Ida chirped bitterly as the two henchmen dragged the pallid body of Jono through the city streets. Her wings flapped vigorously; propelling her small, rotund body sharply through the air as she zipped around the agitated men. A red tornado, she swirled around the two abductors, aiming for eyes with a beak as sharp as it is loud. The men proceeded, using one hand each in attempts to swat away the distraught creature. They were approaching the house of their lord. The man who they brought with them made no sound and was as heavy as a corpse. He made no movements and would otherwise have been thought dead save for the stream of tears that ran down his face. Citizens did not rush out to see the man, as they had before during prosperous times when he would parade through the diagrams of roads in victorious celebration. The people instead watched curiously through creeks of doors and from their windows. Children, wives, husbands, drunkards, widows, merchants and traders all jostled for the tiniest of spaces to peek through, with eyes like torchlights. Ida dropped to the ground, unable to walk or hop but puffing her feathers up and shrieking at her enemies as their images grew distant into the night.
On the verge of collapse, Rahas dared not pray to his god, knowing that it had abandoned him a long time ago. With his mind and body weary, he fell on his hands and knees, crawling towards the old town that stood before him. It was only a few hours prior that he had managed to pull himself out of the ground where he had been buried, the heavy dirt from the grave clinging to his body like past memories. As he came closer to the town, he thought he saw a long-haired boy with horns running towards him but his vision was blurry and he figured that the thirst and hunger had made him too delirious, his senses could no longer be trusted. He felt a presence towering over him, not like the one he felt when he first came alive but similar, strong, too strong as he slipped back into the darkness, the sounds of running footsteps growing distant.
Alugi-56 year old man, recently sentenced to death by injection for war crimes
Anani-His daughter, 22 years old
Dacia-Alugi’s deceased wife
Scene 1: Small Diner on a bone-chilling winter day
ALUGI is sitting at a table alone rubbing his hands together
You’re as pale as death. Did you not bring your coat?
The news says this is the worst winter of our lifetime, you have to be careful or you’ll freeze over.
Alugi [glancing down, embarrassed]
Forgive me, I haven’t been to these parts in a very long time.
I must thank you for coming. When I was informed that you were here, I determined that I must meet you.
All I’ve ever heard of you were the stories from my mother and these days, the stories from the newspapers.
I would like to know for myself, if you could, I would like for you to tell me everything.
[a waitress brings a cup of tea and sets it in front of Alugi, he smiles sheepishly at her]
I enlisted in the army on my 18th birthday, I thought I should finally do something that would make a change. My life up to that point had been carousel of selfish decisions and endless regrets.
My mother begged for me not to go, she wanted all of her children to be as close to her as possible. I imagine that where she is these days, she has my siblings at arm’s length. My father on the other hand thought that it was one of the few decisions that I had ever made. On the day that I was to deploy, he told me that he had never been more proud.
Before this you had never…
Alugi [Raising his head in surprise]
Oh no, I had been in trouble for a lot of things, but I never hurt anyone.
I figured that I would eventually have to kill being in the army but I did everything in my power to prolong it as long as possible. I was a chef, I became an audio engineer, translator, anything to help without having to hurt anyone.
I wasn’t a coward, but I knew these people were sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. I imagined my own parents and my heart would grow too heavy.
The first time, why did you do it?
Alugi [meeting Anani’s eyes]
I was ordered to.
Who ordered you?
It was the Captain, he said that we needed information
Why did he choose you?
I was told that I had to do was rough the man up till he revealed the location of his fellow soldiers.
I was tired of running, I wanted to feel useful.
I wanted to help
One of the biggest problems with the justice system in general is the lack of empathy within it. The written law is often enforced strictly regardless of the circumstances surrounding a case, in a world where we believe that you get what you deserve –unless of course you happen to be incredibly…
F. Scott Fitzgerald (via petrichour)
The only advice one truly needs
There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now.