Monday, December 29, 2008

Her Crucifixion

For once, we were going to see something interesting. The club had been lagging recently, some new members, some good parties and experiences, but nothing really new.

Two new members had volunteered for crucifixion, something that had not happened in a long time. There had been a buzz in the membership with increased interest in most everything the club did, from its dungeon nights, to its weekend "getaways". The ripple effect had been marvelous, reenergizing the activities.

One member, a guy, had been talked in to the ritual. I wasn't involved with it, but I heard he was hot enough to join the group he had been willing to take the plunge, when promised he would be crucified next to a rather pretty young woman. It just goes to show how naive some people can be, he actually thought he might have the time and energy to observe his partner on the cross.

The girl though.... now this was something special. I interviewed her when she first came to us, and she was unusual, to say the least. Medium height, long black hair, a cute young face with a small mouth and a slightly turned up nose. A thin frame and clothes that almost hid the muscle underneath, as well as almost perfectedly formed breasts. She was a wonder, beautiful, elegant, enthusiastic. But what really made her special was her attitude. She wanted to be crucified. It had been her wish for some time, and the prospect of having found a group of people that might actually satisfy her kink was exciting to her. There was a freshness to her attitude, a desire and willingness that made me think we might actually be able to revitalize the club.

And so, after being passed through the usual checks by the committee, it was scheduled. A special weekend, out at the remote farm owned by the club for these special, private events which needed to be hidden from prying eyes. Everything was thought out and prepared for, from the comfort and enjoyment of club members to the suffering of the two victims.

I arrived at the farm in the early Saturday morning, not wanting to miss any of the festivities. The sun was up, and it was already warming. It would be hot by mid-day. I joined the other early arrivals by the tents that had been set up, and poured myself some coffee. The cinnamon rolls were good, and I munched as I chatted up some of the other members. The talk was of many things, but always eventually came round to the pending torture of the new club members.

"How long will they last?"

"Not sure, but it should be at least several hours. If we are lucky, it might extend in to the evening hours."

"Any chance for something that will go overnight? I think that would be a blast!"

"Hahaha... well, we can push them, and see! They won't have a lot of choice in the matter."

"I wonder if they slept well?"

More laughter from the group, who knew the victims were chained in the barn after a rough night in the cold and a rather severe flogging the night before.

"You should have seen the girl last night... she looked so sweet during the flogging, she has muscles and you could see every one of them tense with each lick of that whip."

And so the conversation went.

A few of the members heard the barn doors open, and we all turned to go outside. For some, it would be the first glimpse of the victims. There was an air of anticipation as two club members that were serving as executioners came out, dragging lengths of chain behind them. Attached to each chain was a collar, and in each collar an almost nude victim, one male, one female. Each had their wrists shackled together.

They looked different, a lot different from when I first met them. Parts of their bodies were an angry red, with interlaced stripes of an ugly purple, from the previous night's flogging. I cringed a little, at the same time that I felt an erection stiring. They were dirty, though they had had water dumped on them before coming out, it was clear they had wallowed in the straw and dirt of the barn for some time. And they already looked tired, worn out from no sleep and pain.

The girl though... the girl looked incredible. When I had seen her before she had a bright glow about her, light skin with dark hair that shined and flowed from her head like a waterfall. Her movements had been fluid and quick, and her smile brief and eager, mixed with sarcasm and biting wit.

I could still see these qualities in her, but her hair was a scraggly mess, the dirt smeared her face. It was clear that she had been crying, and equally clear she refused to do so now, in front of the club members that watched her carefully. She was stumbling in her movements, the fluidity gone and replaced with a plodding determination. She had spirit, this one.

The guy was skinny, and had a frightened look on his face. I think he was just beginning to realize what he had gotten himself in to, and knew it was too late. Once he had the irons clamped on last night, there was no turning back. The whip last night had explained that to him in no uncertain terms.

I decided I was not interested in the male victim. The female was the reason I was here. Not just because she was beautiful, which she was, but because of that spirit. I wanted to see her suffer, embrace the suffering, and finally break. What can I say, I am a sadist. Its why I am in the club.

They were led to two tall heavy posts with hooks in them at various points. The whipping posts. They had seen much use since the club had purchased the farm and begun holding these events. There were even blood stains on them, if you knew where to look.

