A young boy stands between a town and the woman they want to bludgeon to death.
Despite the cold, hundreds had gathered at the town square. Each person wielded a weapon: Shovels, thick wooden sticks, pipes, even bricks.
“You’re just a child,” said the man, “step aside!”
Ben wasn’t intimidated despite being a foot shorter than most of the crowd.
“Remember, children liberated this town,” Ben said calmly.
“She should die for how she treated us!” yelled a voice from far back.
The crowded agreed. Ben glanced over his shoulder to the accused. She stood on her knees with her hair in disarray. Most had cried and pleaded for their lives, but the woman did neither. With her back straight and chin high, she was above them even in defeat.
Her pompousness annoyed him. Ben squeezed her cheeks, his calloused fingers felt their smoothness. He had hoped to strike fear in her, but the perfume on her silk blouse enticed him. A youthful excitement warmed his body. He averted his gaze, like the shy boy he was, and she grinned. Embarrassed and frustrated, he released her face from his grip.
His gaze met the mountain range which engulfed the small town. If only his age matched his old, worn face because out here youth was prey.
“Must be hard,” she chuckled, “to feel like a man, but still be a child.”
“Tell me, how does it feel to look like a woman, but be a serpent,” said Ben.
A noise caught his attention. Whispers trickled from the wheat fields. Ben knew who hid in the fields.
“Thirteen and fourteen, that’s how old my boys were when she had’em shot in the town square” said a woman.
“I’ll shoot her,” he said pulling his gun from his belt and pressing it against the woman’s temple.
“No!” said dozens of voices.
“She deserves pain,” said one.
“She took our children!” said another.
A breeze swept past. People buttoned their jackets while others to crossed their arms. Ben took the moment to think. Something more was at stake, but what? A fog lingered where the answer should be, so he lit a cigarette. There was no time, his troops were waiting on him.
“Do as you wish,” Ben walked away.
A rush of steps moved across the cobblestone. Boots kicked at her back, her face slapped against the ground. They tore at her blouse, ripping every piece of clothing till her breast were exposed to the bitter cold. Pipes and bricks shattered her knee sockets. There was cursing, spitting, and screaming. Chunks of skin and hair were ripped from her scalp. A man swung his club to her head. Blood trickled from her forehead into her mouth. They beat her face into a paste of flesh and shattered bone.
Ben glanced to the wheat field where the town’s children hid behind the tall blades of wheat. Their curious faces watched as their parent’s bludgeoned the woman to death.
This story was a response to the Daily Prompt: Bludgeon