I’m swimming in a sea of black. They’re everywhere, surrounding me. Their swords drawn and their eyes locked onto me. I tell myself that I can take them, but a betting man would not stand beside me.
I’m perfectly still. My eyes dart back and forth, they hope to spot the last mistake my enemy will ever make. Yes, I am afraid, but I will not back down. I have a purpose and I am right.
I will not be intimidated by the sheer volume of cowards. I will stand alone, but I will stand.
Even though they’ve gathered en masse, afraid to face me and stand on their own merits, and they’ve shrouded themselves to gain the strength of anonymity, I know these devils well.
I have shared meals with them, I have told them my dreams, I have trusted them, and they’ve used me against myself.
It doesn’t matter. These cowards will not best me. The first of them to move will be the first of them to feel my revenge. Mercy is no longer an option.
Mercy, the friend of my friends. These devils, with their double standards and their perceived infallibility, they’ve signed away their rights to mercy when they decided to cast judgement on this soul.
“Fight me, cowards!” I taunt. “Drop your gavel on my impurities.”
The hot breeze caresses me, like the tender touch of a former lover trying to regain my affections. I will not be purchased. I will not be coerced. I will not be manipulated by these unholy beasts.
“Who among you is without sin? Cast thee your stone.”
What lot this, this group of misguided angels. Blinded to their own failings, clinging to the hopes and dreams of the long-forgotten.
“You are not God, and God would not have you back. You have failed him, and he will strike you down.”
The ocean starts to wave. Some of these devils are losing their resolve. Perhaps my mention of their master brings a chill to the spine.
“He will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger!”
Those words should bear weight. What’s this? Their eyes are breaking. Some of them look away, they size each other up. Not so stern in your convictions, I see.
I must not get overzealous. I am no god, and he himself might take offense to my repurposed verbiage.
Perhaps if I draw my sword, that will encourage the impatient in the lot.
Sword raised. “Come, children, let us feel for the last time.”
My blade reflect the bright sun onto those evil eyes. Those angry eyes. Those terrified eyes. It has become easier to spot the sole orchestrator of this cleansing ritual.
I now know who my enemy is. He knows that I know. They know, and it is as if we are now alone.
My blade, as if a divining rod, pulls me towards him. The blackness shifts, and like a swarm of filthy flies they clear my path to the steaming pile of rotting flesh who has chosen to defile my honor.
Every snake has a head, and I’ve got just the thing for that.
“Are you king?” I ask. “Are you judge?” He looks around. He knows he’s losing them, he must choose his words carefully. “You, demon, are you king, judge, or god?”
I can sense his frustration. It isn’t so easy to face your enemy once you’ve lost your shield. His eyes are familiar. We were close once.
“Brother, you cannot strike me down. You are weak. You’ve misplaced your authority. You’ve mislead your flock, hoping they would carry out your sentence. They will not die for you. They will not defy God for you. They are not yours to command. These heavenly creatures which have lost their way. They trusted you to guide them and you took advantage of their servitude.”
He’s sweating. This warm sun affords me an advantage. I’m not the one cloaked in black. I’m not the one hiding, like a child.
“Brother, remove your shroud and feel refreshed. Show yourself.”
The blackness has thinned. It seems I have dissuaded the word-strong. Left behind are few, most likely it is curiosity which keeps them here. I do not fear them.
“Enough, you crazy fool! You WILL die today, this I can promise you.”
“Brother, your promises are as thin as your blade. You will not strike me down, for my blade will strike with more than just my strength. My blade will be driven through your wretched vestige by the powers that keep you up at night. I strike with honor, unlike a snake such as yourself.”
Yes, things are getting interesting. I can see his rage.
“Brother, go. You have no power here. You are ruler of none. Let us end this and be brothers yet again.”
Curiosity must have proved unfulfilling for the onlookers, it was now just he and I.
“You are a monster. An arrogant creature. You are self-indulged and you cannot see the world as it really is. You are swimming in fiction, and when you die, your story will have it’s end.”
He’s leaving. I did not think he would give so easily. To make such claims, only to surrender. How peculiar.
This is quite unexpected. I am suddenly feeling very alone.
I hear a sound. A click, followed by whirring. My arms have gone cold. My fingers are numb. I taste.. metal. I want to wet my lips, but my mouth has gone dry. What curse is this?
What devil has me? I am of God! Why?! I cannot see! God, save me! What have I done.. to..
“Make a note. Prisoner number 01031, sentenced to death by the Honorable Judge William Reinhold, has been successfully administered a lethal injection.
Time of Death, 5:35pm.”