Not them!

Disaster came – and you were standing apart. This position was convenient for its ambiguity and, as you secretly called it, flexibility. Neither cold nor hot – just as nothing.

The country was ripped apart with the greatest distemper, which has even tormented it for the duration of its entire history. A distemper behind which there was Darkness standing, and its feet have been stepping over once alive people day after day, milling characters, crashing fates. And not only bodies were swallowed inside it.

People summoned it by themselves and willingly invited to share this bloody dinner. They were ready to pay for “changes”, demanded by their hearts, with the lives of others. Why others? Certainly not with their own!

You didn't travel in the vanguard of those, – men in black hoods with a color of blood, with hands and souls of which distemper was forged, – you were standing apart, dreaming that it won't touch you with its bony fingers, won't ever reach. So many think that way shortly before their own demise.

It was some sort of calming – yes, you constantly kept reading that your fellows were still perishing nearby, you saw in the glass TV box bodies of tortured and killed – ripped by a machine of death – but it, as it appeared, was so far and uncommon for your own illusionary tiny world, which you valued so much and out of which you didn't want to crawl. Yes, others kept dying every day – but it was them, not you!

Somewhere hundreds of kilometers away bombs were falling on once peaceful cities and tanks were squashing defenders of peace, who have dared to oppose a distemper. Somewhere hundreds of kilometers away from you retaliatory groups were shooting in cold blood groups of refugees who were struggling to break through blockades. Somewhere hundreds of kilometers between you and them, hungry children were crying and old men and women were quietly sobbing. Somewhere hundreds of kilometers from here a funnel to hell opened itself. So close – and somehow so far from you at the same time…

You were away from all of this. Soared over the turmoil of life, so to speak. And over time pictures from your glass TV box ceased to frighten you any longer. They became natural.

And when the hand of dark and red color finally reached your dwelling as well, – it was too late for you already. Vanguards of darkness poured into the streets of your town, bringing their own orders, methodically and openly killing those who were still resisting – not such as you. There was certainly nothing for you to fear!

“Let them die, let them!” you have been whispering to yourself more and more often when images of surrounding cruelty made your mind scream from pain. “They are guilty, didn't submit! Themselves, themselves! Not you, not like you! Let them all die, but you will survive – that's all that matters!”

And when chasteners have left, having taken away with themselves wives of someone's former husbands, – a fiery tornado has fallen upon the city. And it was a blessing – to die instantly.

On a third day tornado took away you as well while you were hiding in dark city districts, marauding. Ones with torn-off hands and legs don't live for too long – not in this body, in any case.

At first, you saw this mutilated body of yours from above – in pools of blood with ones like you, thinking as “not us!”. And then suddenly as some kind of stream started whirling you, dragging away from this place to a totally different one – a dimension which you have forgotten up to this point.

And there, in this so unusual and as if the infinite world you were placed near those, – resisting ones, – whom you so recently, still possessing a body, still living in a so habitual to you world, – so furiously and cruelly hated. Hated for the feeling of own imperfection which they caused in your heart. You were placed near those the death of whom you were wishing. You were given a last chance to look upon their eyes – and they were given a chance to see ones like you. And when they – shining ones – looked at you – silently, with no hatred in their eyes, – you were forced to look away. And you had nothing to tell them during all your term.

…And then your judges came for you as well to bring there, From Where No One Has Ever Left. Many came back to Earth – yet not from there. After painfully-sadly-endless and infinite times of waiting you were dragged there.

Why it was you? Certainly not them!   


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Short Story
writing prokhor_ozornin
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