Taos jail
Original Image by Nicole Kohler courtesy of Pixabay Free Licence

Unplaced entry published in Microcosms Flash Fiction competition – Microcosms 152 – on 08/12/2018.  The rules required a story in no more than 300 words in response to the following prompts. 

Character – Rebel/ Location –  New Mexico/ Genre – Tragedy

The story had to be written and submitted within a one day deadline.

Stephanie Cornelius on 10 December 2018 at 2:58 am said “Reading this at work was not a good idea. I’m on the verge of tears. This was so beautifully written. My Manager is looking at me funny because of the sniffling. Well done!!!”


Thou Shalt Not Kill 

Taos Jail. April 1847.  America conquered New Mexico and then, curiously, arraigned and executed the rebels who resisted on charges of treason for defending their own country.

Dear Mother,

Life seems unfair but God must see purpose in it.  Six more of us will hang tomorrow at dawn. By the time that you receive this last letter I will be dead.  I ask that you arrange to carry my body back home and for Father Pedro to say a burial prayer for me.

I want you to know the true circumstances so that you do not believe the Americanos’ version about treason.

I wanted to become a priest like Father Pedro but the Generales forced me to join the rebellion. The Americanos will say that, like these other five soldiers, I resisted their attack on Taos. The truth is that I did nothing wrong.  I never fired my weapon.  When the Americanos came I hid, not in fear as I knew that God would protect me, but so that I could not break the fifth commandment. The Americanos do not believe me. They think that I make excuses just to try to save my life. But even if I had joined them it cannot be treasonous to defend your own country against invaders. God says that we must forgive our enemies.  I hope that he gives me the strength to do so.

Say farewell to Rosita for me. She loved me but it was not a love that I could return with my wish to join the Church. She will find someone else soon.

Last night the Sacred Mother visited me. She dressed and acted like a water carrier but her presence brought me peace. I saw the compassion in her eyes. I am ready now.

Your loving son




©David Lewis Pogson 2018