The Romans had taken over in just the last 10 years. After defeating the central garrison, they moved in and started shaking things up. All in all, a good move. They had imposed order and kept the thievery down. Construction was up, especially on the roads, though the carpenter didn’t see much of the business.
So, when the Roman Centurion came in to his workshop, the capenter was a little surprised. He felt a twinge of fear, accompanied by hope. He was either going to be arrested or questioned about something he would rather not talk about, or get some new business.
It turned out to be new business, though not the kind he expected.
"So, carpenter. I need something. You know that we crucify the worst criminals, runaway slaves and the like?”
The carpenter gulped. He had seen the men and even women hanging from the wooden crosses on a hill outside of town. He had even gone to watch a few times, with mixed feelings. It was clearly a horrible way to die. But it had also kept crime down lower than ever, and there was that one time they had crucified that girl slave… naked…
“Ah! I see you know. How could you not. Well, carpenter, I have a problem. You see, the purpose of crucifixion is a slow, agonizing death. We have had some pretty agonizing deaths recently, but the governor thinks they aren’t slow enough. We have tried some things, but basically we are kind of stuck.”
The carpenter started really worrying. What could he have to do with this?
“What I need from you… well, I need you to think of something. Some change… to the cross, to the way it is constructed, its angle, whatever. I need something that will make the process of dying slower. The problem is, it can’t make it easier. Thats where we run in to a problem. We can’t stop flogging them before hand. We can’t take them down and give them a rest. I need some idea…”
The centurion has risen and was walking, handling the carpentry tools. In some cases he wielded them like weapons, or tested a sharp edge on his own flesh.
“So… think about this. I will be back in two days. We are crucifying a woman, and if you have anything, any ideas at all - let us know. If they are good, we might use it. See how it works. If not… well…” the centurion shrugged his shoulders, smiled a rather unpleasant smile, and then left.
The carpenter sat, looking at his feet. Wondering how fast he could run from the town… and if he could be caught. The idea of getting extra business, that was good. But he didn’t have any ideas, and was terrified what would happen if he failed. He sat on the ledge of his workbench, contemplating the problem, wondering why this problem had been dropped in his lap.
He sat and contemplated so long, worrying, that suddenly he got up because the edge of his ass hurt so badly. It was half numb. He had been sitting on it for about and hour, and…. oh…
He had an idea.
When the Centurion came two days later, the carpenter was ready. It was a simple device, but then the cross was simple. That was the whole idea, to simply use a person’s own weight to slowly kill them with as little effort as possible. On the part of the executioner, that is.
It was a block of wood, designed to be nailed to the upright of the cross. Sticking out about a foot, it would server as a small hard ledge on which the crucified could sit, resting for a bit to recover from the strain of being suspended.
The best part was the long, pointed spike which extended up from the block. In this way, the suffering victim would not only find their agony on the cross prolonged by having a seat on which to rest, it was guaranteed that the resting would be extremely painful. Of course, the victim could choose to thrust their hips forward, extending beyond the reach of the sedile, but in so doing it would increase the pressure on their back, arms and wrists.
The delightful and painful complication this small simple device would present to the victim made the Centurion smile.
The next day, the carpenter went to the hill outside of town. They were just nailing the poor girl down. She started to scream just as he arrived. Three soldiers were holding her down, and the spike was going in to her left wrist. With each blow of the heavy mallet, the spike went deeper, and the woman jerked with pain. When one side was completed, they addressed the other wrist, with the same screaming and writhing on the wooden frame laying on the ground.
The carpenter observed the nearly naked woman, and had to admit she was quite a lovely site, stretched out as she was. He felt the stirrings of arousal in his loins, which he hid with embarrassment.
The cross was lifted by the three soldiers, until it slid in to the hole in the ground with a thunk. The girl’s body slid down, scraping splinters and flesh as it did, until it jerked to a stop, suspended by the nails in her wrists. That brought renewed screaming, though the strain on her chest showed and the screaming quickly degenerated into a gurgle of sorts.
Two soldiers took the girl’s feet and crossed them in front of the upright beam, bending her knees. A third spike was placed against her feet, and the mallet swung. The carpenter watched as the spike split the flesh, and quickly drove through the softness of the top foot and through the foot underneath. When the spike contacted the wood, several more good whacks assure proper penetration, and then the crucifixion was complete.
