Short Story

I took a sharp turn down the alleyway to my left, beads of sweat pouring down my face. I could hear the sound of footsteps gaining on me. The night’s air was cold and bitter, and the streets were empty and deserted. Suddenly, I tripped on a curb and crunched my knee on the harsh, stone ground. The bone shattered as I screamed in agony. I tried to keep going, images of my fate if I was captured shot through my mind. But every step I took was agony and I knew I had lost this chase. The last I remember is a boot coming down towards my face, and then everything went black.

I woke up cold and shivering, tied to a cold wooden chair centred in a large empty room, with nothing but a table lined neatly with tools and weapons. What is this place I thought to my self? Blood stained the floor, the final remains of the previous victims. I had read about torture in books, how they gouge your eyes out and chop your fingers off one by one. Of course I never really though it would happen to me. I guess the realisation that it really was hadn’t set in yet. In fact it didn’t quite set in until a strange man entered the room. His apron was covered in blood and his face was covered with a crisp, white mask.

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He was very tall and well built, and seemed very professional. He walked slowly and silently, I could hear the echoes of every footstep he took. He slowly circled me, patronising me and prolonging my torturous fate. I asked him where I was, what I had done wrong, but he didn’t appreciate my questions for he lashed out, striking me round the face. His rational was what scared me. I began to panic when he edged towards the table, eyeing up the weapons, wondering which would inflict the most pain on me. His first choice, a sharp blade. He brought the blade slowly towards my head.

I struggled and thrashed about, trying to break free from the chair, but the ropes grip was too much for me. His large, cold hands clamped my head and firmly held it in place. With the blade he began to carve the letter B on my forehead. I screamed out in pain as blood trickled down my face. Just then I realised, the eyes beneath the mask, why my torturer was Al-Taer, the head of the assassin’s guild. ‘Brother, what have i done to deserve this’ I cried. ‘Do not call me brother, traitor, you know what you have done’. But I didn’t, I didn’t know what i had done.

I tried telling him this but he wouldn’t listen. ‘You have compromised the brotherhood and have broken a vital creed; never take the life of an innocent one’ he kept saying. ‘This letter B will remind all those who see your body that you are a Betrayer’. I knew as well as any brother the punishment for betrayal; death, Al-Taer then slashed down at my throat with the blade, he knew what he was doing and i was dead instantly. I guess i will never know why i got killed, how i betrayed the brotherhood. When you die, maybe you could tell me in heaven, if I make it there that is.