Author's Note: This story was inspired by some current events, but it's not supposed to be about current events. The characters are not supposed to be based on real people. My story is not a political commentary, it's just supposed to be about how one man deals with some certain events- it's not supposed to be like anything that really happened. Please don't think I'm trying to say anything about any person or political system, and if you think it's too similar to any real events/people, feel free to leave me a review telling me why you think so, but understand that similarities are not intentional.

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Aaron Walters, the son of the late Andrew Walters III, rested his elbows in his knees and his head in his hands, overcome with despair. A small window above his head allowed a modicum of sunlight to filter into his cell and to form a hazy square before him.

Without any clock, Aaron had no way to know how much time had passed since dawn, or how many hours he had left. Scratch marks on the wall told him how many days he had spent locked away, and he knew that today was the day. He wondered how many hours he had left.

He could drive himself mad thinking about such things. How many hours of his life had he wasted trapped; trapped first by his father's insane, paranoid machinations; trapped by the plottings of first the courtiers, then the priests who surrounded him; and finally, literally trapped in a prison cell deep beneath the castle?

So many hours of his life had been wasted, and now, he could never have those hours back. They were gone forever, and in hours, maybe minutes, he would be led outside to be executed, beheaded before a cheering crowd.

Once, the crowd had applauded him, cheered him for what he could promise him, and what he represented. When had Aaron changed so much, that he became a symbol not of new hope, but of tyranny? When had the world looked upon him with such different eyes, that they looked upon him not as a glorious leader, but as a tyrant to be dealt with?

As Aaron considered, looking back upon his life and on the decisions he'd made, no clear turning point made itself clear to him. It seemed that everything he'd done, every decision he'd made had been pointed toward this day from the very beginning, and yet, he'd never intended for everything to go so wrong.

He'd only wanted to help the people. He'd only wanted to be different from his father, and yet, in the final days, how like the old tyrant Aaron had been. Was he fated, then to end this way? Had all his careful actions, his planning, his wishing and praying been in vain?

Once, Aaron had heard that when a man was about to die, his life would flash before his eyes. Well, Aaron still had time left, for he hadn't been led to the platform yet, but like a book unfolding before him, Aaron's life unfolded itself. It passed not in a flash, but in a confusion of memories that made sense only to one who had lived through them all.

Aaron watched them, waiting for the answers that lied within.