Thursday, August 18, 2011
Those Who Rule, Flash Fiction Friday cycle 44
Raoul cocked the pistol and aimed ever so carefully at El Presidente's heart. He adjusted the cheroot in his lips and looked the President in the eye before he spoke. "Do not think that I have arrived at this decision lightly Don Miguel. For years, I have championed our cause together. I have lead your troops against the rebels and rooted out dissidents and unrest where ever they have raised their ugly head. I have always been your biggest supporter but something has come to pass that has made me realize that I have misjudged you, and in so doing, I have wasted my life." Raoul sighed and took a long pull from his cheroot.
"What could I have possibly done that would make you turn traitor and murder me in cold blood? That is what you have in mind isn't it old friend?" Don Miguel asked.
"Oh yes. Make no mistake about it Don Miguel. You are going to die by my hand, and you are going to know what you are dying for. On Sunday last, you signed a death warrant. Just one of thousands that has crossed your desk. I have seen you scribbling furiously to get through a stack of them on a Friday afternoon so that you could leave early for the weekend. And if there is one thing that will be remembered about your administration Don Miguel, it is the efficiency of your Death Squads and Secret Police. They are quick and ruthless. The man on that warrant was caught and executed in the street within the hour, but then it isn't hard to find a priest on Sunday. Father Juan Maria Ramerez had his brains blown out in the town square after saying the morning mass. A mass in which he prayed that God would guide you in running our beloved homeland."
"I remember that case. He was blatantly providing aid to the Upsequa rebels. He deserved to die!" Don Miguel said with venom.
"He was giving first aid to a ten year old boy who had been shot by one of your soldiers while trying to keep his sister from being raped!" Raoul spat back, and he threw his cheroot into Don Miguel's face. "No matter," Raoul said, steadying his calm and his aim, "You will die just the same. Your country cries out in agony under your oppression. Instead of the peace and prosperity that you give lip service to, we have a country over run by kidnapping, rape and murder. While your countrymen struggle to put food into the mouths of their children, you have a fleet of armored limos and dine on steak and caviar here in the palace. Your police and troops number in the thousands but our streets aren't safe to walk because of them. The rebels fill the hills and jungles because that is the only place they can live without being under your boot heel. The farmers don't grow food anymore because the cartels insist they grow drugs instead. The one man who may have saved us all from spiraling into the pits of Hell had his head blown off and he died by the stroke of your pen. For all that, you must die Don Miguel." Raoul settled back into his chair and let his words sink in.
Don Miguel's face blanched white as he realized that his time had come. "Is there nothing I can say Raoul...nothing I can do? I have money," he offered weakly. Raoul shook his head no. "Well then, can I write a short note to my wife? It will only take a moment and it will mean so much to her."
Raoul considered this. "A very, very short note," he said with resolve. Don Miguel pulled open a drawer in his desk and shuffled past the blank death warrants looking for a pen. The click of the mechanism he triggered was almost silent. Suddenly Raoul gave a shout of pain and began to claw at his back, still trying desperately to hold the pistol on Don Miguel as he slumped forward and slid from the chair to his knees, a pleading look in his eyes.
"Don't worry old friend. The poison in the needle concealed in the chair works fast. You won't have any pain. Goodbye." Don Miguel smiled. Raoul spread out on the floor and with his last gasp uttered, "See you in Hell!" and with that, he died.
The soldier threw open the door to El Presidente's office brandishing his automatic weapon. "Sir, the alarm," he sputtered, "Are you all right?"
"Yes, yes," Don Miguel reassured him. "Send someone to collect General Ortez here and bury him in an unmarked grave." The soldier saluted smartly and turned to go about his duty. "Oh, and one more thing soldier. Tell the Secret Police to track down and kill his family. Brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, anyone who would want revenge. He has a mother along the coast. Make sure she dies too." And with that, Don Miguel returned to the work of troop movements that would help him make his final push into the rebel strongholds.