3words: Lock Them Up

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@VAcrow1 – VACrow: Lock, Them, Up.


They called him Crow. His real name was Arthur Wheelwright, but ever since he had left the village and started hiding in the forest, they had been calling him Crow. Everyone feared him. They said he was completely black, even the white in his eyes, and that he could fly back and forth between the trees. The boys in the village were drooling with excitement when they talked about him.

And of course he was a murderer. Three women from the village had ventured too close to the forest, and one after the other they had vanished to never return. Word was that Crow had ambushed them, raped them, slain them, hacked their bodies to pieces and hung them from the trees for the other crows to eat. Everybody knew this.

But when the villagers took up their pitchforks and raided the forest, they couldn’t find anything hanging from the trees. What they did find, however, were the three missing women. They were living with Crow in a makeshift hut next to a pond and a waterfall. Word had it that it was all rather homely, and that there was even a little vegetable garden.

Later, after everything was over and the name Crow had dissolved into legend, the village boys’ favorite part of the story was how the villagers had apparently caught him and his three women doing it. Yes, giggled the village boys, they had been fucking, all four of them! And under the waterfall, nonetheless!

The official version of the story was a different one, though. Witchcraft was the word. After the villagers had driven Crow and his women out from the forest, they professed that they had caught them engaging in wicked acts of sorcery. LOCK THEM UP AND BURN THEM, cried the village, and so they locked them up, and they burned the three women without much ado later that night.

But they didn’t burn Crow. The women were dead, so it was somehow agreed upon that he could and should be treated as a murderer. The village men took turns beating him, after which they stripped him of his clothes, except for a cloth around his loins. Then they mad him sit on a cowhide and dragged him through the village. It turned out that Crow wasn’t really black at all. He was a rather skinny looking man with long hair and frightened eyes. When he passed his parents’ house, his mother fainted, and his father just stood there.

Crow was dragged all the way to the market square, where the ashes from the burnings of the night before had been cleared in order to make space for his suffering. There was a large wheel. It had been decided that the only appropriate way to punish Crow, who came from a family of wheelwrights, was by the wheel.

There was a lot of screaming that day.

First they made him lay down on a set of carefully arranged wood blocks, and they slammed him with the wheel until his limbs were broken in every place. Then they weaved his body onto the wheel and proceeded to beat him with clubs, upon which they left him to die, which he did the next day.

The village boys didn’t believe the official story for a minute, though. Sure, there had been witches in their village before, but each and every one of them had received an orderly trial. How else were you supposed to deal with a witch? Crow’s women, on the other hand, had been burned just like that. There had been no questioning, no water ordeal, no nothing. And why had Crow been executed like a common murderer? It just didn’t feel right.

One of the boys, a big tough kid and the bravest one of them all, took it upon himself to examine the dying man, and when he came running back, his eyes were wide with excitement. Crow, he said, and it seemed as though this was the one detail to explain it all: had an enormous penis!

It was at least a foot long.

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