R. C. SmithShort Stories and Vignettes

Do not read my works if you are offended by descriptions of sexuality and violence.
(Do not read them just for those descriptions, either.)

No Love

They come for us soon after sunrise, and fetch us from our separate cells. As executions always last until sundown, we know we face a slow and painful death. We had known it before, of course.

He looks at my naked body, which he had not seen for weeks now. Like his own, it is marked by torture, though not as much. Not yet.

“At least we die united in our love,” he says to me, as we are led off.

“But I do not love you,” I say.

“But … you have seduced me! You have been so passionate, and so persistent … you made me make love to you, though we both knew it was forbidden, and though we knew we would die if he ever found out. For your love I accepted this risk, and now you tell me that you do not love me at all?”

“I never said I did,” I reply.

“But then, why …?”

What useless talk this is. “Upon his orders, of course.”

“He ordered you? But why?

“Because he was suspicious of your loyalty. He had to make sure whether he could trust you, and I was given the honor of being the tool to test you.”

“I really thought you loved me,” he says.

Oh my god, do we really have to go through all this? “Well, I liked you, in a way,” I reply.

“And he surprised us …” he does not finish the sentence.

“… because I told him where we would meet,” I say.

“So you have done your work well,” he says, with bitterness in his voice, “and only I will die today.”

“Don’t fear," I say, “I will die too.”

“For what? You only followed his orders?” he asks.

“But I succeeded in compromising a guard’s loyalty. He could never trust me again, after that, could he?”

“And you knew …?”

“Of course I knew. He would never have been dishonest with me.”

“So we will die together, after all,” he says, and smiles.

“No,” I tell him, “we will die both, but not together. He will give me the honor to watch me die. You won't suffer less, but in some dark corner, on your own — he really doesn't care for the sight of the likes of you.”

“But …”

One of the guards turns around, slaps my face so that I start bleeding, and says “Shut up, both of you.” I am glad that he does, there is really nothing more to say now.

(03/2008)

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