Bernardo was not an executioner. A rifle had been pressed into his hands at a young age for his family. His filial duty. Eventually, this took the form of a guard when the government needed more jails than soldiers. Mostly for soldiers on the wrong side of the war. Here too he had a gun pressed into his hands as a member of the firing squad. This was unpleasant but necessary function for country and coin that met with little complaint from Bernardo until the prisoner – a rebel and a traitor – with the long black hair. Younger than Bernardo was, he had the lank build of a peasant, but the stare of a prince. No one knew his crime only the sentence it bore and who was to carry it out. Held and dragged to the staging area where he was bound to a wooden post he was motionless. He was neither to be the first nor the last execution of the day and would largely have been forgotten if he had not refused a blindfold and did not stare into the crowd. Seemingly into Bernardo. Paint on the wall behind him peeled and cracked and the courtyard seemed to clear quickly as the chimes of the afternoon hour began to play. For a moment the air was silent before the first of the barrages. The promise of silence and pay played on their minds ensuring the work of the squad and Bernardo was done. That was until laughing through his unhinged jaw, he ordered another shot. The firing squad wasn’t sure how to respond. Assuming a malfunction they fired again. And again. Until the post began itself to splinter and crack allowing him to shamble forward towards them. Bernardo was not an executioner because the prisoner was not dead.