Ever had your skin crawl after seeing a potato bug?
Ever twitched uncontrollably after seeing a spider?
How about scratched your head after contact with someone who looked as though head lice were a distinct possibility?
Having spent a great deal of time lately reading about persons from history whose heads rolled on a scaffold, and in particular Anne Boleyn, the idea of phantom itching pre-execution (right at the point where neck and spine meet) is one I'm currently exploring.
When the trial was over and the axe of the Yeoman Warder who'd guarded the prisoner was pointed toward that prisoner,
It actually meant:
The jury of one's peers had spoken.
|Unanimous? Really? U-effing-nanimous?|
Generally the prisoner
|"Remember oh most gracious Virgin Mary . . oh fuuuuuuuuccccckkkkkkkkkk."|
Then wrote their will.
Also on their to-do list
The bigger the tip, the better his aim.
|"They call me Wall-eyed Joe. What?"|
And once those pesky details were dealt with, there was time to sit and think and feel the itch right there . . . right at the base of the back of the neck . . . "Is that where the axe will hit me?" and, "How long will I feel it?" and most important of all, "Will he get it in one chop?"
As anyone in Tudor-era England would do, condemned prisoners got very, very right with Jesus before their Big Day.
Still - on those sleepless nights in the Tower of London, with only the sound of the wind and the occasional creak of oars along the Thames - the phantom itch must've been . . . just interminably creepy, and followed by a case of the shudders second to none.
|"Yeah, that's gonna leave a mark on my $5000.00 suit, for sure."|
It's just as disgusting as it sounds.
Hung till near dead.
Drawn (have Big Jim and the Twins cut off and burned in front of you; same with your intestines.)
Quartered - divide by four and send each part to a separate corner of the kingdom (like who wants to look at THAT?)
|"Come on. . . I'll make popcorn! They're only displaying it 'til the week-end!"|
The executioner declared, "Behold the heart of a traitor!"
"THOU LIEST!" bellowed the supposed-to-be-dead-by-now Mr. Digby in a case of Extreme Last Word.
Now THAT is an unforgettable exit . . .
*"The Tower" by Nigel Jones; pg. 285 :-) Thanks, boss.