Flash Fiction My Craft Stories

The Dead will Pile Up

“Ready,” the squad officer shouted out.

I stood at the ready waiting for the order to shoot. Five rifles with laser sights pointed at the target dancing with my heartbeat. I took a short breath. The laser lights danced again.

“Citizen, society demands control, which you have none of.” The words bounced in my rattled head. “You will learn to control your impulses. Or the dead will pile up.”

Freedom or conformity. Transformation or tradition. Creativity or reality. I chose liberty. I had been warned.

“Aim,” the officer shouted.

I only wanted to be left alone, to pursue my painting, and make my children happy. To make my mother proud.

I winced waiting for the shot. I failed to master my thoughts, to forsake my family, and conform to the state. I now face the consequences of my lack of control.

“Fire!”

The rifles ran out. The bullets hit their target and my body slumped to the ground. Blood covered the wall and I knew my mother was dead. I stifled my anguish.

“Next!”

The soldiers pulled my mother’s body out of the way discarding it on a pile. Another group brought out a sobbing boy aged roughly seven.

My son!

“No, I will conform. I will only teach restraint. I respect strict compliance.”

“Ready.”

My son wailed and I pleaded again.

“I can serve. My children can serve. My boy can serve.”

“Aim.”

“I beg you. I have changed. I understand the power of control.”

“Fire!”

© 2019, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.


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