Let there be light.

©2019-2021 Michael Raven

“And so we’re supposed to just be okay with the abeyance of civil law? How long will you suspend our rights? For a week? Until your little concocted ’emergency’ passes? Or is this a permanent state you plan for us to endure?”

James strained against the firm grasp of his handlers, but the days of confinement in squalid conditions, being forced to neither stand nor sit had taken its toll and the men in the camouflaged fatigues didn’t have to exert much effort to restrain him. The Usurper, as James thought of the man these days, stared out the high tower winders of The Castle, his back to him.

An eternity passed.

“Because you were a trusted friend once,” the Usurper said in the voice of the dying, “I won’t take your head. I’ll even give you a fighting chance…”

“But,” he continued, turning to face James, raising a finger to stop the man from speaking. “If I ever see you again, know that the deep well of my mercy has gone dry.”

The Usurper turned to one of the guards. “Send him beyond the Pale. Give him food and a gun. If he can survive the Wolves’ justice, he is free to live as he might as long as he never returns. If he does come back…,” He turned back to James and held his gaze with eyes of steel. “…Kill him on sight.”

The guard snapped a salute when it was clear the Usurper was done and ran off to make preparations for James’ leave-taking as the others started to drag him away.

James screamed as the men hauled him off, legs pinwheeling, barely touching the ground as they carried him off.

“I’m coming back, Cord! This is not what we agreed to when we it all started! Cord? Do you hear me? I’m going to kill you for what you’ve done!”

The doors closed and the Usurper listened to James’ voice as it trailed away, down the long corridors of the Castle. He walked to the window to look down at the city, saddened to have had to put yet another quarter to the flame, watching as the fire consumed the place he’d once loved for all of its flaws. Loved with a passion before all of… this.

And now, the loss of his closest advisor, the one person who he’d thought understood that plans sometimes need to change.


Another Facebook flash fiction piece written on this day in 2019. This one was handed a heavier hand in editing, mostly for clarity, but a few changes to better explain the world it takes place within. The OED word of the day was “abeyant”, the word used for the story trigger.

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