About the Poem
I set this tale in the future, in a time when moral values and the quality of life had decayed. A world broken and filled with skeletal remnants of humanity. In this tale is woven a lesson on intolerance.
The Gallows Pole
|by Abrahm Simons|
|A leaden pall hung in the heavens, smothering the seething hive of humanity below. Glass and steel teeth broke the horizon with a horrid gap-toothed grin. Pale light glowed from within the smoky hazy of the city, offering a ghastly sheen to the city.
It was a terrifying sight to my eyes as the van rumbled on the cracked concrete path. The city loomed up before me, its baleful eyes accusing me and laying my soul bare. I could not withstand that stare a moment longer, I cast my gaze about in search of something to alleviate my anxiety.
Unfortunately my surroundings were not the kind that inspired in one feelings of comfort. Only a heavy steel grating near the roof broke the corrugated steel walls of the van. Through those apertures a bleak landscape of dusty earth and rotting hulks of trees stretched to the iron smear of the horizon.
Dominating the entire northern horizon was the broken skeleton of the city. It was towards that looming smoke shrouded mass that the broken road led. The road was engulfed within the inky blackness of the city, and I feared I would be consumed much more easily than the road.
It was there that the execution would take place. There was no other fate that would fit the nature of my crimes; crimes so heinous that I did not even have a chance to commit them. There was only one fate for a creature like me and that fate was a swift execution.
As my mind pondered those dark thoughts the van had reached the darkling limits of the great city. The hulking steel vehicle ground to a halt and with machine precision ten uniformed City Agents removed the steel walls of the van and that my bonds were still tight to the pole in the center.
As those preparations were finished they departed back to the pale light of guardhouses I could now see. The van rumbled back to life and proceeded onwards towards Gallows' Square.
Now with full sight of my surroundings I saw cunning eyes floating off the in the darkness of alleys, villains and survivors to crafty to be caught. I saw the crumbing apartment complexes seething like hives with people, glassy eyed and emaciated, living with little sustenance.
It was these eyes that hurt me most for when they fell upon me their gazes burned with hate. They stooped and lifted stones and many a time my helpless form was struck by a sharp rock. Before we had traveled two minutes within the city, my form was streaked with crimson and one eye swollen shut.
Yet the stones did not stop and neither did their curses, lifted with pale voices and accented with cold stone.
Demon! Hate spawn! Back to your maker! rang their voices.
And then they fell silent.
The van had reached the Gallows' Square, a dark patch of land lit only by the scarlet light of neon signs and a few pale rays of errant sunlight. The guards quickly took me from the van and had me on the gallows in moments. The noose was being fitted around my neck and the herald began to read the charges.
For the high crime of treason and espionage the convict will be hung, do all here see the evidence before their very eyes?
I heard a hushed chorus of ayes as the crowd saw the evidence swishing slightly.
Then may the prisoner be hung!
The rope grew taut across the short fur of my throat and my ears fell flat against my skull. My tail whipped feverishly, and my slitted eyes snapped shut and a resounding crack was the last sound to fall upon my ears.
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