Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Flash Fiction: Filed Away

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week...

Filed Away
Word Count: 599

You are a voice in your own head, but not the loudest, not today. You don’t know what to do with this knowledge, so you file it away. It will be important later.

“Walk forward,” says the loudest voice.

He is the trigger; you are the weapon. You want to resist, but it’s so much easier to do what you’re told. You take a step forward, then another, then another. You are in a brown room with a padded floor, like a gym or a dojo, but smaller. It doesn’t take you very long to cross it.

“Was there hesitation?” asks the voice.

You consider this for a moment, and then grant that there was a moment’s hesitation.

“Why?”

You don’t know why.

“There must be none,” said the voice.

You agree.

“Do you think you should be punished?”

You don’t want to be punished, but you agree that you probably should be.

“Pain,” says the voice.

Agony flows through you like white-hot spikes being driven into your veins. You writhe on the floor. You have no control over your body.

But then, that’s the point, isn’t it? You don’t know what to do with that thought, so you file it away. It will be important later.

“Relief,” says the voice. “Now rise.”

You do as you’re told. The voice puts you through several exercises, and you respond without thinking, without hesitation. This is your training. Obedience school, you think. You file that thought away as well.

“Excellent work,” says the voice.

A sense of achievement washes over you. The voice’s praise is all you want, all you live for.

“Tell me your name,” says the voice.

You tell him your name.

“Why did you murder the ambassador?”

You haven’t murdered anyone—not yet. This is still practice. You recite your lines. “He is a symbol of the oppression…” The why doesn’t really matter. Someone is being paid a great deal of money. The voice is the trigger and you are the weapon. That is all that matters.

“Was there hesitation?”

You consider. You decide that there wasn’t. The voice agrees.

“Would you like to eat something?”

You decide that you would, yes. You walk into an adjoining room and sit down at a table, alone. The voice is still in your head here, in this room, as in all the rooms here. There must be a microphone, as well, because the voice can hear you when you answer. You file this away.

“You’re progressing nicely,” says the voice.

You thank him.

“Your father would be proud.”

You agree, but something sticks in your mind. Your father… your father is long dead. The man who raised you was, and is, Daddy. You know this, but very few others do. The voice doesn’t seem to, and you haven’t bothered to correct him.

“You understand why it is important to your father that the ambassador must die,” says the voice.

You do understand, but the thought sticks. Your father is dead. Why should he care? You say that you understand.

“Was there hesitation?”

You hope that there wasn’t. You decide that there wasn’t. The voice agrees with you, and you are incredibly relieved and happy.

“There must be no hesitation. You will only have seconds to act.”

You agree.

“This will help keep your father safe. He will be so proud of you,” says the voice.

You don’t say anything.

“When the time comes…” says the voice.

Dissonance. Your father is dead. When the time comes, this will slow you down.

You file this away. It will be important later.

Edited by Carolyn "I'm Practicing Being Picky" Abram.

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