The female victim was strung up on a hook, arms above her, so her body was taught. She was wearing a loin cloth of sorts, but the rest of her body was exposed by the strain, and it was wonderful. I walked over to her, and had a chance to observe her closely along with some of the other members. We touched her, feeling her shy away, only to be touched elsewhere. Her exposure was humiliating for her, I could see, but she was not reacting overtly.

Her arms stretched over her head, pulled up by the hook, revealed the muscles in her shoulders and back. She worked out. Not super skinny, but her body was low in fat, high in muscle. And every muscle was pulled taught, her ribs exposed, breasts hanging down and scraping against the whipping post, leg muscles straining as she stood on her toes.

Her skin was beautiful, even as it was red and stripped. Wounded as she was, touching her skin, I could almost feel the pain she felt as she moaned quietly to herself. This was what I loved, the closeness to the victim's suffering, becoming the yin to her yang, becoming the sadist to her masochist, desiring her pain, just as she desired it.

We stepped back, as the executioner approached with his flogger. It was a long one, with nasty looking leather strips. It might not shred her skin, but it might feel like it.

Talking ceased as the executioner positioned himself behind her. The first stroke was hard, lashing across her shoulders and under her arms. The shock of it made her jerk, her head yanking back as she looked to the sky. With the second stroke her head fell back down, and pressed against the post.

It was quiet. But in the quiet, I realized I heard certain things.

The rustling of a slight breeze in the leaves of nearby trees.

The heavy breathing of the executioner as he expended effort to flog the poor victim.

The slapping, snapping crack of the whip as it impacted the flesh of the victim.

Most wonderfully... the involuntary grunt which escaped her lips as each blow fell. She was not going to scream, this one, I could tell she did not want to give the satisfaction, at least not yet. But the sheer impact of the flogger on her body forced the air out of her lungs, and her grunts became louder and more pained as the whipping continued.

When her strength left her, and her body finally hung limp from the hook, the beating stopped. The sun was warm, and her body was red, purple, black in places. A sheen of sweat covered her completely, gathering and trickling down her sides, under her exposed breasts, and down her legs.

She was released from the hook which held her up, and she collapsed, unable to move.

The executioners took a break from their duties, replenishing lost body fluids from their exertion in the growing heat of the day. When they were rested, they stood and grabbed the two victims and dragged them over to where the two crosses lay on the ground a few yards away. As they dragged the male victim, he continued the sobbing which had begun as his own personal whipping had progressed.

The two vicitims were then forced to pick up the heavy wood crosses and begin dragging them up a short hill. A small hill had been selected for the actual crucifixion location, partly because it was cleared and offered a place where the club could gather and observe all aspects of the suffering; but also for the psychological impact to the victims. Hung up on the crosses, looking out over the trees and countryside, their predicament and exposure to the elements would be made painfully clear to them.

At the top of the hill, the victims let their crosses fall and fell down next to them, resting for the short period they knew they had before their true ritual torture would begin. You could see them savor the brief respite from pain, their temporary rest.

The executioners approached the girl first, eager in their own way to see her suffering begin. They unlocked her wrist shackles, and pulled her body on top of the cross. Each took an arm, sitting on the crossbeam with her arm underneath, facing her wrists. She was held securely in place.

Large spikes were produced, positioned next to her wrists, and hammers began pounding. This had the desired effect, as the victim began screaming, thinking she might actually be nailed to the cross. This first moment when her suffering had actually forced her to lose control sent a thrill through me, and I moved closer to observe the horror in her face. My erection was raging, and I felt that I might actually ejaculate without touching myself, such was the intensity of the situation.

Her wrists were tied to the beam and the spikes securely.

The bottom of the cross was positioned near a deep narrow hole that had been dug in the ground.

She was breathing heavily, quiet now. Waiting.

The two executioners, using ropes to help guide the heavy cross, raised it up, and let it slide in to the ground. I watched intensely as her weight pulled her down and increased tension on her arms the higher she went, and the look of shock on her face was priceless agony as her cross thumped in to place in the hole. The executioners first secured the base of the cross with wedges of wood driven deep in the ground, as she helplessly hung and kicked her feet in an automatic gesture to support herself. One of the executioners then tied her feet together, raised them up so her knees were bent, and tied them to a small protrusion on the upright.

Her feet found the platform, and pushed, trying to relieve the agony in her shoulders and arms, and suddenly discovered the platform was actually a sharp inverted V shape, designed to be most painful to stand upon. Once again, this realization could be seen in her face. There was to be no respite, no assistance, simply choices in pain.

