His bony fingers clutched the bars almost of their own volition. In the peculiar light of the hour before day break the trees looked like spectral corpses dancing in the wind; like cadavres at the gallows. The inertia of the hour didn’t seem to apply to hung men.
Later today, he would get out: but serving time in jail wasn’t enough for someone like him. It didn’t matter that he was only 14; he’d gotten into a brawl with the wrong man. It hadn’t been his fault; he’d merely bumped into him by mistake. He hadn’t even tried to pick the gentleman’s pocket but the man screamed ‘thief, murder!’ Before jumping him.
And the police wasn’t going to believe the guttersnipe over the gentleman, who unfortunately was an MP’s son. What chance did he have? Every person in the courtroom chorused for his sentence. Here in his birdcage he waited…
At dusk he would walk the crow’s mile. And tomorrow in the peculiar light of the hour that precedes sunrise, he would join the trees and be the spectral vision of a corpse hanging from the gibbet.
In response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie writing prompt Wordle #123.
1. Guttersnipe (Noun. A ) 2. Chorus 3. Birdcage 4. Spectral 5. Late 6. Break 7. Dusk 8. Serve 9. Crow’s mile (The walk of the condemned to the place of his execution.) 10. Button 11. Brawl 12. Inertia