The Verdict

Posted: August 3, 2015 in Blog Posts, Short Stories

“You’ve done a terrible crime, Mr. Williams, and I hope you’re aware of that?”

The bespectacled man sitting in the corner nodded slowly. He wasn’t that old, but did seem so. Perhaps it was his pale face, or the strange tiredness in his eyes which suggested so.

“Mr. Williams. A mere movement of your head will not be enough. You have to speak.”

Williams lifted his head. His eyes had dark circles around them, and his forehead had little bruises, which were visible under the huge light suspended above his head. He gathered all his strength and said “Yes, your honor.”

The judge seems satisfied by the answer. “That is indeed good to hear, Mr. Williams. Before I give my verdict on the matter, I am giving you an opportunity to speak. You may talk about anything you’d like. This chance that you have is an affirmation that our constitution, our state, believes in freedom of speech.”

Williams seemed confused, and wanted to tell the judge that he had nothing to say. And yet, he soon found himself speaking. “Your honor, what I will speak of will be short.” Williams used his right hand to wipe the sweat off his thin lips, and continued “Your honor, and everyone who is in attendance. The crime I had committed, it is indeed a terrible one. But I am not ashamed of it. I never will be, even if you put me in a torture chamber again. My thoughts…are free. My crime…yes, I call it a crime because that’s what you think of it. If I have learned anything from my crimes, it’s that your law, and all that façade you carry around like some glory medal, is the worst crime.”

Suddenly there was noise, and a lot of offensive remarks were heard. The judge strikes the gavel multiple times. “Order is demanded by our law. Let the man speak.”

Williams smiles, with hurting lips. He then clears his throat and starts speaking again “What has become of us. The forbidden texts reveal a better world, and yet the gods ruling us tell us that this is the world that is talked of in the sacred texts? A perfect world. Oh, the glorious delusion, filled with nothing but the decayed corpses of the ideas, and the thoughts. It feels too good to be in the slumber, even I was half asleep once, but then I woke up. I realized what the truth was. I have a soul, so do you. I have a brain, so do you. Yes, I am a criminal, and I did a heinous crime. I pondered. I wondered. I thought! And I have no regrets. Wake up, for this sleep is nothing but a rotten dream within a dream!”

The judge struck the gavel again, as there was again an uproar in the hall. He then says “You are of no use to this society, Mr. Williams. You were accused of thinking, and I do find you guilty.

Zeeshan Ahmed For Beyond Sanity Publishing


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