I watched the same process with the male victim, who was hyperventilating through most of the ritual until he was finally secured and hanging. At this point he started crying again, screaming out on occasion and writhing on the cross. He was exerting far too much energy, I could tell by watching. He would not last long. Too bad. But I had been right about the girl.

The female began the dance. After a few minutes of hanging from her arms, she managed to press herself up, and stand on the precarious point below her feet. Her face was a study in pain, and the relief to her shoulders and chest was short lived as her legs gave out from under her, and she sank back down.

As I stood and watched the spectacle, a delightful woman I know came up to me. I had always desired her, and as a member of the club had seen her suffer a number of times (she was one of our more submissive members). I had never had the opportunity to get to know her well. She had a great body, well toned and smooth, an average face, and light brown hair. She wrapped her arms around mine, in a gesture of common enjoyment. For a moment, I almost thought I might be watching a sporting event with this lovely woman. A frustrated gasp that bordered on a scream corrected that illusion, and my attention was redirected to the female victim.

The sun shown on the poor girl hung from the wooden cross. Her reddened body was wet from sweat, partly from heat and partly from pain. It was fascinating watching the effects of this torture on her body. With her arms stretched above her, the gentle undulation of her ribs was visible under her skin. Each labored breath could be seen clearly in her stomach and chest. Her beautifully shaped breasts fell forward slightly as her body leaned slightly out from the cross. I could see and almost feel the stretched muscles in her arms and shoulders, and her legs straining to lift her weight.

One of the executioners came over with a sponge soaked with water. We didn't want her to die, and dehydration was a serious concern. We wanted her to last as long as possible on the cross as well, and thus giving her water was a good idea to prolong her staying power. She sucked the sponge dry, and as the executioner fondled one of her breasts, she spat at him. He laughed at her, and pulled her loin cloth off. She was now delightfully naked for us all.

She looked right at me, a look of pain and disbelief in her eyes. I couldn't stand the arousal any more, and I turned to my lady friend and said "I have to fuck. Want to join me?"

"I would love to," she smiled, gazing at the victim as she said it.

It didn't take long before our clothes were off, and I had entered her. She was wet, ready for me. Immediately. I was rock hard and plunged in to her. We both turned our heads to watch the suffering on the crosses as we fucked on the grass. I timed my thrusts to various movements of the female vicitim... breathing... muscle contractions, and when she finally gave a huge cry of frustration and agony I exploded in an orgasm that was so intense I momentarily lost all sense of where I was.

I lay on the grass, gasping, slowing down from that incredible orgasm. As I recovered, I rolled over and idly played with my lady friends body, stroking and stimulating various sensitive areas, and looking at the suffering on the crosses.

The male victim was taken down. As I knew would happen, he had exhausted himself far too quickly with hysteria. The girl continued to amaze me. She took another sponge of water, sank down deeply and lost control of her bladder. I could tell she knew that she was losing control of her body, that it was no longer her own, and that she was beginning to no longer care. She was drifting in a sea of pain and humiliation and had entered a subspace so deep that she was losing contact with anything. I imagined she had probably forgotten who she was, her name, why she was here, and was simply enduring the agony until it ended one way or another.

I went close to her, and watched her breathing, which was coming in short, shallow rasping draughts. She had drooled a little earlier, I could see from where it dried on her lips and breasts. But her lips were chapped and dry now.

Her hands were a deep purple and had taken the shape of claws. Her bent legs were spread wide, exposing her sex for all. That beautiful raven black hair clung to her shoulders and breasts, wet with sweat. Tears stained her cheeks, though there were none left.

Her suffering was so arousing to me. I knew that somewhere, deep within her, it was arousing to her as well. Perhaps my standing here, so close to her, observing her suffering so closely, was what really turned her on, what she really wanted.

As her breathing rasped more and more like a death rattle, the executioners came over, and climbed up to cut her down. It was time, we could all see that. I assisted, as she came down from the cross, gently holding her body up. She was so light, I though. With the executioners, I lay her down on a stretcher, rubbing her limbs to help the cramps and get blood back in to her arms and hands.

She looked up at me, beautiful, young, tired, only somewhat aware of her surroundings. She rasped in a croaking voice... "how long was I up?"

An executioner told her.

"When can we do this again?" she croaked.

I smiled. This was the girl for me. I was in love.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Soldier's First

He was just a kid, really, but old enough to serve guard detail during an execution.