There was remarkably little blood. Some trickled from the wounds in the wrists, and there was some from lash marks across her ribs and bare breasts. Her flesh was shiny from sweat, and stretched as she was, suspended by her arms, her ribs were clearly visible.
She was having trouble breathing, rasping and grating. Suddenly, she pushed hard with her feet against the nail that held them, but failed to raise herself. She feel back down, crying out in agony as her weight once again pulled hard on her wrist nails.
A few minutes later, she was up again, this time raising up until she stood on the single nail holding her feet tightly to the wood beneath. Her face was raised to the heavens, revealing a beautiful long neck above her heaving breasts. After a while the pain from her feet was too great and she sank back down.
One could see that she would not last long. After a couple of hours, she was having trouble raising herself up, and did not stay up for long. Her head hung motionless, hair descending about her face. She had urinated after about an hour, and involuntary reaction to an internal need. It soaked the loincloth which was her only clothing.
It was time. The centurion came forward with the sedile, and the carpenter took out some nails. The next time the girl raised herself up, the carpenter stepped forward, and positioned the sedile in place. The centurion grabbed her crotch, holding her up while the carpenter nailed the sedile firmly to the cross. The close proximity to the girl, hearing her breathing, seeing her sweat dripping down, seeing her crotch, this all gave the carpenter an amazing sense of the misery the girl was in, the pain that coursed through her body, and just how humiliating it must be.
He finished quickly, and the centurion let go. She slipped down the cross and was impaled by the straight, pointed cornu. She cried out in surprise, but being too weak to raise herself again she wiggled some and managed to get the thick rod to sink deep within her. Not that it gave her much comfort, for the base of the cornu was wide, so wide it was spreading the lips of her womanhood taught.
But as humiliating and painful as the sedile was, it also was supporting her weight. Most of it at least. Her arms were still stretched taught, but her chest was no longer compressed. She breathed a little more freely, which also meant she was able to cry out more loudly. Which she did, and the carpenter moved back, to watch from a few yards away.
The girl’s misery was not worse, in fact it was probably better. But being in a better way, she was also stronger to express her agony. Instead of hanging her head and letting her long dark hair fall over her breasts, she raised her face and looked out over the people watching her struggle. She looked at her wrists briefly, and wailed loudly when she shifted her weight.
Through it all, she sat on the sedile, impaled deeply by the pointed cornu shaped by the carpenter’s hands. He knew exactly how deep it had gone in to her body, knew how wide it was at the base. He could almost feel the sharp point as it dug in to her cervix.
After an hour or so the centurion came over to the carpenter, slapped him on the back, and said, “You did it, she will last the night I am sure. Who knows how much longer. The governor himself will come to observe at sunset. You should be proud.”
He wasn’t proud, exactly, he wasn’t sure what he felt. To have contributed to the agony of this girl… watching her writhe on his handiwork. He had a mixture of pride, embarrassment, desire, arousal… and a little guilt. He shook his head, clearing his thoughts, and turned away from the seen of pain. Returning to his shop, he packed up some things, ate his dinner and fell asleep.
The girl was still on the cross, distended out with her back arched slightly and hips thrust forward a little. The sedile still supported her, but the cornu was inserted in to her anus, deep inside. Blood had seeped out and down her legs. She was still breathing but not moving much otherwise. Then as he watched, with a sudden heave she pushed up once again as he had seen her do the day before, and raised herself up off the sedile.
It was all she could do, and a strangled groan came from her throat as she lifted up and off the point, now convered with blood. Her muscles strained, hands forming the characteristic claw shape of the crucified, legs pushing in spite of searing pain. As she reached a full standing position she took a deep breath and lowered herself once again, this time her vagina slowly surrounding and wrapping the cornu as it penetrated deeply. Once her weight was again resting on the sedile, she uttered a cry of pure frustration and agony.
She was pleading, crying out to die.
Apparently the suffering had been sufficient to satisfy the governor. At noon, as the heat drained the suffering girl of her body fluids in the form of sweat, the sedile was removed. She sank down, all her weight stretching against her arms, compressing her chest, distending her stomach.
It took about an hour for her to suffocate to death.
The carpenter got the extra business he craved. The sedile was used again, as needed. His design was modified and used elsewhere.
He dreamed of the girl, hanging from the cross, dying slowly, his cornu penetrating her deeply. His sleep was not always restful.