Brutalist Stories #17

The Deacon

Congresso Nacional del Brasil

Congresso Nacional del Brasil

“Who are you?” I ask, looking down at him, on his knees and for a second, for a moment, I almost pity him. There’s something down there which exists, at the bottom of my soul, that sees something in this man as I hold my sword to his throat and he shakes and cries, whimpers for his life.

I know what he’s been through. I know what they’ve all been through, why they decide to try and escape, how easily they break and why I have to come and clear the mess. To find them. To end them.

“Who are you?” I ask a little louder, because that’s what I must ask. That’s the meaning, the reason. Their lack of understanding of what and who they are. Their identity, their point. They try and chase it, through all these lives.

“I am Charles Grogan,” he sniffs through the whimpers.

“No, my son, you are lost. You think you are this man in this time and this place, but you are not, and you have to remember this, you have to find your identity or now you die.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m–

“Quiet,” I gently whisper as I slide the blade along his throat, just enough so he can feel its edge graze his skin. “Consider yourself, look and find your true meaning, find your true identity, see who you are, outside of all this.”

He just shakes his head. It’s not that he can’t know, it’s that he doesn’t want to, he’s gone beyond, he’s given up on himself and taken this life which wasn’t his in the first place to take. He’s given in, he’s fallen into this alternate fate and it won’t do. It cannot stand.

“Look at me,” I raise his head with the tip of my sword under his chin. “What do you see?”

“Mercy, I see mercy in your eyes, you’re a kind woman.”

“You are right, but it’s not the mercy you understand. You had a chance at freedom, and your mind was too weak, now my mercy is to end you. You cannot lead this life that you have chosen, it is not you, it is not your fate, it is the fate of another. Now you will die.”

I raise my sword into the air and I can see straight through his soul, he was weak. Others make it, others find themselves and come out the other side, not this one though, this one fell, and now he will be released.

The sword comes down and he gasps, in that split second, there, the perfect moment, the endless, infinite present, all time and all matter aligning in that one single moment and he sees, all too late.

His head rolls, I pick it up and put it in my bag. He was lost, I asked the question, his reply was wrong, and I am the one who must act, for I know who I am.

Building inspiration: Congresso Nacional del Brasil

Musical inspiration: Machine Head – Ten Ton Hammer

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