The Last Thought

WP Prompt: What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?

Artist Unknown

When you are writing a story you can imagine what would happen if someone was decapitated by execution or in an accident or by murder or you can do what I do and dig around for medical info and accounts ( which I found were considered dubious at best ) by eyewitnesses.

I was prepared for the horrific details ( I’ve seen human remains in this state ) but what I was not prepared for was the sadness that  came across in some of the accounts – this one for example:

From an article by Cecil Adams, June 11th, 1998

(Then) I received a note from a U.S. Army veteran who had been stationed in Korea. In June 1989 the taxi he and a friend were riding in collided with a truck. My correspondent was pinned in the wreckage. The friend was decapitated. Here’s what happened:

My friend’s head came to rest face up, and (from my angle) upside-down. As I watched, his mouth opened and closed no less than two times. The facial expressions he displayed were first of shock or confusion, followed by terror or grief. I cannot exaggerate and say that he was looking all around, but he did display ocular movement in that his eyes moved from me, to his body, and back to me. He had direct eye contact with me when his eyes took on a hazy, absent expression … and he was dead.

Artist Unknown

The terror, the sadness  the realization that you are no more- I’m not sure to call that the seeds of a ‘horror’ story, but it would be a dark story all the same.



4 thoughts on “The Last Thought

  1. Anita, for many years I studied a Japanese style of swordsmanship. You may be aware that there were traditions for ending a Samurai’s life by sword. While most westerners are familiar with the three abdominal cuts they are not often aware that after the cuts were made the end was frequently sped on it’s way by a second using a Katana ( long sword) to remove the head. This was not just a chop job. there were prescribed methods to do this in a respectful manner. One of the things taught was how to precisely stop the blade so the head was removed, but preferably did not just roll around ( giving the person committing sepuko a last view of the world rolling around). It was preferable to leave the head on a flab of skin sort fell onto the body. How do I know all this? while not expected to act as seconds we were expected to learn the kata involved as part of the tradition we were studying – some of which went back to the 15th century.

    • This should be a post Lou! What a great story and info. I can see the concern with carrying out the beheading in a respectful manner. Letting the head roll around would most definetly offend the spirits and whoa be to you if that happens.

      • The kata is not supposed to be “executed”, I’m not sure performed would be appropriate, for the public. It’s actually a very solemn affair which must be done with the utmost respect, and accuracy.

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