A religious cult sentences a man to death for homosexual acts.
This story involves death, execution, homosexuality and gay sex, and a religious cult. It is entirely a work of fiction/fantasy. If that is not your thing, then don't read on.
My name is David Christianson and I am a homosexual. That is what I must report to the pastor every month during my check-in. I cannot avoid it, there is a stamp on my record, the tattoo on my wrist, and the sin in my heart. I have been convicted and there is no denying my guilt. I like men, and I am a man. But I’m trying to fix that. I will get better. I can be cured through God’s will.
Those were the thoughts I used to think. Used to. Now, I am a lost cause, doomed by my own actions and choices. I was unable to change. I was given multiple chances to convert, to commit to a woman, and live a life as God intended. I failed each time. I was unable to rid my impure thoughts and control my actions. And now, after my third failure, I have been sentenced to die. My execution is tomorrow, at sunrise. I will have lived only 19 years on this earth. I am to die as the Lord did, on a cross, so that others may be spared the sins I have committed.
To understand my story I must start at the beginning – at my first failure.
I first knew I was different when I entered my twelfth year. Our community is small, numbering at just 4000 believers. Most children of the same age know each other. I did not know anyone who felt as I did, at least none who spoke openly about it. We were taught about the dangers of self-pleasure by our pastor at this age, but the minds of children are difficult to stop and secrets were passed around often. I quickly learned how to pleasure myself and did so in secret. But I was caught. My mother found me in the act and brought me before the pastor to confess. I confessed to him my actions and he assigned me a penance. Nothing difficult, acts of good deeds around the community. But he pressured me on my thoughts, and I confessed to thinking about another boy my age. To this there was no penance. He bid me goodbye and sent me on my way.
I knew homosexuality was wrong. I knew loving another man would lead away from God. But I did not know how serious my sins were. Not yet.
A week later I was summoned by the pastor. For my homosexual thoughts I would be given extra teachings to rid me of these choices and set me on a straighter path. The lessons were difficult. Counseling, aversion therapy, and assignments to interact with girls. All in addition to my normal education. But I succeeded to the pastor’s satisfaction. I felt myself cured of homosexual thoughts, and after a 2 years, I was allowed to live as other children did.
It is morning now. A guard has come to my cell to collect me. On her face there is no emotion, no hint of mercy, nor hint of vengeance. She opens my cell and tells me to come. It is time. I am overcome with fear. I do not wish to die. I do not want to die in agony, to suffer. But there is no escape now. I did this to myself, my actions led to this outcome.
The guard collects me, cuffs my hands, and chains my ankles so I cannot run. She leads me out the cell and down the corridor towards an open door. Light pours through the doorway into the dim hall blinding me to what is outside. But I know what lies beyond the door. My last moments on this earth. All because I am a homosexual.
Me second failure occurred in my sixteenth year. My thoughts strayed on occasion, but I kept them in control. I had a girl partner, Maria. We would be married once we came of age as is our custom. I had asked her to dance with me at the annual summer festival the year before. She said yes. We danced all day and night. Our parents noticed. The community noticed. We were given permission to continue getting to know each other and so we did. After school every day, when we had a free moment we would talk. Our favorite was to walk. The community is small, its walls surround us, but we would walk along them often, talking and enjoying the outdoors. I was happy and so was she.
I knew who Axel was. He was separate from the rest of the people. 18 years of age, but his education was private with the pastor. He bore a strange tattoo on his wrist. I asked my parents what it meant but they hushed me, telling me to always follow God. Axel knew who I was. He would look at me and smile, so I smiled in return. But he never spoke to me. Or to anyone. He went about helping our pastor in his tasks, keeping to himself.
One day Axel and I found each other in a small garden together. No one was around except for us. I was supposed to meet my Maria later, but I was early. So I sat in peace and prayed in the garden. My eyes were closed enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face. When I opened them, I noticed that Axel was kneeling next to me. He glanced at me and smiled. I smiled in return, but said nothing. I wondered what he wanted. Gently, he leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on my cheek. I simply knelt there, unsure how to respond, but eventually I smiled. He stood up and walked away. I continued to pray, but homosexual thoughts invaded my head that I could not control. I heard a voice: “David!” It was Maria.
She had seen Axel and me. Following another meeting with the pastor we were admonished and put before a tribunal. Axel went first. This was not his first offense. He bore the strange tattoo on his wrist. For his homosexual actions his was sentenced to 30 lashes by the tribunal. I went second. I was given the tattoo, a brand of my homosexuality. I was sentenced to 10 lashes. I lost my Maria. My only future was to work directly for the church under supervision of a pastor. They flogged Axel and me the following day. The pain was unbearable. Axel’s was worse.
The courtyard beyond the door is sparse. Behind me is the wall of my prison building. The other three sides are fenced, providing a view for those to view my fate. Many people have gathered, perhaps hundreds. Most I recognize. My parents are among them. Next to them is my Maria. No. She is no longer mine. I have lost her forever. In the center of the courtyard is a large wooden platform. A small group of guards wait on the platform. With them stands my pastor. He stands with a solemn face. The air is quiet, the crowd stands still. Whispers rise as I walk through the doorway, as they see me come for the final time. There are no welcome faces, none at all. Only faces of condemnation.
