I was disappointed to find that I was still alive. It meant I hadn’t carried out my mission. The symbols tattooed up and down my arms ensured that my heart would keep beating until I had. I was leaning against one of the cement walls that enclosed me, being careful not to move my head which still throbbed from where the gun hit. My hands were cuffed in front of me, I had no idea where I was, or how long I’d been there, but it didn’t matter. What I did know was that I would kill Janice the people’s “benevolent” leader.
She had to be stopped. She may have cleaned our streets and feed us, but the price for these things was higher than we were willing to pay. We didn’t want clean streets if it meant we couldn’t be on them after a certain time. We wanted to work for our own food, not be given a set amount each month. We wanted the freedom to teach our children what we wanted, not send them to be brainwashed by the government’s ideas. No one wanted them to grow up thinking that humanity needs a dictator to tell them when they should be in their homes at night or to ration their food like they were cattle.
The door to the tiny prison cell opened and the guard that came through roughly pulled me to my feet. He led me down hallways lit by flickering florescent lights, then we went through a set of doors that lead outside. Hot afternoon sunlight hit my face. I must have been the cell for at least a day. The speech that I was going to assassinate her at was over. But that was the least of my worries.
In front of me was a platform with a noose.
With each boot that hit the steps leading to the noose my belief that I would complete my mission waned. When I reached the top, an announcer began droning my offences: attending unauthorized meetings held by groups not recognized by the government, owning a weapon, and plotting to assassinate the leader. I scarcely heard him. The noose hanging two feet away seemed to turn off my hearing. I couldn’t die yet. The old woman had foreseen it. My death would only come after my mission was over.
My eyes shifted from the noose to the crowd. I stopped myself from smiling. A very important person had decided to attend my execution: our leader herself. She sat looking very poised and in control in her cream suit coat and black dress pants.
In an instant, I rammed my elbow as hard as I could into my guard’s stomach, took the pistol out of his belt, and shot him. I thanked my lucky stars—or maybe it was the tattoos—that they were stupid enough to handcuff my hands in front. I didn’t hear the people’s screams or see their panicked faces. All I saw was a cream suit coat. I pulled the trigger.
As I watched the bullet enter her forehead, a blast of pain erupted in my own. I knew, this time, I wouldn’t wake up.
In honor Flash Fiction Day, I’ll be posting flash fiction throughout the day. Be ready to read. There’s more to come!