Rough Draft: The Werewolf’s Charge

Before the elect council, their scornful ire thrown down in unbroken stares from their crescent bench which surrounded him, the starved wretch of a man stood entirely exposed. He’d little authority over himself, enough to stand there, but was want the full dignity of self-control. No water, no food, no light ‘til now for days, had made him more animal than man, and he gathered what will he had to not cower like a frightened animal. In the dock he trembled, saliva like ocean foam caught in his grizzled face.

Then entered the executioner.

“It is our will,” spoke the council, “for this animal to be condemned, for his skin to be scorched by hot irons, for him to be given over to tongues of fire. So let it be done.”

Arose the flanking members there, on the edges of the crescent first, and straitening their robes began to descend to the floor. Following suit came the full body down, down from the bench and then standing on the ground with the executioner and the man in the dock. The starved man, he wracked with mighty dread trembling, then let a howl loose from within, a scream like a soul’s cry. So came that host, that ensemble lordly robed, to halt and turn. So then the executioner himself approached not a step closer his object.

Thus said the naked man, “Villains!” Hoarse was his voice, used little of late but to grunt and moan. It was a cracked sound, like a damn before it gives. “Justice knows not your names, nor her scales, are they like yours.” Such was the power of his speech none could move, but as if ice had spread about the room, Jack’s frost flooded their veins. “I’ll have my defense, though you refuse to hear,” he screamed.

The preeminent member, he who charged the man, who ordered the council, the condemned pointed at. “I was your tool,” he exclaimed. “It was you about to be caught in illicit amours, treacherous adultery—you!—and fearing the birth of your bastard contrived this crime.”

For a moment breaking, he looked upon his bloodstained hands. “And you knew, somehow discovered, and set me free that night. How many? How many did I kill? This blood on my hands calls for justice, and it is your name, the blood calls out your name. Lenora calls out your name, and her child calls out your name. Your child calls out your name.”

And at this the high judge, the council’s preeminent, from the wall a javelin drew, it retired for some great victory to decorative function, and tearing his robes in the exercise cast the war tested iron into the naked man’s chest. It deeply went into the body, and oiled in blood the tip through the back stuck out, glinting in the lamp’s fire.

So slumped over the condemned, his life finally exhausted. But you cannot kill a werewolf with mere iron, nor buried in a potter’s field does he sleep.

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