‘Deathmus’ was an unusual guard (in that he had a name at all), if not a guy who felt a little different than the rest of the lunkheads who carried out orders. He swung his axe different. Cuffed the prisoners different. He moved to a different set of beats. He wore a mask like most of his contemporaries and wore chain mail like most of his contemporaries and made no sound during the carrying out of the execution like most of his contemporaries, but where he became quite different is the moment before someone’s head went rolling—completely surprising everyone by tugging off his mask, revealing his identity and going “Ha!”
Deathmus, it turned out, was actually Pinchas, the town gardener. As a gardener, he was pretty much even-keeled except when a plant died—usually closing shop for the day.
Most of the executioners didn’t like the ‘Pinchas touch,’ as they called it.
“Nice touch, Pinchas.”
“Yeah, great going.”
Mostly they were bothered because the executioners job (though not very glamorous), paid pretty well and more importantly had a certain amount of anonymity, allowing most to cut the heads off hundreds and still make it in time for dinner with a friends, music in parks, or PTA meetings. With Pinchas out of hiding, it set a bad example for the others.
“I know what I’m doing,” said Pinchas.
Pinchas, in fact, did not know what he was doing, but the satisfaction he got in seeing the faces of prisoners (who were always rather shocked at being screamed at), realize their executioner was the same man who tended their garden, never ceased to amuse him.