By Lady Euphoria Deathwatch
Sadie-Ann begged for a vote to have the guillotine torn down instead of finding a new tour guide, but in the end little old Miss Marston the retired librarian took the job. It was a joke around town, still she didn’t seem to mind. Some of the people in town took the time to come and see the show as she slowly climbed the steps and pulled the rope back with all her strength and throwing her slight weight behind her small strength she was able to pull the rope hard enough to move the latch. She grinned while breathing hard after each pull, but she had to get one of the guys working at the ice cream parlor across the street to reset it for her each hour. The joke was that the blade of the guillotine weighed more then she did.
After some months of this, Randy, one of the guys from the ice cream parlor, was talked into taking over the job, but that didn’t last either. He was doing the weekly cleaning of the guillotine and the blade came down by itself and cut off his arm. The latch was checked for wear and fit with a safety. Randy’s arm was able to be reattached resulting in good movement. The towns insurance premium when through the roof and Sadie-Ann was on the war path against the guillotine again. But the blood stains were cleaned off and the job was posted on the internet and Mr. Higgins, a historian from Tacoma, came to Fairview to do the job.
All this time, years in fact, Sadie-Ann Miller never once set a foot on the lot with the guillotine. She wouldn’t even walk passed it. She went all the way around the block to get to the ice cream parlor for her weekly order of ice cream for her guests. Some nights she just knew she could hear the guillotine slide in it’s track to the bottom with a heavy thud, but she never told a anyone what she heard, not even her husband.
What bothered Sadie-Ann Corbin-Miller was the secret she kept so closely. Her family name had once been Patmore. The family lineage went from Sadie-Ann, to her father Ernest Corbin, her grandmother Ann Patmore-Corbin, and her great grandmother Sadie Patmore.
It was only by chance that Sadie-Ann’s husband, Barry Miller, wanted to move to Fairview to start the Bed and Breakfast. Years later she found out that the empty lot next to the Bed and Breakfast was the exact spot where the guillotine had once stood and was standing once again.
Sadie-Ann had never told her husband Barry the story of how her great-grandmother Sadie Patmore, was actually the last executioner to use the guillotine. Her grandmother had to execute her own beloved brother for murdering a man. Driven to insanity, this led to Sadie-Ann’s great grandmother’s incarceration in an insane asylum, where she was later raped. Sadie died giving birth to her daughter Ann in the asylum.
Disgraced because their son was a murderer, the Patmore family had moved from the town and the guillotine was left to rust and crumble. What happened so long ago in Fairview was forgotten by all alive but Sadie-Ann herself. She was told the story only when she repeatedly asked her father how she got the name of Sadie-Ann and he told her the sordid tale. Sadie-Ann Miller was determined that the secret would die with her.
Sadie-Ann remembered that all the Patmore’s were left-handed, just like she was. That and her name from her long dead relatives were the only clues left to her lineage and she didn’t want to have to change the her name and the name of the Bed and Breakfast after years of building a clientele.
Mr. Higgins was allowed to go through the old records stored in the basement of the Public Library. Sadie-Ann was concerned that he might find something she hadn’t, but she felt that there was probably wasn’t anything left after she had gone through all of those same records years ago when the guillotine was first put back up. Sadie-Ann burned anything she could find that tied her to the guillotine. But Mr. Higgins was good at his job. He found enough to make the connection and after a trip to Sadie-Ann’s town of birth, he asked her to meet him at the Guillotine the next week on Friday night, after business hours to talk about her family tree.
Sadie-Ann was so upset she couldn’t eat for days. She hadn’t been sleeping well either. She would pace back and fourth on the widows walk at the top of her Victorian Bed and Breakfast for hours looking at the small building down below.
Barry tried to get her to go to the doctor, but she would just point to the guillotine building and say, “The doctor doesn’t have a little white pill for that now does he?” He stopped booking rooms for the next month and started making plans for a vacation far away.
Sadie-Ann was making herself sick with worry by the time Friday morning came around. The doctor had come to her house and given her something to help her sleep and settle her stomach. She woke in the late afternoon to find a note from Barry telling her that he was out picking up a surprise for her.
Dressed in the first thing she could find she didn‘t even pull a comb through her graying hair. Looking a bit like a wild old crone Sadie-Ann walked over to the Guillotine for the very first time in her life as the sun went down. She told herself that she was a reasonable person and that most people were quite reasonable also. That Mr. Higgins would see just how much the information would hurt her business and she would pay him whatever it took to bury and forget about the information he had found.
The interview didn’t start off very well. Sadie-Ann couldn’t keep her eyes off of the guillotine and hardly even heard what it was that Mr. Higgins had to say to her. She was shaking violently by the time she demanded he keep his mouth closed or else.
She was uncontrollable when Mr. Higgins told Sadie-Ann he wouldn’t keep his information quite. Something inside her just snapped and she had the power of three men. After knocking the man out with one punch to the face, she wrestled the unconscious Mr. Higgins up the steps and into the guillotine. All the while the cameras were broadcasting everything. But just as Sadie-Ann was about pull the latch rope the ghost appeared and the camera caught a flair of white and when the picture returned to focus, Mr. Higgins had been pulled out from under the blade and Sadie’s body was collapsing against the side of the guillotine.
Old yellowed papers with the edges singed and burned were falling from the ceiling slowly like snow which obscured the view from the cameras for a second here and there. They fluttered down from the ceiling then landed on the floor and both bodies as the papers scattered themselves around the room.
As the police got there Mr. Higgins was just coming to consciousness and Sadie-Ann’s body with the pull rope still in her left hand was slumped against the side of the guillotine‘s uprights, but her head was now in the guillotine’s basket.
From that day on the door of the guillotine building was never found unlocked again, but the town now had a new story to go with the guillotine. The one where Sadie-Ann Patmore/Miller was driven crazy by the ghost of her great-grandmother and when Sadie-Ann tried to keep the story from coming out about her relative being the last executioner and the enraged ghost killed her.
The video is there for viewing along with the stolen papers Sadie-Ann had once burned. The burnt edged documents confirmed the facts of the story. You can go to Fairview and see the guillotine for yourself and see that the blood stain from her severed head still there in the basket, if you want to take a peek inside of it. They’ve never been able to get the stains out.