I went into the cellar where I’d been keeping the man chained up. He looked up at me with his gaunt face, eyes sunken into black pits where the starvation had stripped his face of its human qualities. His head soon sagged back down, neck muscles useless from dehydration. I hadn’t even needed to gag him the last couple of days, his throat ripped raw from screams that had no audience. His pitiful pleading was now so quiet it was barely audible. He looked like a man in desperate need of some fresh air. I loosened his manacles, slung his limp sack of bones over my shoulder and headed for the car.

When we got to the bridge, his eyes had just about adjusted to the light and were darting around the scene. As I pulled him from the car he was so distracted that he didn’t even feel the noose slip over his head. I tightened it to just beyond comfortable, tied the rope to the railings and hoisted him over the barrier. As I held him over the edge, I whispered in his ear: “Any last words?”

“P-p-please.” he whimpered.
“What?” I shouted in his ear. “Speak up!”
“P-p-please, don’t this.” No louder, but what the hell. Whatever fluid was left in his body was now leaking from his eyes. “I promise next time I’ll indicate when leaving a roundabout.”
“That’s my boy”. I pulled him back from the brink and patted him on the shoulder. “D’you see how we can all get along so much better if we just show each other a little courtesy?”

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