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"(SSC5) True 'Til The End"

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Sun 10/12/06 at 00:09
Regular
Posts: 20
Dunno how well this fits with The Final Few theme - though I guess final few moments alive, final few thoughts etc should just about qualify. Not my usual kind of story, but fancied trying something different here after I said I had never wrote anything the mods would allow, so here it is :

True til the End

Ah, what misdeeds have brought me here, that I must wait for the key to turn in the lock of my cell and my executioners to lead me to the yard where their bullets must take my life?.

Already the priest has been to see me, to give me my final absolution. His words held little comfort for me, since I have already seen hell. It is the world in which we live, the place which we call Earth. I am confident that though I tremble now as the final hours of my life are draining away, I can approach the throne of judgement with a clear heart. My deeds may be such that my fellow men have condemned me to death, but surely God will see and understand?.

True, in the eyes of those who judged me, I am guilty. I do not even seek to deny it, only to justify. Perhaps by denying and conforming to their ways, perhaps then I might have lived, but I could not lie nor compromise my heartfelt beliefs just to save this trivial vessel of flesh. I stood and spoke, and knew from their eyes that I was doomed. They saw not by the light of reason, only by the cold and harsh darkness of their law.

My crime?. My crime is that I refused to take up arms in the service of my country, that I would not kill some other mothers son. Their war was not mine. When I looked out upon those whom I had been ordered to kill, I saw not enemies but men. Young men, like myself, who had been flung into the follies of war by the insanities of politicians. How many of them truly believed in the lies which they had been told, the lies that would see them lying bleeding from bullet wounds in the mire of the battlefield, see them screaming for their wives and sweethearts as their blood poured out onto the earth?.

No, I would not be a party to that madness. No mother would mourn for a son who had died at my hands. I threw down my gun, knowing that I could not and did not wish to fire upon those young men whom my government called enemies, those men who were likely destined to die agonizing deaths in some God forsaken corner of the earth and never see their homes or families again.

Like them, though I will not die in battle, my parents are lost to me. They believe me a traitor, and could scarcely bring themselves to look at me. That hurt, hurt more than any pain I had ever imagined. Still I hold out hope that they might visit me before I die, yet I know that my hope is false. They will not come, and they will most likely not mourn me. Maybe, in years to come, they might grow to understand and to love their lost son once more, though I will not live to see it.

So that is why I sit here, forgotten by the world and waiting to die.

Time is passing slowly. Every time that I hear boots upon the floor outside my door, I wonder if my time has come. Already I have heard the shots as others like me have met their fate. With every volley of gunfire, I wonder what may have brought that faceless other to the firing post. What is their story, will their families cry for them?. Will anyone remember?.

This waiting is the worse time for the condemned man. I know that I will die today, and I have accepted it, but these minutes of waiting are the direst torture. Every time I hear the boots outside my cell, I steel myself so that I might walk to the firing post with my head held high, not have to be dragged, kicking and screaming like some recalcitrant child. Every time those boots walk past, I know that my death has been postponed for a few more minutes, minutes which will seem like an eternity. If I must die then why, in Gods name, can't they do it now?.

I have counted the bricks in the wall and the cracks on the floor. Anything with which I might seek to pass the merest fraction of a moment, I have done. Now, as I sit and wait to die, I write this. My last request was for a pen and paper that I might write down my thoughts before I die. I doubt that any will ever read these words, but I write and perhaps in some way I help to cleanse my soul in anticipation of the moment when I must stand before my God.

There go the sound of soldiers boots again, and I can hear the man in the cell next to me calling out. He is pleading, but the guards will have no mercy.

It must be my turn next. Time is short, so I must write quickly. When those first unfortunates were taken, I began to count the time it took between their departure, the shots and the return of the soldiers. Never did the whole process take longer than five minutes.

It is strange, but words seem to have deserted my pen. My thoughts have flown away like autumn leaves before the wind. Soon I will be dead, and I will know that I have stood true to my principles unto the very end. It is far better to die knowing that your belief has held firm than to live as a traitor to yourself. Follow your heart and let the tricks and vagaries of fate be damned.

There, a volley of shots from the courtyard. The guards will be beginning their march to my cell. My death is nearly at hand.

Always have I been true to me beliefs, and I will go to die knowing that I have done right. Yes, I am scared, more frightened than I have ever been before, but even at the end I do not regret my actions. There is a law which is higher than that of man, and I will be judged by him.

The stamp of boots outside of my cell, the sound of a key being slipped into the lock. They have come for me at last, the men who will lead me to my death.

Goodbye, cruel world. I have no regrets, save that the folly of my fellow man has condemned so many others to death. As those fingers tighten upon the triggers, I will pity the men who must kill me. They know not what they do, only the lies on which they have been fed. Like me, they are victims.
Wed 20/12/06 at 15:50
Regular
Posts: 20
Heh, friendly place here :)

Thx for the welcome, looking forwards to boring everyone with loads of wordy posts and generally lurking around
Tue 19/12/06 at 20:18
Regular
"Going nowhere fast"
Posts: 6,574
Enjoyed that and I like words :)

Also, welcome to the forum.....
Mon 18/12/06 at 19:05
Regular
"Author of Pain"
Posts: 395
I agree with both previous points on wordiness and cliche. The story does though bring to the fore the hypocrisy of militarism in the face of a religion which denounces violence and preaches good will to all men.

The style here is very familiar, in that it's like some stuff I've done myself. The essential problem with verbosity is that it's hard to read something you've written and see excess anywhere. The golden rule, unless you're trying to defy it deliberately, is not to use 10+ words where 5 will do.

