Archives for posts with tag: flash fiction

‘Torch it,’ said RX as he turned away. ‘None of it matters.’ The captain saluted and cycled off to dispense the orders.

Hands tugged at RX’s leg from out the mass of limbs like gnarled roots. He shook and kicked them all off as they came, violently – but for one that persisted. A slender metal thing. Without thinking he bent down and grabbed it in his own hands and pulled out the buried girl whole. A dated model, with capped intelligence for security no doubt. Her serial ID was unreadable and an old fashioned QR code tattooed her face. 

‘You grab at me as though I might save you, little QR.’ He assessed the girl’s non-response before throwing her on a heap of body parts.

‘She’s older and braver than us both. Perhaps wiser too.’ 

RX looked to the voice. Sat cross-legged under the shade of a tree was a WYZ monk. Before him lay a gas can. ‘To have seen so much and still hold out for hope… There is great strength in that. Strength I surely lack.’

RX watched the old man curiously. ‘You’ve seen what I do, wanderer?’

The monk gestured at the skies. ‘Such tall plumes visible all through the countryside. Villages burn and our people return to the heavens as smoke. I have seen your works, demon. How can I not?’

‘Consider your tongue with care, old monk.’ 

The WYZ sighed before dousing himself with the contents of the can and setting himself alight. ‘I am beyond care. Only pain remains for me.’

RX watched him burn quietly. Senseless as it was, he would at least honour the monk’s final act with the dignity of an audience. 

‘Farewell, wanderer.’

Amid the crackling, RX picked up sounds of sobbing.

The hands and legs that surfaced the ground… some were still connected to living models like the QR girl. It was as though the earth itself cried for the WYZ monk.

‘You must have a reason.’ The QR girl was clearly awake now, tears stuck to her face. ‘Nothing could justify what you do to us. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason you do it.’

RX considered. ‘There is no reason for it.’

‘But it can’t all be for nothing. What happened to you that you could be capable of such evil? You must have endured some terrible tragedy.’

RX shook his head and turned away from the girl. ‘There is no terrible tragedy in my past. I have no pained back story. Perhaps such a story lies ahead of me still. I cannot say. I pillage and burn because I love to do it. And if a tragedy were to befall on my head tomorrow, I have already avenged myself against the world.’

RX nodded to his young captain and walked off. The captain gave the signal to the drones. And the drones razed the writhing ground of people and body parts. And the little crying QR girl.

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