Today was the parade.
I had to lie even more.
I even had to kill.
The parade was in the heat of the afternoon, to me it only showed how much the people had been drained into the Union, and my book didn’t help.
They were willing to celebrate someone who had they had never heard of before two days ago, and was willing to get off work, lose pay, to see me.
I see them all as the pitiful things that are sometimes born in hospitals. They feed them and keep them warm. But they don’t hook them up to the machine; they just let fate decide whether they live. For there are more who can take their place.
Union flags lined the streets of my town.
Confetti flew over the faces of bystanders.
I waved after a glare from the colonel standing next to me.
We were standing on a bright blue float with a band behind us playing the tune of the union. An upbeat tune made for dancing. The Colonel was wearing his normal army uniform, all the medals shining in the sunlight.
They had dressed me up in a blue suit, with a white plaid shirt underneath.
They were throwing samples of my book into the crowd.
Spreading the lies even more.
The parade came to the town square and stopped. A microphone was handed to me and the people cheered. I saw Sammy flirting with an older man in the crowd; she glanced at me and immediately stopped. I didn’t care too much though, it was all a bit sudden anyway. The cheering died down and I tried not to lie, so I shimmied out of the truth.
“I find words have a personality. Each word is different, and you must pick them like you pick your friends, with care and dignity. Each word you choose reflects you, just like your friends. Look around toward your friends, the people around you. They reflect that you are loyal and strong. Loyal toward the Union. The Union I find is like a ball of cheese, it supplements the cracker that it lies on. But the cracker would be tasteless without it.”
The Colonel shouted out to the crowd.
“Pray for the Union, Pray for Him!”
As the people cheered in praise a gunshot went off.
It was silent as I looked toward the Colonel.
He had been shot through the head.
A fist was raised and a voice pierced the sound,
“For the Rebels!”
A thin man stepped from the crowd holding a revolver.
He had a thick beard and piercing eyes that such an intelligent person would have.
He was young, younger than the ones from the video.
He was only a young man like myself.
He raised his revolver just as the guards jumped on him.
The man took a wild shot.
I had been hit, luckily it wasn’t as lethal as the shot that hit the Colonel.
But the pain was immense.
It was strange how even though I had only been grazed on the shoulder, it felt like death had finally held me in its cold bony arms and sang me a final lullaby.
The rebel who had taken the shot was restrained and placed on his knees in front of me.
What did they want me to do with him? Why place him in front of me?
The chief captain of the police force handed me the rebels revolver.
I looked at him confused,
That’s what they wanted me to do.
With all the lying I had done over the two years I was going to have to believe the lies myself.
The rebel looked at me and smiled,
“You’re all the same, wasting your lives away for a man you don’t even now. I hope you have nightmares. I curse you to walk in blisters and never past this spot without thinking about this moment. I want you to suffer like you made us suffer.”
The chief got annoyed at my hesitation and shouted again.
His words had hurt me, I wish I could’ve told him the truth, who I really am inside. But then I would only join him.
But I couldn’t kill him.
As I thought that it was almost as if I could feel the eyes of the whole crowd on my finger.
Waiting for the bang.
I could see the sneer of the now dead Colonel in my mind.
He had left an impression on me; he was to be my nightmares.
I pulled the trigger as the rebel opened his mouth to laugh.
The silence that followed was stopped by applause.
Applause I didn’t deserve.
It’s getting harder to live with myself. They gave me the rebel’s revolver as a token. It lies by my bedside just in case the night mares never stop.
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