Selgin Plaza: Two Gallows Birds
Alicia Fernandez consulted her Rolex. 05:45
Here they were, she herself, the Boutique owner, and the two convicts.
Alicia was a tall woman —- she wore Her brown hair slicked back, in a severe french bride. A gray satin Shirt matching her green eyes and pleated skirt to her knees, knee boots, and handbag in black leather.
She looked at her prisoners.
Victoria Rowllings, (about 50) tall, with good legs —- she had gone for an elegant look: Rimmel and bright lipstick. Nora Hoffman, was cute (about 30), had a discrete yet beautiful appearance.
Victoria had done her hair in a wild display of curls to her shoulders , while Nora had a flip that would not interfere with the noose at all.
Both were now in their underwear — Nora in a bra and panties set, Victoria in a black corset with garters and dark stockings.
They alternated pulling garments off the racks, holding them up against their bodies as they looked in the mirror, then seizing on something else.
“That looks great on you!.”
Exclaimed Nora as her friend held up a long black evening gown, the hem of which swept the floor.
“No.”(Said Fernandez.)”Nothing floor length. We got to get to your ankles….Uh…. Later. Nothing high necked, either.”
Both looked startled, dismayed — and scared. Victoria replaced the long and silky gown back on the hook, and turned distractedly to another rack.
An hour later the two reappeared dressing alike , a pair of expensive black satin suits with skirt
(over-the-knee skirt, with high heeled black boots.)
“Is this enough off the neck for you?”
Asked Nora as she touched the lapels of her suit.
“Yes, Miss,” said Alicia, “You both look very nice. Although you will have trouble mounting the steps in those heels,”
Fernandez added, meanly.
“Oh come on Alicia,” -said Victoria- “You wouldn’t begrudge a girl a little more height — to reach the ground from the end of the rope, now would you?”
Alicia said nothing instead She picked up two pieces of rope that had laid, waiting in a nearby table.
“Something last to say ….”
“Yes, there is,”
Said Nora. Stepping up to Victoria, she took the other woman’s head in her hands and kissed her, firmly, full on the mouth.
Victoria took Nora’s arms in her hands.
Fernandez stepped behind Victoria. She drew her arms down and back, and proceeded to wrap the rope around her wrists, binding them tightly together. The woman’s fingernails dug into her palms, then flared as the knot was tightened. She twisted her hands briefly against the ropes, seeking either escape or a more comfortable position. Then Fernandez tied Nora’s hands behind her back.
Then Alicia wrapped some more rope around Victoria, binding her arms tightly to her body, adjusting each coil precisely.
Her waist looked narrower. A twist around her arms pinned her elbows well back.
Fernandez stepped over to the other prisoner, and tied up her torso similarly. As she did, she looked over at Victoria, who was squirming within her bonds, watching her tie Nora.
“Are you all right?.”
Victoria said. The soft satin of her suit shifted under the ropes as she took a deep breath.
Finally, Alicia took both prisoners by their bound arms and headed for the Public Square.
A gallows had been erected in front of the courthouse. A platform five feet high, with a sturdy cross beam over it, from which depended two ropes.
The rope was soft, satin material.
– The (League of catholic Ladies) had supplied them, and had even made the heavily-knotted nooses at the ends. –
The crowd surrounding the gallows
The Warden led the two condemned to the scaffold to the steps.
They watched the pretty backs of the bound women as they marched to the ropes.
They stopped at the foot of the steps. The two women looked up at the nooses awaiting them.
Then Victoria straightened her bound shoulders under her satin suit and marched forthrightly up the steps, her high heeled boot sounding off the planks. A moment later Nora also climbed the stairs, to stand under her noose.
Two coffins were on the scaffold.
It was a moment of uncertainty and the two women stood in silence
Alicia climbed up after, stood beside them, and produced a paper.
“Victoria Rowllings, having been convicted of Bank Fraud, having been sentenced to death. All appeals against conviction and sentence having been rejected and your plea for clemency having been turned down it is the duty of this court to put you to death in the Gallows.”
“Nora Anderson, having been convicted of Bank Fraud, having been sentenced to death. All appeals against conviction and sentence having been rejected and your plea for clemency having been turned down it is the duty of this court to put you to death in the gallows.”
Alicia slipped the noose over Nora’s head, the girl’s eyes widened, and she gasped a little. Another small noise escaped her as she drew the thick knot up snugly around her neck. She first positioned it under her jaw, — then she moved it back draping it over her shoulder.
Victoria, looking out over the crowd that had come to see her die, seemed barely to notice as Alicia put the noose over her head — but she closed her eyes for a moment as she felt the smooth texture of the rope caressing her throat.
Then she folded a black silk scarf into a triangle which she arranged over her face as a mask fixing it with a knot behind her head.
At last, all was ready. The two condemned women stood in their satin finery, their bodies bound, their ankles above their high heel footwear tied together. They glanced at each other — Nora looking scared, Victoria being brave for her sake — but the rope ends dangling from her bound legs vibrated slightly as her knees shook. Nora, trying not to, twist her bound hands behind her back. Victoria’s tied-together high heeled boots shifted slightly as she maintained her balance on the wooden trap.
Fernandez had stalled too long. The crowd was starting to mutter.
“Pull the bloody lever!”
“Let the Bitches Fall!”
“Do it, already!”
They watched hungrily.
The time had come. Saddened by the disposal of two such beautiful examples of womanhood.
Alicia reached for the lever. And pulled it.
With a heavy wooden ‘Thunk!’, the trap fell. The two women dropped straight down, snapping to a sudden deadly stop at the end of the ropes.
Their heads twisted to the side by the thick knots of the nooses around their slender necks.
The two still-living women danced at the end of the heavy ropes as the nooses strangled them slowly. Their red mouths gaped as they fought to breathe. Nora’s arms had pulled to the side, and her bound hands fluttered as she tried to reach the rope choking her.
The smooth leather of Victoria’s boots flexed as her legs kicked up, then strained down at the ground beneath her high heels. One of Nora’s shoes came off as she flutter-kicked against the ropes binding her ankles.
The two victims turned slowly, alternately showing their writhing arms and kicking heels, then their heaving, rope-bound breasts and gasping mouths, to the Warden and the crowd.
The minutes crawled past. The two hanged women’s’ wild dancing became more and more a feeble affair as the nooses choked the life from them.
At last, the two bodies dangled in satin limply, twitching spasmodically as they swung slowly from side to side, legs straight down, heads twisted to the side, bound arms limp under the ropes encircling their torsos. They would be dead in another minute, Alicia estimated.
The doctor ascended a stepladder and placed a stethoscope against her still chest. There was no trace of her breath, but she felt a very faint heartbeat. It wouldn’t be more than a few minutes she announced to the warden.
The two forms hanging at the end of the rope were now motionless, save for a slight movement as they turned slowly from the breeze, and a slight occasional swaying from the same breezes.
The sun shone upon Alicia’s satin shirt.
The town doctor pronounced them dead at 12:25, it had took 19 minutes for them to strangle to death after the trap was open.
Two deputies cut down the bodies and placed them in their coffins.
They were buried it in the small cemetery just outside of town.