Join the Line

All was black. I could feel the cobbled stone of the square beneath my bare feet with each step, and hear the jeers and catcalls of the mob from beneath the black hood covering my head.

My captor lead me up a wooden stairwell. I heard the boards creak and felt the coarse grain of the wood on my soles. We came to a stop upon a platform.

I felt him put the key in my neck shackle turn it. The iron ring fell with a loud clank when it hit the boards beneath us. The hood was pulled roughly from my head and daylight blinded me.

Slowly the world came into focus and I saw another man, naked save for a filthy loincloth, hung upside down from a wooden frame, his legs parted in a wide V. Two cruel cords suspended him, bound tightly around his ankles, biting into the flesh and making him bleed.

“No! No!” I screamed. “Anything but The Saw!”

“Join the line and enjoy the show,” said the executioner, gesturing to the row of other prisoners behind me. “You’re fifth.”

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