Michael did it. I am innocent.
It has often been said that all government suffer from inherent weaknesses. Some have ailments behind curtains while others have them before the stage. There is always a problem. Analysts of these problems assume that they are caused by the abuse of power that all men feel. As Lord Acton said in 1887, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Man suffers from an incurable need to gain more and more power with which he can assert his dominance over the masses.
While this may have some truth in it, I cannot believe that.
Throughout time there have been many who have given up whatever power they may have had to help others. Even the poorest man will do what he can to help those around him. If you give a powerless man power, does that immediately make him corrupt? Will he succumb to the lure of glory? No. He will rule with more justice than the man who has lived with power all of his life. Why? Not because power corrupted him, but because he has seen how the world works and what needs fixing.
Therein lies the fatal flaw of governments. Politicians may be able to make moving speeches and spark the emotions of the public, but seldom do they know what they are saying. Seldom do they know what the problems are. They preach and yell for justice, but they have never seen true justice and Good. They have lived within the halls of ignorance their entire lives. Pain reaches their ears but they turn deaf and destroy the truth with beautiful empty speeches of lies and bigotry. Governments become that which they are set up to prevent: out of touch with the people. With a government populated with ignorant dinosaurs who have been born with the walls built around them, things are done at the expense of the common good.
All too often those who profit from isolated governments are the rich. They are the few who can afford to enter into the political circus of acts and bend the will of the world to their wills. A rich man will help the rich, while the poor suffer endless nights of woe with no hope of generosity.
So it is that things often go awry within the system.
An out of touch leader may spout words of hope like a beer tap for the masses, but little beer actually pours forth. Things go wrong with the infallible system and suffering is begun anew.
So it is that I am currently confined within the walls of ignorance. Confined for a crime I am innocent of, yet guilty have I been found. Found guilty by twelve innocents who have never known me, never seen me, and a judge who has never climbed down from his altar. Yet I told them again and again, I am innocent of this heinous crime I have been found guilty of committing. I told them again and again that Michael did it, not me. But again and again, they refused my pleas for sanity.
The executioners will be arriving soon to carry out my sentence of injustice. I am waiting patiently for them to lead me to Heaven so that at least someone will be able to understand my call. I shall be found Pure by the highest authority in the land and His vote is all that really counts. I await my final court hearing.
But many people have come up to me yelling at me, calling me names. They spat at me and hit me. They hated me. And for what? For being condemned by an ignorant lot who have nothing better to do than point fingers.
Yet, I can understand their fury. There is a method to their madness, for the crime was grand, and many people died wrongful deaths by some unknown hand. The hand that I know was Michael.
I met Michael when I was a boy, just after my father had passed away. We quickly became best friends. As we grew older, it became obvious that Michael had an interesting view on rules. When we entered High School, Michael spent his free time looting stores and houses. By the time we graduated and found jobs, I was forced by friends to sever any connections I had with Michael because he was developing a well-known reputation throughout the city. So I did.
I saw Michael very little over the next few years, though occasionally we would meet up for coffee or dinner, just to catch up on each other's life.
It must have been over two years ago that I saw Michael leaving that building. He walked calmly away from out of the main doors and soon after, as I was running over to catch up with my old friend, the building exploded in flames. I was blown flat and unconscious. That was how the police found me. Soon after I was arrested and put in front of a panel of bigots who had already found me guilty, like a child who sees something on his plate and refuses to eat it; the mind was already made up.
Justice can never be carried out if preconception exists. Just as an Arab will be convicted over a Caucasian, I was convicted over Michael.
I hear footsteps now. Footsteps approaching my cell. My time has come to appeal before the highest authority.
Two guards approach my cell along with a priest. My door is opened and I am removed from my home for the past six months.
They lead me down the overly long hallway that seems to bend and twist in various realities and manipulate my mind. I am helped along this snake-corridor by my guards until we arrive at my final destination. They put me before a glass and allow me to make myself presentable to the masses of glass-eyed hyenas beyond the door at my side.
I look into the glass and see a familiar face; one I have not seen since I was arrested. The familiar brown eyes and dark hair. The eyes filled with a hatred of some unknown force.
Suddenly the face twists and distorts before my startled eyes. The features become even more recognizable. They change, yet they have stayed the same. They change into a face that has belonged to me for my entire life. A face that chills me down to the bone. A face that makes my mind yell in terror. A face of me and another. A face of a killer. The face of Michael. The face of me. And the realization hits me hard in the gut as my mind works it's way around the illusions toward the buried truth.
Michael is me.