[WP] You are an executioner. In response to overflowing prison populations, the emperor has decided to kill all prisoners. Your next victim is a five-year old girl.

There are two categories of folks in my line of work: those with families and those without. In general, the ones in the former category either quit or fall into the latter. Their wives leave them, their children refuse to bear the fruit of their sins. Some sick fucks like the job so much it's all they do, and their families fall by the wayside. But the ones who are the best at their jobs? Let's just say they get some practice at home one night before coming into work the next morning. The Emperor doesn't give one fuck; as long as it takes you one swing to behead a prisoner, he has a place for you in the Corps. If time and space are money, we have to be ruthlessly efficient.

Our day begins at sunrise, when the lists are handed out. We work in pairs, winding our way down the rows of cells in our assigned dungeon, reaping those who are out of time. Petty thieves get a day at most; if they're lucky, we kill 'em before sunset they day they're hauled in. Serial killers get to stick around for a while. We find we have a lot in common; the only difference is we get paid not to be creative. That's why they don't sign up with us, even though they'd get a pardon if they did. They love the thrill of artistically placing limbs around the corpse or drinking the blood or mocking the family. Plus, behind the bars they get an endless supply of new victims, and that tends to lessen our load a bit. All the imperial pennypinchers had to hear was "More space for less money!" and they were all in.

Number thirty-one for today is a little girl. She's five, according to the ledger. She was brought in three days ago for stealing a piece of bread. I grab her, there's no resistance; the things she's seen in here have left her eyes blank, her face gaunt, her mind broken. She weighs almost nothing.

I toss her to the ground, which is already wet with today's cull. Keeping one boot on her legs to brace, I take my swing. I curse; her matted hair got caught in my mail, and now I'll have to spend a few extra minutes cleaning.

Whistling, I brush the head and body into the gutter so the rats can get rid of it. Time for number thirty-one.

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