medieval stocks - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Head and hands poke through holes in the damp wooden board, twisting wrists against the rough edges of the wood, trying to squeeze them through, smell of mildew in the wood, neck aching from holding head up, knees scrape on bare planks of the platform, baying crowd gathering, leering, jeering, a montage of angry twisted faces, laughing, sneering, jibes, taunts. Scared, tears stream down dirt encrusted face, blisters on wrists, sore neck. Crowd hysteria rises, pelting begins, sting of rotten fruit, dull thud of a potato hit, searing pain, bloody nose. Blood mixes with snot and tears, salty mixture runs into quivering slack mouth. Air vibrates with menace, heady mixture of noise and stench. Savage, brutal, shocking, traumatic, intense. Tremble, shudder, shake, sweat.
The stocks were the most prominent thing in the village square. I've travelled to sell my goods in other places and they have monuments of heroes, a beautiful tree or a meeting place with benches and tables. The stocks are wooden and there are various heights and sized holes. The smallest is for children between five and ten, the second for the older ones from 10 -14, the last and biggest is for adults unless you're skinny, which most of us are on account that we're starving. The enforcers lock their prisoners in until someone else transgresses and needs their spot. So there's always some poor sod in there. If no-one gets caught breaking the rules for a bit then someone's literally dying of dehydration in the square. When that happens Mo announces it in the tavern and reluctantly we draw straws for who will get caught being a miscreant and take a spell on display.