Note:    I do not own Berserk, nor the rights to it.  Damn!

A/N:     This story is going to contain violence, death, rape—you know, the typical Berserk stuff.  It's going to be my interpretation of what happens to Gatts' mother before she gets hung.

The Hanging Tree: The Soil Chapter 1 of 5

            The cruel whisper of the wind blew steadily around her, blowing brown shoulder-length hair in her face.  Her eyes were red and dry after crying for the last half-hour, but her heart had been crying for much longer.  Her red cloak clung to her body as her only source of comfort from the biting wind.  A twinge of pain from her stomach almost threw her off her feet as she quickly grabbed her protruding belly.  She could try and complain to the men in front of her, but they only cared about ridding the world of sin: a sin she never committed.  After all, to them she and her companions were the cause of all the pain and suffering in Midland; they were the scapegoats.  It didn't matter how much innocent blood was spilled, as long as they could sleep with a clear conscious knowing they helped rid the land of a few nuisances.  But nothing could stop the hunger, pain, and bloodshed that have been ravaging Midland for hundreds of years: not even their deaths.

            She quietly watched as the men started to tie nooses along the branches of the great oak tree they were all standing under.  So this is where I'm going to die.  Her other companions were all shaking in fear and begging for mercy at the hands of the men before them.  Poor Emiya was the first to be hung as they lifted her tiny body off the ground and quickly tied the rope to a hook embedded in the tree and watched as her body convulsed.  The others couldn't bear to watch their young friend die, but the men could.  They all watched with a keen interest as her body slowly stopped shaking and hung lifelessly from the noose, ending all the pain and suffering the poor child had endured in her nine-years of existence.  Poor Emiya, she did not deserve to die.   

            One of the men pushed her forward, closer to her eventual fate.  She was going to be the last of the five who were captured to meet their fate.  Hearing the scream of another girl, she knew that they had Felicia.  She didn't want to watch anymore of her friends die.  Her eyes dropped to the ground and silently watched her foot appear out of the line of her bulging stomach.  It was like watching the sunrise over the horizon as if the world were too pregnant to see it's own feet.  She was certain and at least one of the men knew that she was with child, but there is a thin line between ignorance and ignoring.  One was always substituted for the other when a person wanted to find an excuse for not aiding those in need.  She had learned that lesson long ago.

            She felt someone place a noose over her neck, getting her ready for her death.  The woman didn't really care at this point, but she could hardly be called much of a woman.  She was still very young, too young, but it was evident that she would never live to see tomorrow.  Any minute now . . . any minute.  Ever since that day I've been living my life by each minute.  How long ago was it?  Ah, yes . . . a little over eight months ago . . . how could I ever forget the day I should have died.


End of The Soil

A/N:     Yes, death!  Sorry for those folks who read my first fic and were expecting another romance.  I needed to write something completely different to flex my writing skills.  I'll try to get the other chapters out as soon as I can, but I sometimes get lazy.