He fell to the floor gracelessly. It was surprisingly sloppy. No drama or beauty. He simply crumpled like he was a marionette and the puppeteer had let go of the handle.
“You’ve done well today.” Aiden saluted me and knelt down to clean up the mess.
The circle around me murmured approval.
I took a knee and bowed my head. The circle broke. Some joined Aiden, while others attended me.
“I envy your courage.” one said.
“May I handle your coverings? They have become soiled.” another said.
“Don’t remove the honor so quickly.” one more snapped.
“This must be documented.” they said more warmly.
“Please.” I answered.
They stood around me in the stance of remark, framing the fresh blood on my coverings.
Blood always seemed to leave the slightest trace on our coverings. Somehow, The Science had yet to give us garments that would stay clean of it.
I lifted my eyes slightly, trying not to move my head as the traitor was dealt with. The coverings were removed to be given to someone more worthy. How disappointing. I had hoped we would slay many tyrants together.
“Down.” A voice commanded.
How stupid of me. I let my head drift up to cut the strain on my eyes as I watched them take away my-
“NO!” I screamed to stop myself.
The others started.
“Together!” the voice snapped.
“I am weak!” I stooped and raised my hands. “I almost let myself feel remorse for the ward I had been assigned.”
The circle drew nearer.
“I said “no” to myself. To my weakness. I have slayed and I will slay again, if I have to.”
“If?” The one above me said.
“NO! WHEN! If I could slay my own weakness, I would. Curse my weakness! Do what you must!”
I tore my coverings away and left my throat and chest open. I was ready to die. What more could they want from me? I had given them my own flesh. I had to save his sister. I loved my son so dearly, but I feared what he might become. The choice was clear, I had to save my daughter, my little girl. I knew that. I knew that I could ensure her safety by marking her with tragedy.
As an orphan and survivor of her own brother’s attack, her story would draw much attention. I would be seen as the worst type of guardian. And my precious girl would be saved from the worst demands of this world. She would never have to slay. She would be safe in a sanctuary. She would forget me, they would see to that. She never really knew me, but I couldn’t find a way to escape. She never would have known me. At least now she would be safe.
“Can you make amends?”
“Ask the wisest of us.” I pointed to my daughter.
As much as I had always wanted to find refuge somewhere else, I knew that my children were a liability. I had to raise them to be staunch supporters of the Movement. I had always worried that it would be difficult to help them find themselves if we ever found any meaningful measure of freedom.
She thought for a few moment and said “This guardian is too weak. Did slaying the deplorable infect the mind with its toxic blood?”
It had worked. She would not have to suffer as I had.
I had made my choice.
“Goodbye princess” I whispered.
The large woman standing above me scowled at my words. Was she confused?
I smiled for a moment.
Her face twisted in rage and she struck true.
I was happy. My daughter would be safe and I would be with my son again.
I always chose the lesser evil.
“You’ve done well today.” Aiden saluted her and knelt down to clean up the mess.
The circle around her murmured approval.
She took a knee and bowed her head. The circle broke. Some joined Aiden, while others attended her.
669 Words. Dystopian Flash Fiction.
Someone said the phrase “the lesser of two evils” to me the other day and I thought “you just get concentrated evil if you keep choosing the lesser of two evils.”
That got me thinking about that ethic or method of approaching the world and I wondered how radical and dismal things could become if mass quantities of people just tolerated evil out of self preservation for years and years.
What do you think?
Did you like it?