Oct 2, 2009, 8:53:07 PM10/2/09
to Flash Fiction Fridays
Honestly, this probably should've been a short story instead. I'm
doing it an injustice with this length.
Making Amends After the War
My name is Jennifer Tracy. I didn't know John all that well, but...
well, let me start from the beginning.
I managed to escape from the Earthian Empire in 12 BW, when I was
barely more than a kid. It was everything I could do just to pay the
my way out; my father had been conscripted and killed years before,
leaving my perpetually absent brother the breadwinner for my mother.
Not that they would've followed me, they never had the same fear of
the Empire as me, never found the rounding up of undesirables as
distressing. So I ran away, spending everything I had to get away,
even if meant leaving my family behind. I thought I'd be safe in my
new home; Corella was a neutral colony! Who could possibly imagine us
Well, we all know too well how history unfolded, and over a dozen
years later, I was as shocked as anyone when the Empire invaded. It
wasn't for a whole year that I joined the resistance, after my dear
friend was... well... it wasn't for a whole year that I joined the
resistance. I'd run once before. But I was a grown adult now! I
wouldn't run, and I wouldn't just stand by and starve, or watch
everyone around me disappear in the night. No, I'd take up the good
fight! I'd kill some Whiteshirts, I'd wear a beret and take up a nom
de guerre, I'd blow up anyone who collaborated and steal bread and
butter from the fascist pigs! I'd be the pinnacle of the fucking
And... well, that's exactly what I did.
A few months later, I'd found myself ordered to set up a bomb at a
small clothier's shop that was supplying the occupation with uniforms.
So in the middle of the night, well past curfew, I broke into the
shop, setting the timer on the bomb and leaving it in the back. I was
sneaking out of the broken window, and had almost made it around the
corner, when I bumped into him.
He was tall, incredibly handsome-- and of course, a fucking
Whiteshirt. My eyes shot down to his pistol, and when I glanced from
that, to the obviously broken window, I was sure that I was dead. I'd
be just one more of those people who disappeared in the middle of the
night. I looked at his rank patch; Patrolman. Well, his shirt might've
been clean then, but he was guaranteed a promotion for this kill.
"It's awfully late to be out, miss," he said to me. I didn't have
anything to say, there wasn't anything that would help. But he
continued: "There's a report of a rebel running around. You better get
home before you run into trouble."
And then he just walked away! My pounding heart practically skipped a
beat; was that I wink I saw? Well, needless to say, I wasted no time
getting back, and sure enough, the bomb went off that night. I was
shocked; they must have accidentally recruited a good man into the
The next time I saw him, it was in a cafe in the middle of the day.
I'd just gotten passed a missive, orders to kill some collaborator at
a certain time and place; five minutes after my contact left, I was
just about to do the same, when four Whiteshirts burst in, holding my
contact prisoner. He was terrified, but he didn't look at me not once,
even while the commander was shouting for him to identify who he'd
been here to see. Among the Whiteshirts was the one who'd saved me,
John; a Lieutenant rank now, and when they searched us all, he was the
one to check my bag. And once again, he looked the other way! He
reported that I had nothing. I continued to be taken aback by this
amazing Whiteshirt with a heart.
I'd thought of him all the time, even up to two weeks before the
liberation of Corella. There'd been a series of bloody crackdowns;
churches set ablaze with whole parishes inside just for being suspect
of harbouring the resistance. We had them scared, but too scared. We
needed to strike at their heart.
So I was in the front of an armed assault on the City Commander's
office. My men blasted their way in, while I made my entrance from the
third storey window; I was quick, killing the guards with a stolen
grenade. I burst into the office, and there he was. The man who'd
saved me before, he'd risen the ranks to City Commander. He had his
pistol drawn, and I had mine, and over the radio on his desk, I could
hear the shouts of his officers and the sound of gunfire.
"Why... why?" was all I could ask myself. He just stood there, a
gentle look in his eyes; how could this be?
"What are you waiting for?" he asked.
"No...," I said, staring at the man who'd saved me, that I had managed
to fall for, both in spite of his evil uniform. "I can't do it. You're
a good man... you've been my best ally. But... how could you...?"
"I've had my orders, and you have yours. But I'll never be able to
explain it to my superiors if we both walk out alive," he said. He put
down his gun; accepting his fate. "So do it!"
And so I did.
It wasn't until the next morning that I realized what I'd done. The
one I was living with brought me a newspaper, excitedly, pointing out
the headline proudly. "You got him, that's amazing! What a blow!"
I just stared at the headline, in horror, as suddenly, it all made
sense. It announced what I'd done, how I'd killed the man who'd saved
me, who really had loved me: "BRUTAL TERRORIST ATTACK MURDERS CITY
Rest in peace, John Tracy. You were a good man-- and a good brother.