A lot of the other soldiers had been sent to search for the remaining escaped slave, to bring her back. With those gone, we were stretched thin at the prison as well as guarding the perimeter and patrolling the city. It was time he learned the routine. Not that any execution was exactly routine.

This one was not, because we were to execute a runaway slave, and it was a young girl. Very pretty, in fact, if the rules were not so strict I would have tried to obtain her for my own household. She would have served me well there. But no, an example had to be made, and she was to be crucified on the hill outside of town.

The kid and one other guard accompanied me to her cell, where she awaited us. She had already been whipped thoroughly, as was the custom. As we entered the cell, the kid gasped slightly. The slave was naked, and her extremely shapely form was most arousing, I had to admit. The whipping had left marks, but she was still a fine example of a young woman. Perfectly round buttocks, muscular thin legs, rounded breasts with no sag, hard small nipples, and a thin waist all joined together to make her nudity most attractive.

“What’s the matter kid, you are acting like you are a virgin or something,” I teased him.

When he said nothing, but blushed deeply, I stood in disbelief. “No… you really are a virgin? Kid, tell me its not true!”

He said nothing, and that said it all.

“Well then boy, we need to do something about that. Let’s use her. Now!”

“Really?” His voice was amazed.

“Who better? Who will complain? She will be dead in a day or two, and what finer specimen could you find?”

The other guard stepped forward, and grabbed one of her legs, and I grabbed the other, pulling them apart. The kid hesitantly pulled his member out, shifting clothes to expose himself. He had a fine, large pole which would impale her nicely. He knelt before her, and she looked at him in fear, as he bent over to position himself.

Tentatively, he entered her, but as he felt the inside of a woman for the first time, his lust took him and he thrust in to her harder and faster. She bounced slightly as he thrust in to her, breasts rocking. She moaned and cried out for mercy. I whispered to her “enjoy this, it is the last pleasure you will have in this life.”

The young guard was finished embarrassingly fast.

He stood, dressing himself, and we yanked the girl to her feet, dragging her from the cell. Once out in the yard, she was thrown to the ground next to her cross, which was prepared for her. She was told to pick it up and carry it, and when she hesitated, a few lashes of a whip got her going again. The cross was quite heavy, and her muscles strained to keep it up as she dragged it out to the hill overlooking the city. The blood began streaming from her back as the rough wood cut and splintered her skin.

At the top of the hill, she collapsed with the cross next to her, panting. Her skin glistened with sweat and blood in the warm sun. I began my instruction on crucifixion for the benefit of the young soldier.

We pulled her over on top of the cross, face up toward the sky. She had some energy left and I instructed one guard to sit on her chest and hold her shoulders down. I straddled her left arm, pulling it out across the wood, showing the young soldier how to immobilize the arm in spite of her struggles. I sat right at her elbow, and held her arm and wrist against the wood crossbeam.

The boy looked a little squeemish, as I took the first heavy spike and showed him where to place it. Some would place the spike on the arm next to the wrist. This is effective, but I prefer to start in the upper palm, and drive the spike in at an angle. This means there is much less of a chance that the victim would pull free. It is also just as painful, if not more so, for it spreads and crushes more bones.

I placed the spike against her hand and swung the mallet for the first two blows. The first penetrated her flesh and smashed her wrist bones. The pain forced a violent reaction from her body as she began kicking and screaming loudly. The second blow drove the spike through to penetrate the wood below her. I was able to let go of her arm, which was shaking and yanking as she cried out and screamed. I handed the mallet to the kid, and told him to finish pounding the spike. He did, though he missed at least once and broke two of the girls fingers in the process. He looked green when he was finished.

We needed to hurry, the other guard was having problems keeping her thrashing body in place.

The kid positioned himself properly over her right arm. and placed the spike against her palm. The angle was wrong though, and when I hammered it in, it slipped to the side. I could tell it would never hold. So, I had him pull the spike back out. At least the failed impailment had damaged her wrist enough that it was no longer jerking around. His second attempt was better, higher up exactly on the wrist, with a decent angle. It would hold nicely, which was good, as the screaming had been getting on my nerves. All three of us stood up to observe her, nailed down with wrists spread apart, laying on the ground.

There is nothing more beautiful than a young woman, arms stretched and nailed, suffering on the cross. She was no exception. She was gorgeous, and was still laying on her back, not even hanging as yet. Her screaming subsided into a quiet sobbing, and we observed her chest and stomach heaving as she cried.

