Man in the mirror

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Look into the mirror, and don't try to fight.
It wants the power and it wants it tonight.
Dance with the darkness in the pale moonlight
And lose your soul to its might.

Submitted: March 13, 2014

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Submitted: March 13, 2014



The cold gaze of weary eyes lay heavily upon a tattered flag that lent upon a dilapidated cell wall. Its worn vertical tricolours, blue, white and red had been rendered by past glories. It reminded him of his former role in the obliteration of the last domineering king of France. His neck began tightening making it hard to breathe as he reminisced on the events that had transpired before his immediate arrest. His thoughts sporadically drifted between the tyrant he had dethroned to the tyrant that the public had unjustly accused him of being. The irony being that now he is the prisoner awaiting his fate by the very people he had freed. He once thought himself to be the prophet of a new era, but now he knew that it was a madman’s dream, or nightmare, whichever, he wished to stomach. He sank further into the corner of his festering concert cell as the insidious darkness began dragging his burdened soul into its eternal abyss, but before his guilt fully consumed him, a blinding bright light shone through the cell door. Its radiance scorched his withered face and there before him stood a proud man dressed in red silk robes, of which denoted his high bureaucratic statues, a rank of which he too once bore proudly. The light behind the robed figure formed a crown of light upon his head. Stillness froze the air, as the old man squinted at the figure before him. Only after a moment of deathly silence did the old man recognise his former college.The momentary hush was abruptly broken by this young official as he whispered to him in a solemn tone “To think it would come to this, Condamné. You failed to control yourself once again. I hope for your sake that god shows more mercy to you then the public has. Why did you do it?” The presents of his former comrade and now usurper filled Condamné with a plethora of strong emotions such as fear, guilt and resentment. He firmly expected to be decimated by the fury of a man who bore the same radical passions as the people he lead. Condamné decrepit form lay silent in the corner, either too afraid to speak or choosing his words with a diplomatic mind to save himself any future perils. The young man’s youthful energy wouldn’t allow the silence to befall the dingy cell so he mustered up the gaul to speak once more in an almost whispering tone “It doesn’t matter we all know what befalls a traitor of the revolution…….. Perhaps I should have had you hung sooner.”

The harsh words from his former friend buried in to Condamné mind irritating him enough to give a retort “I am not a traitor, yes I made mistakes, but that doesn’t warrant me as a traitor, given time we all will make mistakes and with that we are alike?”  The official’s face shocked by this retort spoke at first in calm manner “We were alike, me and you our goals similar, but our reasons not so similar!” The young man lowered his gaze to the cold stone floor then quickly raised them back up to the gloomy figure that was shrouded in darkness and bellowed an almost incomprehensible follow up. “You used your power for your own gains and you so arrogant that you say we are the same.” A cruel apprehension stilted the atmosphere making the old man irritably uncomfortable. His mind burnt with the attempt to find a way to refute the argument made so bluntly by the youthful official. The old man shrunk further from the light allowing the shadows to fully consume his body, forming a sinister silhouette.  The official cleared his throat half in irritation and half in disappointment. He then spoke out in calmer tone “Now, the people are impatient, the gallows awaits.”

The old man lifted himself off the cold ground hiding behind his dark filthy cloak and stumbling forwards in to the unhinging light. The young official repulsed at the ragged monstrous form of his bygone idol made him utter the first thoughts that rushed in to his mind “Time hasn’t treated you well.” He then hastily spun around on his heels, facing the cell door leading the decrepit old man out of the cell in through the decorative hall were the portraits of previous kings lined up in orderly fashion from predecessors to successors,  one after the other. The both of them marched slowly past every one admiring the detail of every portrait. The last portrait was of the previous King, who stood there upright, proud and pompous.  He was draped in all the rare splendours of his kingdom that denoted his office.

This picture most of all captivated them. It brought about raw memories of their previous friendship and success. The official noticed Condamné hypnotised state and turned to face him directly. The presence of the official no longer bothered Condamné. He was too enthralled by the splendour of the painting, tracing every line with his finger. His tracing finger hovered over the crown of the king. He looked deep in to the Kings face only to be shocked as the glass protecting the canvas reflected his own face over the kings. It revealed a crowned Condamné which filled him with ecstasy. The feeling quickly subsided as a deep distress substituted his once joyous emotions. “Is this what I was?” Condamné hesitated, “A king without a crown!”

The Official hesitated to speak for a moment before raising his eyes to his predecessor and spoke. “You were a King, but I’ll put an end to all kings!” He then lunged forward, grasping on to Condamné left arm and dragged his staggering form to the great door of the hall. He raised his hand and knocked heavily upon the doors wooden frame. The muffled sound of soldiers were heard on the other side, before the door was abruptly tugged open by a tall breaded grenadier in a white uniform and a black furred cap. He then nodded his head to the official and then pulled Condamné roughly through the door next to him before slamming the door on the official. The young man turned to take one last look at the splendid hall. The lights in the hall began dimming one after another. It began from the cell door and slowly it crept down the hall. It blacked out one portrait at a time which in a way symbolised the ending of all the kings one after another. It brought comfort to him knowing that he had finally uprooted all the kings and wants to be kings in the land, but before the last light burnt out, he cast his gaze into the mirror beside the last king and to his shock he saw yet another false king.

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