A moment’s reprieve. The course and heavy cross lifts from his shoulders and is laid upon the ground before him. Crossbeams silently outstretched, beckoning him to its rough-hewn bosom for a final deadly embrace.
Time slows as he waits. Two others groan in pain from above. Birds circle, waiting to feast. Onlookers murmur, seduced by morbid fascination.
The soldiers approach. It is time. They strip off his clothes, exposing his ravaged body. The last humiliation before evil’s rapacious barbarity.