The sun was shining on her, and the pain was making her sweat. Her skin shown beautifully in the sunlight.

It was time to nail her feet. The pain from the spikes in her hands had drained her of some strength, though as we began to get her feet in place she started to kick. I showed the kid how to get on top of the legs and hold them together with his knees. She kicked up and hit him in his crotch, and I laughed. It was funny seeing him bend over, but I think it helped to get him in the right mood to nail her feel to the cross.

We always try to preserve the spikes used in crucifixions. The metal is expensive, and the Roman army did not supply many. They are reused, and there are a minimum available. Thus, we used a single spike when nailing her feet to the cross. This took a little coordination and planning, but could be done.

As he sat on her legs, facing her feet, I started the spike through her left ankle. As with the wrists, I wanted to get the right angle to take the pressure of her pushing down. The spike went in high on the foot, crushing the ankle and heel as it extended out the other side. The pounding caused another round of screaming.

I then showed the kid how to bend the legs up just enough, to allow for her to raise herself on the cross. This was one of the trickiest parts, making sure that her legs were positioned properly to allow some support, and to expose her sex to the world as she hung. Once positioned properly, we took her left foot and placed the protruding point of the spike in her left heel on top of her right foot. Positioned properly, he wielded the mallet and drove the spike through into her right foot. There was blood, a lot more than with the wrists, and a sickening crunch as the ankle bones were cracked and split. Then, with a resounding thunk, the spike penetrated the wood beneath. A few more strokes of the mallet, and my student had completed affixing our lovely victim to the cross.

We stood and surveyed our work. The girl lay on her back, arms spread out, legs raised and knees bent, blood streaming in little trickles from her wrists and ankles. She was sobbing and begging uncontrollably, hysterically, so we could not understand her. Her legs fell apart, exposing her sex, but they pulled on the nail through her feet and she quickly brought them back together.

After resting a bit, we dusted our uniforms off, and washed the blood from our hands. I made my student dig the hole for her cross, showing him the correct depth and width. Too wide or shallow, and the cross would be unstable. Too deep and you end up expending more effort than is necessary, which is never a good thing.

When the hole was completed, all three of us went to the top of the cross and lifted it up. As it raised up, her body slowly slid down, splinters digging in to her back. The base of the cross wedged in to the hole, allowing us some leverage to keep it from sliding. As it slid in to place, it suddenly descended in to the hole with a thunk.

That moment, when the cross sinks in to place at last in the upright position, is the best time in the crucifixion. Her body jerked down, tearing in to the nails in her wrists, the entire weight now resting on those two spikes. She screamed, and gasped as the pain extended from her wrists across her back and arms, and her shoulders were nearly pulled from their sockets. Her head sunk down, hanging forward, her long hair straggling down. Her knees spread, exposing her sex to the public.

In an almost automatic reaction that is common to most crucified victims, she immediately attempted to raise herself, such was the pain in her wrists and arms. And in an equally familiar move, she gasped with pain as she put pressure on the foot spikes. The pain there was severe, brought on by the sudden pressure on the spikes and she collapsed back down, unable to cope with the pain in her feet.

She hung gasping, her labored breathing clearly heard as her hanging breasts bobbed and shivered. Her body was beautiful, stretched out as it was, her ribs clearly visible, arms raised and taught. She drooled a little, and it dripped on her breasts, mingling with sweat. Her hands took on the characteristic claw shape of the crucified.

We cleaned up a bit after the work of nailing and raising her. She no longer cried out, instead gasping and moaning as she tried shifting slightly. Of course, there was no position that was better than another, they were all excruciatingly painful. But that didn’t stop her from trying. Watching her writhe was most enjoyable.

After a few minutes I pointed out a small trickle of fluid sliding down her thigh. The young soldier’s seed had seeped out of her and was descending her leg. For some reason this upset him, and he turned and left the area for a while. When he returned, he seemed fine.

She had anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days before she died. During that time, she could not be left alone, for fear that some person would either rush the process, or attempt to have pity on her and give her water, or even take her down from the cross. One of us was to stand guard at all times. We threw dice to determine who had the first shift. The kid was to be on duty.

The rules were strict. No one was to come close to the cross, she was to hang there without assistance of any kind. Some would come to observe, which was encouraged. But no one was to touch her. Animals were to be kept away (sometimes wolves would come and howl, smelling the blood and pain).

