[Child of God]: 416.Famous First Lines - Contest.Crimson

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2006-09-02 07:24:37
short story
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Rattling, the delicately carved bones fell to the table, rolling between goblets, silverware, platters and candles, coming to rest in a helter-skelter of meaning.
"God has spoken! Your punishment has been decided!"
I held my breath, watching the proceedings take place. 'What twisted ideal of justice is this?'
The woman looked to the trembling thief, a sadistic smile plastered on her face as she grabbed his chains and began leading him down a flight of stairs. I followed close behind, terror coursing through my veins at what was coming next.
'What is this? When did we fall to this?'

I was seeing without being seen. A spectator in an unfolding drama, or rather, horror, unable to flee nor change the events playing out around me, I can only watch helplessly as this victim is lead to his fate. He is a criminal, but also a victim. He stole yes, but were the world around him different, would he be led to such activities? What could possibly compel him to commit such a minor act of defiance for which the repercussions would be so great? What lies had he been told which drove him to such a fate. One look at his eyes would tell of a lifetime of unknown sorrow created by the lies and corruption of the world in which he has been forced.

Looking back, I could only glimpse the tiny, pocket-sized vase which had been the object of his damnation before the steps blocked my view.
'What punishment is he being lead to?'
The room into which we emerged seemed to be underground, dimly lit with stale light. The room was not fully visible until standing on the platform on the bottom of the stairs, exposing the death chamber into which we had come. The man's trembling knees finally gave way as he looked about him. Had anything been present in my stomach, it would not have remained there. No matter how much I wanted to close my eyes and run from the room, my body would not answer, able to only close my eyes.

That however, did not block the screams which penetrated my mind and would forever haunt me.

Though fairly small, the room was circular in shape and made of stone. Along the left and far wall were wall high cages containing lion cubs. Four stone steps led down from the platform to the center of the room. There, a stone podium stood, eight feet in length and four feet wide. The around the base of the podium the stones appeared to be cracked, as though the base would raise and lower.

Upon the podium however, was the sight of which I wish to never see again. A child, a young boy of about five or six years of age lay strapped to the podium. His flesh had been mostly peeled off, leaving muscle only to cover the bones, and in some spots not even that. It was his pain-filled screams which echoed in my head and cut out my heart.

The woman looked her victim cruelly and sneered "This shall be your fate." Pointing to the cages, their doors swung open as the podium was lowered slowly to the floor. The child screamed, now in terror more so than pain as the cubs were released upon him, tearing at him, slowly eating him alive.
"Their teeth are still too small to penetrate much more than skin deep." She explained, never taking her eyes off the gruesome scene before her seemed to give her a sadistic delight. "All they can do is tear whatever is on the surface, slowly making their way deeper and deeper."

Forcing my body to respond, I turned from the sight with my eyes still shut, though my hands were unable to block the horrific screams of the child. Tears streamed down my face as my soul seemed to die with every moment the screams continued.
"Why do I have to see this? I don't want to see this!" I screamed, knowing none could hear me. "Wake up! Please wake up!"
"You must bear witness."
"No! I won't watch this!"
"You must bear witness."
My eyes shot open, searching for the source of the voice who spoke, yet found no one. Though no one was there, I now found it impossible to turn away from the scene before me.

The child's screams soon died away, as did he. As his last breath left him, the cubs ceased their feeding, as though knowing their task was complete. As the body was being disposed of, the next victim pleaded for his life, begging for mercy.
"Mercy? You want mercy?" The woman descended the stone steps, stopping at the last one to pick up one of the cubs on the last step. Stroking the beast, she looked back to the man. "Sinners don't deserve mercy. Only the righteous deserve mercy. Those who are sinners are not righteous before God." Before he could protest, he was strapped to the podium. Small cuts were made to his face and upper body before the cubs were released upon him. Again I tried to turn away, but what felt like a gentle hand prevented my head from turning and my eyes from closing.
"You must bear witness." The terrible voice again told me. I watched and listened as his screams joined the child’s, echoing into eternity as a testimony to what the world has become.

Suddenly, there was a blast like fire and the room disappeared, leaving only a void of nothingness with red soil beneath our feet. The woman was encircled by the same shadowed figures that had encircled the thief when he first stood in trial. In front of her stood an angel, terrible and horrifying, made of fire and brimstone and without a face. A terrible voice boomed to her "Who are you to judge?"
"We demand justice!" the woman snarled.
"You have no concept of justice."
"We demand revenge for the wrong done to us!"
"Vengeance is for God alone! Who are you to be judge, jury and executioner?!" The voice angrily thundered, causing her to cower in fear and me to fall to my knees. "You are to suffer the same fate you unlawfully condemned others to."
The woman's face twisted into terror as she threw herself at the angel's feet, pleading for mercy.
"You showed no mercy, therefore you shall receive none."
Lion cubs appeared round the woman, but their eyes and teeth were made of the same fire as the angel, they also had no face. The cubs consumed her as her victims had been consumed.

2006-07-28 Child of God: Yet another dream. You can read the actualy dream in my blog.

2006-09-05 RiddleRose: you really have weird dreams. very morbid. but still, i like it a lot. it's very original!

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