Accused

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short story of how judgment could be given in a possible Dystopian future.

This is my first short story so any feedback is appreciated. Thank you.

~~Accused

By: J Woods

 

I


Accused

 

“I remember a time when people were judged by a jury of their peers and an appointee of the state.  When liars would defend the guilty for fiduciary gain.  I remember Murderers, Rapists, Thieves, Liars and walking amongst good moral people.  I still remember this time.”

So the Elder spoke amidst the rubble that reminded Angelina of a different time.  Some people sill whispered about these times cautiously; often referring to it as the “De-evolution of Humanity Period”.  She could feel the cool breeze of the night on her cheeks, she forced her eyes into a focus swallowed the fear that rose like bile into every fabric of her being, filling her body with adrenaline. 

She forced herself to speak.  “Elder of my people.  I stand here before you, my people and my accuser as is our tradition.  I stand here to confess my sin and avoid conflict and destruction.” She had rehearsed this over and over in her head for days knowing that one wrong word; any sign of weakness or discontent with the proceedings would be viewed simply as disrespect to her culture.

 

II
Accuser

 

Austin stood directly across from Angelina trying to take in the environment.  Hundreds of people stood with torches lit watching the spectacle all quiet as the Elders stood in front of their seats as was their place; the meeting place as it was called was very old in comparison to his people’s homes; it was made of stone and smooth material that the Elder’s called “Plastic” very different, very unnatural in comparison to his Woodland home where everything was made from the material that Goddess Earth provided for them.  Homes made from fallen trees and earthen mortar.  The meeting place was cold in contrast, lifeless, ominous standing in reminder of a time when his people were not in tune with the universe.

 Austin spoke “Elder of my people, I stand here before you, my people and my accused as is..our…Tra-“ Austin broke off mid-sentence full knowing the repercussion of what he’s grown to know as the “Ritual of the Dragon”.If he the accused was found with guilt and un-righteous in his grief he would then have to face his fate.  To be cast out away from his people. His Brothers and Sisters all as all of the people carry the Title, to ever remind them of their past and the horrors humanity can unleash upon themselves.

“Come on boy, finish.” Commanded the Elder.

“As is our tradition.” He spoke only able to look at the ground, staring at the grass littered with remnants of the same false stone that made up this place.

 

III
Accuser

 

“Accuser, bare your pain to us” the Elders spoke in unison.

Austin began “Elders, I stand to face the accused Angelina of the Wood.  Angelina hurt my heart and my soul and has sinned against me, her brethren of our people and the one she professed to love.  She is accused of the following.  Lying, Sins of Deception Promises broken and Pain of the heart”
He slowly lifts his hand index finger outstretched “I stand here before you all, as the accuser and I swear this to be true”.

 


IV

Accused

 

Angelina stared carefully at Austin and responded simply “Elders, I stand guilty before you and Austin for my sins against him and myself”.

“Angelina” a shocked voice came from the crowd; Angelina looked back seeing her Mother’s shame.

“Angelina, you must now explain your actions to your people, you can’t simply plead guilty” a confused Elder states.

“I am guilty of love, I am guilty of fear, I am guilty of lies, and I am guilty of not keeping my word.  I AM GUILTY OF SAVING AUSTIN FROM MY OWN SIN!” she replied with disdain and anger.

“Can’t you all see?!?” she turned to face the crowd, circling with her arms uplifted “I AM GUILTY!  I AM GUILTY OF LOVING A MAN I HAD NO BUSINESS LOVING, AS I AM BETROTHED TO ANOTHER!  I AM GUILTY OF NOT WANTING TO LOSE AUSTIN.  I AM GUILTY OF ALL THESE THINGS AND MORE!”

“Do what you will; I accept my Penance, because simply I am guilty”.  She spoke.

 

V
Accuser

 

“Angelina, I myself am guilty.”  He looked at the Elders “I am guilty of not understanding.  Not showing Empathy.  Not showing.  Sympathy.  Not forgiving her actions.”  Austin responded in tears.

Austin choked out one final sentence “I am guilty.  I am guilty of selfish feelings.”

Lowering his eyes to Angelina, he simply states.  “I love you; I’m sorry for judging you.  I’m sorry for being your accuser.”

 

VI
Judgement

 

Hesitantly an Elder raises, his hands motioning for the crowd to remain their composure.

She spoke

“Thus the judgement of the Elders, and your people.”

Looking at Angelina

“Guilty you are, admittedly, your punishment is banishment from our people.  Into the world beyond the protection of our forest.  Thank you for your honesty.”

The Elder turning to Austin.

“Austin, you are guilty.  Your punishment is to banishment with Angelina from our people.  Into the world beyond the protection of our forest.  Thank you for your honesty”.


Lowering her hands

“Austin and Angelina; while all your crimes are against our ethical code.  Your moral fiber and view of love is beyond our judgement.  Your punishment is now to fulfill your love.  Both of you to love and care for one another beyond our walls, beyond our forest.  Beyond our judgment.”

 

 


 


Submitted: May 30, 2015

© Copyright 2022 J Woods. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

knockmeout

The character descriptions and environment are well written. The build up to the actual judgement kept my attention. The story flows without flaw.

Sat, May 30th, 2015 4:48pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for your feedback. I truly appreciate you taking the time!

Your words are so very generous.

Sat, May 30th, 2015 9:49am

Whiskey Charlie

Excellent idea and well presented. I enjoyed it and clicked on "I LIKE IT".

Sat, May 30th, 2015 5:25pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much for your feedback; I'm so new to writing and so glad you took the time! Thank you again.

Sat, May 30th, 2015 10:34am

unmasked delusions

Wow.. a lot to think about. There's actually a lot of truth in this. I thought I'd read your story because I loved your poems, I knew it would be good. It's honestly better then I thought. It's very different from anything I've read and the whole theme is creative. I liked this: "She forced her eyes into a focus swallowed the fear that rose like bile into every fabric of her being, filling her body with adrenaline." Awesome line.

Sat, May 30th, 2015 5:49pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much! Your feedback is amazing; I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed it especially as a beginner Feedback bring tremendous motivation to keep exploring.

Sat, May 30th, 2015 11:32am

berktree

I really, really enjoyed this. It was different and refreshing. I think it is safe to say that I will be adding this to my Reading List.
Seriously though, amazing job.

Thu, June 4th, 2015 2:06am

Author
Reply

I'm oh so grateful you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your very generous commentary!

Thu, June 4th, 2015 8:11am

XUXIKI

I was moved, I could see the whole event playing out before me, every scene as crystal clear as if I was there myself.
Just because you only recently started putting your thoughts on paper, does not mean you are inexperienced or new. I'm sure you've been writing poetry and stories for years in your mind. Thanks for deciding to share them with us, it would have been a crime if you decided to never bleed thoughts on paper.
Xux

Sun, June 14th, 2015 5:39pm

Author
Reply

You are far too gracious in your words. Truly I'm humbled by such a thought. Thank you for enjoying my dabbling. I do appreciate it.

J

Sun, June 14th, 2015 12:53pm

Oleg Roschin

I love the uniquely majestic, somewhat "tribal" style of the work, a simple tale full of symbolic significance. A very tense and emotional story!

Sat, August 19th, 2017 5:03am

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