The Persecuted One

By Jave Harron

It was high noon in the prison. Two guards walked down the cell block, and opened the door to a beaten old man's cell. The prisoner did not resist as the guards beat him, then lead him in chains up the stairs of the prison.

The trio left the prison, and out into a crowded courtyard. A robed official came up to the prisoner. "Now, you shall die, heretic," the official sneered.

The bleeding prisoner responded. "I have done nothing wrong. I have stated that you and your kind abuse your own theology. It was designed to be a force for good in the world. A force for the common person. A force for tolerance and understanding. A force for common sense. You and your kind have turned it into a way for tyrants to oppress the common people. You have perverted it into a tool of mindless hatred and fanaticism. You mindlessly enforce the letter of the law while completely disregarding the spirit of the law."

"And the law is completely clear on what we do with heretics like you. You deny the fact that we are the learned ones here. This social order was created by our perfect understanding of our theology. Anything else would be blasphemy," the official spoke in a condescending tone, "And blasphemy threatens our blessed society. You are a blasphemer. Thus, you must die."

"This society is not blessed in any way, save perhaps an abundance of educated fools. The way you construct education systems reinforces ignorant hatred of everything different, rather than removing it," the condemned man replied, "I would not be surprised if this society is better suited for demons than angels."

The official looked very angry at this remark. "Execute him!" he ordered. The two guards grabbed the prisoner, and dragged him through the crowd towards the gallows.

Along the way, the prisoner was stoned and beaten by the crowd. Within the mess of people, the prisoner saw an old woman giving a small child a stone. He spoke to her in a weak tone. "Woman, why do you feed the hatred?" The woman covered her ears and simply threw a stone in reply. The child did too.

The condemned man reached the gallows platform. The noose was tightened around his neck. The executioner pulled the lever, and the trapdoor dropped. However, the man did not fall. Instead, he hovered, and light began to glow from him. Suddenly, a pair of angelic wings appeared on his back and a halo appeared around his head. The crowd, guards, and official looked on in awe and fear.

"This land is truly one better suited for demons. You hide behind the theology of my master, but betray its original intent in every conceivable way. I shall be sure to tell about my treatment to my master," the angel said, "It is a pity I tried to help you, and you treated me worse than you would treat a murderer. I cannot say anything else, save that you are face to face with my master, he will remember this."

With that, the angel flew off, leaving the crowd below him. As the angel returned to his master, he wondered if it was possible the mortals could learn their lessons. If all of them were like this, he doubted it.

The End.