30 Days of Discworld
Day 23 - A scene you think is underappreciated
There’d been that man down in Spackle, the one that’d killed those little kids. The people'd sent for her and she’d looked at him and seen the guilt writhing in his head like a red worm, and then she’d taken them to his farm and showed them where to dig, and he’d thrown himself down and asked her for mercy, because he said he’d been drunk and it’d all been done in alcohol.
Her words came back to her. She’d said, in sobriety: end it in hemp.
And they’d dragged him off and hanged him in a hempen rope and she’d gone to watch because she owed him that much, and he’d cursed, which was unfair because hanging is a clean death, or at least cleaner than the one he’d have got if the villagers had dared defy her, and she’d seen the shadow of Death come for him, and then behind Death came the smaller, brighter figures, and then-
In the darkness, the rocking chair creaked as it thundered back and forth.
The villagers had said justice had been done, and she’d lost patience and told them to go home, then, and pray to whatever gods they believed in that it was never done to them. The smug mask of virtue triumphant could be almost as horrible as the face of wickedness revealed.
She shuddered at a memory. Almost as horrible, but not quite.
The odd thing was, quite a lot of villagers had turned up to his funeral, and there had been mutterings from one or two people on the lines of, yes, well, but overall he wasn’t such a bad chap … and anyway, maybe she made him say it. And she’d got the dark looks.
- Carpe Jugulum
Do you guys remember that time Granny Weatherwax straight up had a dude hanged, because I do.
This is a fucking powerful scene because it reiterates a lot of what witching IS.
Because witching is a double-edged sword. Witching is being the person people turn to when hard decisions need to be made, and witching is making those decisions for people, and witching is deciding whether to take or spare a life, and witching is deciding all on your own what is just, and witching is seeing those decisions through, and witching is standing by even when people proceed to blame you for the decision they asked you to make for them.
There is power; but there is no glory. You are not rewarded for this.
Witching is choices, and witching is deeply unforgiving, and witching will cut you right down to the bone and then tell you to handle it, and THAT is why it’s important that it isn’t just taught to every young lass who owns a pair of lacy black gloves with the fingers cut out.