Gaspard heard the cock crow in the distance. The sun was short ways of breaking the horizon and officially starting a new day in the village of Drundee.
Drundee was a small, quaint village along the banks of the River Martin upcountry from the Kingdom of Thyme. The village was quiet and not much ever happened there except the occasional execution.
During executions, the whole village was required to turn out. Orders of the Duke. He liked to think it kept others for committing crimes. Today was the day of an execution. A young man had stolen the bread from a poorer family than himself. In Drundee that was punishable by death. You did not take from those less fortunate than yourself.
Gaspard, with a smile on his face, lept from his bed, pulled on his black tights and his black tunic, and black hood. It was a lot of black, but someone was about to die today and Gaspard liked to make sure he paid proper respects. He whistled a merry tune as he fixed breakfast for his wife and four small children.
Despite the impending doom of a young man, Gaspard was in a great mood. He was in a great mood every day. His wife would have preferred that he give her a good fight every now and again, but he had a way of smiling, saying the right thing, and soothing things right out.
Everyone in town new Gaspard was a good man.
As Gaspard and his family drew near the village center they saw that the whole town was already on hand and they were the last to arrive. Gaspard didn’t mind arriving late. His family took their place at the back of the crowd. Gaspard did not want his children to watch the death of another man.
The young man stood upon a small stage. Tears ran down his young face as he tried to free the binds that held his arms behind his back and his ankles together.
The Duke of Drundee came up next to the young man, he placed a hand on the young man’s shoulder and shook his head as he made eye contact. He moved to the front of the stage and motioned for the onlookers to quiet down. He watched Gaspard approach the side of the stage from the corner of his eye.
“Today we are here to witness the execution of Thomas of the Millers. He stole bread from a family less fortunate than he. He did not need to steal this bread, but he did none the less and for this… Thomas, we must punish you by death by beheading.”
The Duke gave way as Gaspard picked up a large axe from the side of the stage and headed up the steps. He whistled a merry little tune, a few people in the first few rows hummed along with him.
Gaspard pulled down his hood, his whistle muffled, and his bright blue eyes popped from inside the black hood. With a strong hand, he guided the young man down to his knees and softly laid his head on the chopping block.
The merry tune continued to be whistled.
The Duke came forward once again and began to speak, “Thomas, do you have any…”
Before the Duke could finish the axe was swung, Thomas’ head was removed from his body and was last seen bouncing into the crowd. It was later returned after being used as a soccer ball by some teenagers.
“Gaspard! We talked about this!”
Gaspard stopped whistling, but he did not stop smiling.
“Sorry, sir. I got a little excited.”
“You always get excited! I swear the next time you do this I’ll find a new executioner!”
“Oh, please! This is all I have. It is all I know how to do!”
The Duke guffawed and walked off the stage. He was fed up with having this conversation.
Gaspard handed the axe to a cleaning page and removed his hood. He whistled his merry tune as he met back up with his wife and guided her and the children home.
Gaspard was the jolliest executioner the world had ever know.