As writers, we tend to strive for complicated sentences, exotic words and grand descriptions, but this is all vanity when we consider that the outcome is, after all, entertainment of a kind. While we can revel in our own magnificence as literary masterminds, we must not put our audience to sleep.

Of course, I'm speaking generally, this particular piece was wordy, but not asphyxiatingly so. It was also thought provoking and generally nicely put across, although the end seemed to drag a little.
Mon 18/12/06 at 08:51
Regular
"Laughingstock"
Posts: 3,522
The only bit I didn't like was "goodbye, cruel world" - it's a bit of a cliche - but other than that I liked it a lot.
Mon 11/12/06 at 22:55
Regular
Posts: 20
ty pb :) - glad to be here and thx for the welcome :)

Yep, very wordy story from me there - not my usual kind of thing/subject, and I have the old verbal diarrhoea at the best of times.
Mon 11/12/06 at 17:00
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
An interesting piece, maybe a little wordy in places, but overall quite good.

Welcome officially to the forums!
Sun 10/12/06 at 00:09
Regular
Posts: 20
Dunno how well this fits with The Final Few theme - though I guess final few moments alive, final few thoughts etc should just about qualify. Not my usual kind of story, but fancied trying something different here after I said I had never wrote anything the mods would allow, so here it is :

True til the End

Ah, what misdeeds have brought me here, that I must wait for the key to turn in the lock of my cell and my executioners to lead me to the yard where their bullets must take my life?.

Already the priest has been to see me, to give me my final absolution. His words held little comfort for me, since I have already seen hell. It is the world in which we live, the place which we call Earth. I am confident that though I tremble now as the final hours of my life are draining away, I can approach the throne of judgement with a clear heart. My deeds may be such that my fellow men have condemned me to death, but surely God will see and understand?.

True, in the eyes of those who judged me, I am guilty. I do not even seek to deny it, only to justify. Perhaps by denying and conforming to their ways, perhaps then I might have lived, but I could not lie nor compromise my heartfelt beliefs just to save this trivial vessel of flesh. I stood and spoke, and knew from their eyes that I was doomed. They saw not by the light of reason, only by the cold and harsh darkness of their law.

My crime?. My crime is that I refused to take up arms in the service of my country, that I would not kill some other mothers son. Their war was not mine. When I looked out upon those whom I had been ordered to kill, I saw not enemies but men. Young men, like myself, who had been flung into the follies of war by the insanities of politicians. How many of them truly believed in the lies which they had been told, the lies that would see them lying bleeding from bullet wounds in the mire of the battlefield, see them screaming for their wives and sweethearts as their blood poured out onto the earth?.

No, I would not be a party to that madness. No mother would mourn for a son who had died at my hands. I threw down my gun, knowing that I could not and did not wish to fire upon those young men whom my government called enemies, those men who were likely destined to die agonizing deaths in some God forsaken corner of the earth and never see their homes or families again.

Like them, though I will not die in battle, my parents are lost to me. They believe me a traitor, and could scarcely bring themselves to look at me. That hurt, hurt more than any pain I had ever imagined. Still I hold out hope that they might visit me before I die, yet I know that my hope is false. They will not come, and they will most likely not mourn me. Maybe, in years to come, they might grow to understand and to love their lost son once more, though I will not live to see it.

So that is why I sit here, forgotten by the world and waiting to die.

Time is passing slowly. Every time that I hear boots upon the floor outside my door, I wonder if my time has come. Already I have heard the shots as others like me have met their fate. With every volley of gunfire, I wonder what may have brought that faceless other to the firing post. What is their story, will their families cry for them?. Will anyone remember?.

This waiting is the worse time for the condemned man. I know that I will die today, and I have accepted it, but these minutes of waiting are the direst torture. Every time I hear the boots outside my cell, I steel myself so that I might walk to the firing post with my head held high, not have to be dragged, kicking and screaming like some recalcitrant child. Every time those boots walk past, I know that my death has been postponed for a few more minutes, minutes which will seem like an eternity. If I must die then why, in Gods name, can't they do it now?.

I have counted the bricks in the wall and the cracks on the floor. Anything with which I might seek to pass the merest fraction of a moment, I have done. Now, as I sit and wait to die, I write this. My last request was for a pen and paper that I might write down my thoughts before I die. I doubt that any will ever read these words, but I write and perhaps in some way I help to cleanse my soul in anticipation of the moment when I must stand before my God.

There go the sound of soldiers boots again, and I can hear the man in the cell next to me calling out. He is pleading, but the guards will have no mercy.

It must be my turn next. Time is short, so I must write quickly. When those first unfortunates were taken, I began to count the time it took between their departure, the shots and the return of the soldiers. Never did the whole process take longer than five minutes.

It is strange, but words seem to have deserted my pen. My thoughts have flown away like autumn leaves before the wind. Soon I will be dead, and I will know that I have stood true to my principles unto the very end. It is far better to die knowing that your belief has held firm than to live as a traitor to yourself. Follow your heart and let the tricks and vagaries of fate be damned.

There, a volley of shots from the courtyard. The guards will be beginning their march to my cell. My death is nearly at hand.

Always have I been true to me beliefs, and I will go to die knowing that I have done right. Yes, I am scared, more frightened than I have ever been before, but even at the end I do not regret my actions. There is a law which is higher than that of man, and I will be judged by him.

The stamp of boots outside of my cell, the sound of a key being slipped into the lock. They have come for me at last, the men who will lead me to my death.

Goodbye, cruel world. I have no regrets, save that the folly of my fellow man has condemned so many others to death. As those fingers tighten upon the triggers, I will pity the men who must kill me. They know not what they do, only the lies on which they have been fed. Like me, they are victims.

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