Unplaced entry published in Microcosms Flash Fiction competition – Microcosms 147 – on 02/11/2018. The rules required a story in no more than 300 words in response to the following prompts.
Character – Killer/ Location – Firing Squad/ Genre – Drama
The story had to be written and submitted within a one day deadline.
An Officer’s Word
He slumped against the courtyard wall. Tears trickled down from beneath his blindfold.
‘Please, please spare me.’
The Redcoats lined up opposite him and primed and loaded their muskets. He had been one of them until his trial: a good soldier, a simple soul, more strength than intelligence.
They lifted their muskets and levelled at him, waiting for my final command.
‘Please, I’m innocent.’
I’d requested the responsibility of commanding the firing squad. As the principle witness at the court martial I’d been instrumental in securing his conviction. Once the guilty verdict was returned I’d explained that it was my duty to see the job through to a conclusion. No-one else had stepped forward. It was always a difficult task to arrange the execution of a comrade.
The evidence had been convincing. He’d been seen talking to the girl earlier on the day in question. He’d told his mates that he’d thought that she was pretty. They were fairly sure that he’d never lain with a girl in his entire life. They knew that he had a bit of a temper when things didn’t work out for him, which was quite often as he wasn’t too bright. They could imagine that he might lose it if the girl had refused him.
All that may have been insufficient without my evidence. I’d come across them on the edge of the village that evening just after he’d raped and killed her. Of course, he’d claimed that he’d arranged to meet her; that he’d stumbled upon us after I’d raped and killed her. It was his word against mine. The Court Martial had accepted my word as an officer. And now the only other witness lay dead at the foot of the courtyard wall.
©David Lewis Pogson 2018