Note: Original version written by Mohd Afiq Mat Razai. Read his version before mine.
I shall be killed. I shall be killed.
Why am I to be killed you ask? It’s because I am different from everyone else. I chose to believe in a world that doesn’t believe. I chose faith over logic and reasoning.
As I am pulled along the cobbled streets by a caravan, I could feel time slow down. I could see the masses, angry and violent. I could see a tomato, an egg….and even a brick. The first two hit me in the head, but it was okay. The third one missed by an inch, but I could feel the warm blood oozing from my already dirty face. I am protected with nothing but the clothes on my back. A beautiful child came, about 7 or 8. He came and kicked me in the shin. I fell. He screamed,”Let’s see if Hell will receive you!”
I looked up and smiled at him. He didn’t understand.
As I walked past, I could hear the words flowing from the mouths of the many.
“Burn him and send him back to his Maker!”
All I could do was bear the suffering. I said my prayers as I walked past them, feeling the sting of a thousand small stones ricocheting off my body. They are told not to kill me. Not yet anyway.
The caravan stops in the middle of the piazza. Behind the piazza, you could make out a giant black obelisk. It glows blue during the night. I guess I’ll never be able to see that spectacle. A pity.
My chains are cast aside and I am thrown onto a grand stage like a mannequin. I think I am a mannequin. As I face the crowd, I am ill-prepared for my final show. Here, I will perform. An elegy. Of my own death.
My very own master of ceremonies prepares for my grand introduction. As I lay lifeless staring emptily into the crowd, my master of ceremonies begins the introduction:
Salutations, people of Technologica. We are gathered here today, to witness the end of a defector. If he is your husband, your brother, your friend, your son, your nephew, your grandson….I must implore you. Forget that he is all of the above!! From this very moment, forget all that is him! He is no longer worthy of your love! He will not be remembered, and his name is not worth the waste of breath it entails!
“Always one with the splendid tongue, the Judge,” I thought to myself.
In accordance to the reports that have been placed in our hands, the sin that contributes to the end of life of this defector is the heaviest of sins. The owning of a holy book!
Here, he holds up the book. The masses immediately began booing.
Settle down, ladies and gents! The defector’s house in District 10 was visited by the Department, as per mandatory monthly peacekeeping checks at 1:30 in the evening, on the thirtieth of the fifth month in the year two thousand and fifty-seven. He was caught trying to hide this atrocity, and thus he is here standing before you.
Technologicans! Be happy that this book will now be destroyed in front of your eyes!
A small fire is lit in a barrel and he throws the book in it. It creates the whitest of smokes as the People cheered on.
But what is God, to those of you who are curious? It is nothing! It is an ancient belief, an inhibitor of the progress and modernity! We are the Gods. Look at us! Look around us! This is what we have achieved as the human race! Through hard work! Through our own ingenuity!
The People cheered on as he paused, dying down after he raised his left hand.
As for the defector….he will share the same fate as his beloved book! He shall be disposed, for he is unworthy of receiving our peaceful existence!
The People cheered in a great uproar as the fire is lit below me. I am not the People. I am disposable. I am an UnPerson, as they always call to those who believe.
As the flames slowly raged on, it reminds me of the snake, Ouroboros. The snake that eats its own tail. With the end comes the beginning. My end will become a new beginning. The end begins with the chant, Burn him!
As the tongues of the flames manifest into a full-fledged monster, I looked up at the sky. The black obelisk begun to glow its blue shade. I smiled.
In that hell of mine, I could see my heaven approaching.
Well, another short story penned down in just under an hour. Thanks to Mohd. Afiq for inspiring this piece with the initial version of Heresy. And thanks to all the peeps who take some time to sip some of my creative juice.
In both stories, it highlights an alternate universe. What if Logic and Reasoning became the norm of society? Atheism rules the world, while those who believe are executed in a manner similar to those of the Middle Ages and their witch-burnings? Needless to say, elements of modernism mixed with a bit of the old medieval values(and if you read between the lines, perhaps a bit of Steampunk?)
I tried to instil some emotions in this piece. So that(hopefully), I can instil tolerance towards those who don’t believe. The fools, the heretics, and what-have-you.
Here’s to the world, in the hopes that it will be more tolerant.
Between reviewing good food and gaming, Danial takes up the pen in an attempt to express his pent-up ideas.