As we left, she was pushing herself up in spite of the pain in her feet. She had begun the crux dance, the inevitable rise and fall, attempting to find the position of least pain that allowed breathing. I wondered if she would last the evening.

She did, the next morning the other soldier and I returned to the hill. Her cross was positioned so she had a marvelous view of the city before her. It would torment her, if she saw it at all. Her head was hanging down, and her breathing was coming in uneven, ragged gasps. The wounds in her wrists and feet had enlarged from her motion on the cross, and bruising had turned the skin around them angry colors of red and black. As we approached, she raised her head, looked at us briefly, and then lowered it again.

I showed the young student the signs of her demise, how to guage her strength and slow decline to death. She had cried out for water during the night. Her struggles were less frequent, though she still raised herself. She cried out in agony whenever she moved at all. It smelled, for she had lost control of her body during the night. The smell of death is not pleasant.

It was time for a little extra torture. I had brought a few things from my home. A sponge, and a bottle of wine and a small bottle of vinegar. They were poured and mixed in the sponge so that it was soaking wet, and the sponge was impaled on a spear. The next time the muscles in her legs raised her up, and then gave out and lowered her with a sudden jerk on her arms, she cried out but was also confronted with a soaking wet sponge next to her face.

“Drink!” I commanded. Her thirst overcame her, and she sucked at the sponge eagerly. It didn’t last long. The taste of the wine and vinegar made her even more thirsty, and she turned her head, crying out, sobbing for mercy once again. This time she begged for death, asking that we end it quickly. I shook my head. Death would come soon enough for her.

The young soldier stayed, fascinated by the woman’s body in the morning light. I realized, she had been his first, and he was finding it hard to see her die. He had conflicting emotions. There was some natural desire for her lean and beautiful body stretched and hung from the cross which he had tasted however briefly. He also felt slightly protective of her, as if he felt she was his woman, though they had been together all of five minutes. And not surprisingly, from deep down inside he enjoyed her suffering, watching her lose all body fluids through sweat, straining muscles until they cramped horribly and visibly, and seeing the nails tear her nerves, causing untold agony.

The crowd from the day before had thinned considerably, though there were a number of citizens who would stay and watch until the sunset, or her death, whichever came first. As the sun rose high in the sky, and her crux dance gradually slowed as her life left her, it became clear should would not last another night. Her cries were gone, replaced by an occassional whimper. A breeze arose, drying the sweat and other fluids on her body, creating a dirty, crusty covering.

Crucifixions can be dull, in a way. They take little effort. After the victim is nailed and raised, the torture is caused by their own bodies and can last for some time. Little intervention is needed by the guards except to watch and prevent interference. She was slowing to the point it was like watching a corpse.

If the kid had not been with us, I would have called for a sedile when I first arrived, to prolong her agony another night, and provide more enjoyment for us. Instead, I decided to end it at about noon.

Unwilling to simply kill her outright, I decided to teach my student a method of hurrying the victims death while still causing increased agony. I found a discarded beam from an earlier execution. It was heavy, but with the right angle I was able to lift it and carry it to where the girl was hanging. She was hanging with her arms stretched above her, muscles stretched to their limit throughout her arms and shoulders. Her legs were bent and spread wide.

Lifting the heavy beam, I swung it hard against her left shin. With a squashy thud, her leg broke just below the knee, causing her to rouse from her partial unconsciousness and scream at this new pain.

Having showed the kid how, I instructed that he break her other leg. He positioned himself and swung hard. The wood hit her shin at an odd angle, and glanced down, tearing flesh and exposing the bone of her leg. He wasn’t strong enough.

I finished the job, swinging and striking the leg and cracking the leg.

Once the legs are broken, the victim loses blood more quickly, goes in to shock and can no longer raise themselves on the cross. Death usually occurs within a half hour or so. She lasted about 15 minutes of gasping and rasping breath until her breasts no longer moved and she hung immobile on the wooden tree of agony.

She was left on the cross for all to see for another day, though birds came and began to peck at the body. We finally dug the cross up and dropped it on the ground with a loud whack. The shock of the impact actually dislodged her body and her right hand tore free. We removed the rest of the nails for the next victim, dragged the body to a nearby cart, where it was taken away, to be buried or cast in to a pit.

The kid watched, and I think I saw a single tear. I decided then he would have to take charge of the next one, to harden him. His sentimentality was not acceptable for a soldier.