR SUNSET HA HA HA HEY JEW, ENJOY YOUR DAY IN THE SUN.
With that I was crucified and dying on a Roman cross.
I guess it was about two hours before I was aware of the commotion below us at the city gates, for that two agonizing hours the air is filled with the whimpers and groans of the dying, the idle chatter of soldiers and the tramping feet of travelers entering Jerusalem for the Passover. One of those grunting, dying men was me. Time on the cross seemed eternal; Dismas and myself were just stretched out in excruciating pain. I would look down seeing the stipe destined for Barabbas laying ignored on the ground between our crosses and through my pain I felt an extraordinary resentment that he had escaped this fate while we had to endure it.
We were humiliated and displayed to all as an example of what happens to those who displease the Roman Empire. It fucking hurts. Dismas whimpers again as he has to move. Sometime my legs spasm and jerk, I guess it’s the same for him. My shoulders are on fire, they feel like they are being torn from their sockets, I look yet again at my nailed wrists, the skin blackening, my hands, a thief’s hands, once so dexterous and nimble are now claws, the fingers turning blue, soon they will be black and the poison will be in my blood.
I look down again, I was once so proud of my hairy wine belly, a symbol of good living, of my success and excess. Now it weighs me down, puts more pressure on my arms, causes me more pain. The pain on my arms grows worse by the second, my chest so stretched it is hard to breath. I hear my crucifixion companion groan, he has stopped that pitiful wailing at least, it was half heart rending, half contemptible but I guess I cannot judge despite my best efforts I screamed and yelled as they lifted my cross. So much for being the big brave man. The humiliation is as bad as the pain. We are the crucified, the lowest of the low. Stripped naked and hung out in full view of the public. Lanxis is there, watching, enjoying every moment of my pain. Every painful spasm, every groan, every moment of desperation, every piss was all in the full view of those who watch our executions. How long has it been? How long since we started to be slowly tortured to death? How long since we left the cells? It feels like hours. It feels like forever. The commotion at the gates was getting louder and through my pain I squinted through the baking glare of the sun to see what the cause of the near riot. Shouting and yelling Jew’s, angry Romans lashing out with whips and threatening with spears, priests circling like black crows. Then I saw the reason, at the heart of the altercation was a figure bent under a patibulum. I feel a wave of satisfaction as I think that Barabbas did not escape the cross, that the stipe at our bleeding feet will be occupied after all.
Fighting through my pain to see the vast crowd, was getting closer and closer, i resented the big crowd he had gathered so I felt a sneering satisfaction as I saw the figure under the cross fall then fall again. So much for the great hero Barabbas i think as I can make out the frustrated Romans making some unfortunate from the crowd help him carry his wood, I would have laughed had I not been whimpering.
As the mob got closer I could see it was not Barabbas, but some other naked criminal being driven to his execution. He was a stocky, hairy man, his skin dark tanned and weather beaten, he had the build of an artisan. His face impossible to describe as it was bruised and swollen and hidden under a mask of blood dripping from the brutal cap of thorns that was embedded in his head. As he got closer it was easy to see why he was so exhausted under his beam, he was turned to face the crowd and have his crimes read out I could see his back had been almost skinned by the whip. His crime was read out, some sort of wild man, a preacher with kingly pretentions, a rebel from Nazareth.