In the center of the platform lies a tall wooden cross, waiting to be raised. Waiting for me. I feel fear. I stop walking. My guard grabs my arm and pulls me forward. Towards the platform. Towards my death. My fear grows. My heart is pounding. I am pulled onto the platform where I can see the crowd and the courtyard. I freeze again. Before me, beyond the platform, is a corpse. Around it are piles of rocks strewn in the dirt. The corpse is bloodied beyond recognition. I do not need to see its face.
My third failure spelled my doom. Axel endured his lashes as I did mine. Stricken with pain, fear, and loneliness, we pursued our work under the pastor. We worked hard and I began to move on from my past. My future was forever changed, but I could stay in God’s grace if I worked hard and resisted all further sin. But that was…. difficult.
Axel was beautiful. His back bore many scars from his lashes. He often carried bruises from beatings. His spirit was broken, and he walked with his head hung low. I often heard him cry at night. I longed to comfort him. So I did. But as a friend. I would aid him when I could, look out for his wellbeing, and keep him out of trouble. For many years we endured, avoiding sin. Avoiding our brand as a homosexual.
Every month we would check in with the pastor. It was his decision if we were being faithful enough. Many times we had been. Many times we had not. He would punish us in cruel and unique ways, but always we endured. Until one day Axel made a mistake. For this he was severely beaten. At night he cried. I could hear him through the wall. Overcome with emotion I left my room and stood before his door. Mustering my courage, I entered his room. I comforted him all night, tending his bruises, holding his head. We found peace in each other’s arms.
We knew little of what to do, but we knew self-pleasure. From this knowledge we pleasured each other. He questioned if he could penetrate me like a woman, but I confessed to knowing not how. He comforted me and guided me to act as a woman would. Lying on the bed, he penetrated me and I felt a mix of pain with pleasure. His thrusts inside me awoke deep feelings for men and I knew who I truly was. I accepted the pleasure and pain as he continued to thrust inside me. He thrust slow and soft, hard and fast. Each movement was a new experience. Over time I loosened and pain melted into pleasure. We were in ecstasy. Eventually, when he could hold it no longer he spilled his seed inside me.
In peace we fell into a deep sleep. At dawn they found us.
We were brought again before a tribunal. Our sins were laid bare. Both Axel and I were sentenced to death. Axel by stoning, I by the cross. Axel was taken from the room. I never said goodbye.
I scream in pain as the nail enters my wrist. My hands are tied securely to the cross and the guards hold me down. I cannot move as the nail is hammered deep into the wood of the cross. A nail enters my other wrist, but I am already screaming. I see blood seeping out of my wounds, the unbearable pain in my hands. I see the guards grab more nails and move towards my feet. They no longer hold my hands. I cannot move. The guards hold my feet against the wood. I beg them not to do it. I cannot take the pain. They hammer a nail into my ankle, securing my foot to the side of the cross. My cries mix with the pounding of the hammer. The hammer only stops when both feet are nailed to the cross. My cries do not stop. I see blood coming from the wounds in my hands and feet. I see my life slowly draining, but the pain remains.
“Hoist him up.”
Slowly, the guards raise my cross. As I rise higher, the weight on the nails increases until all my weight hangs. Pain shoot down my arms, as the weight constricts my chest. I cry out. I try to lift myself with my legs to relieve the strain, but the nails in my feet protest and do not allow me any relief. I struggle to find any respite from my suffering but none exists. My fate is to hang, in pain, unable to properly breathe, until I cannot resist death any longer.
Through my gasps of pain and writhing, I look out amongst the crowd. I hear the jeers, I see the gestures. They laugh as I hang. They cheer at my suffering. They cry out that I deserve it and that I brought it upon myself. I am afforded no reprieve. Tears stream down my face. Cries come from my mouth. I am going to die, but not soon. Not yet.
It has been so long. I know not how long I have hung. Each breath is a gasp as I struggle against the strain in my arms. Still the pain of the nails affords me no opportunity to relieve my suffering. The blood has dried, but if I move too much the flow begins again. Every part of my body screams in pain. Every part begs a stop to hanging in this position. As I get closer to death the pain only gets worse.
The crowd has thinned. Most have given up on me, giving me up for dead. They let me suffer alone. I will suffer none-the-less. The pastor remains. He ignores me. I am nothing to him. I am a sinner worthy of nothing but a most painful death. He will remain to ensure my continued agony and death.
Death is close now. My breath is labored and slow. I no longer have the energy to fight. My pain remains. I have no solace. Each breath sends shards of pain throughout my body as it protests at its fate. There is nothing it can do. It is almost over.
I look out over the courtyard. So few remain to watch my suffering. I do not recognize them. Only the pastor. He is watching me now. He knows death is not far away now. My breath slows more. My vision begins to blur. The pain refuses to diminish. I will be in agony until the very end. One last time tears pour down my face. I look down at Axel’s corpse, rotting in the dirt. I give one last heave and take my last breath. I have nothing left. Pain shoots through me as my vision darkens. My vision goes black. I can no longer hear the birds. All I feel is pain.