Trial By the Mirror Essay
Trial By the Mirror
“Underneath the shadows of the other side of time
If there is a hell then there must be a behind”
-Insane Clown Posse, “Echo Side”
She is led into the room by two strong men, plump and middle age. The dark blonde hair quivers as she sobs. Her legs tremble and give way, and her eyes, fallen in deeply an a face that was formerly round, are pleading. She is flopped down onto the chair designated for those condemned to the Highest Measure, and looks at us, holding clenched hands to her mouth.
We – Nikolas and I – look at her indifferently.
“Marjorie Penant.’ Nickolas states.
She nods numbly.
“You have killed…” He starts repeating her sentence to her. We are required to do it. Psychological torture it may be, but it’s part of the common procedure now. Something required before we finish our job. It is difficult otherwise, to…
“I have killed no one!” Her voice rings out suddenly, kicking my train of thought off track. Damn condemned!
Yet this just may have been worth interrupting my musings for a moment. Most condemned lose all sense of will before the Highest Measure. She stands now, shaking not with fear, but with rage. Nikolas nods slightly, his perpetual boredom somewhat alleviated. Interesting – and it would seem it’s my turn to speak.
“Really?” Only one word. I know my voice is darkly musical. This is my gift, my power, so to speak.
The word echoes almost visibly through her body, making her consider and reconsider, invoking into her things that she might not want to remember, as forceful as the call of hunger after many days of starvation. She covers her ears, and stands erect for a couple of seconds, only to fall to the floor with a shriek. “N-no!!!”
My lips curl into a smirk. As expected. Ninety-nine percent of humans can’t stand my voice… sBut what’s this?
“I… Killed… Nobody…” She grunts through clenched teeth. “I’ve… Killed… NOBODY!”
I cast a glance at Nikolas, who calmly continues reading her sentence. “You have killed three children, by exposing them to Matters of the Soul early.”
She raises a tear-stained face, and her voice is strangely clear, as she pronounces: “I. Killed. Not. One. Of. Them.” She sits up with obvious difficulty. “Your system did.”
“You went against it. And took them with you.” Nikolas says calmly.
“Because it’s nonsense!” She says sharply.
I raise an eyebrow calmly. Looks like I was mistaken in my first impression. She is not the simpleton she initially looked to be. I had even wondered why she earned her measure. I no longer wonder.
“Really?” You are despicable – this is what my voice says this time. You decided their fates, and their deaths are only your fault. You should cry with relief that we are a humane society and merely killed them – not did what we are going to do to you. Be self-contemptuous, be afraid, be dead – my voice commands it all.
“Nonsense!” She gasps stubbornly. “Th… The soul… Isn’t something to be taken away by the likes of you!!”
“Pedagogue.” Nikolas says calmly. “Parts of the soul are shown as a human being gets older. Gradually. It does no harm this way.”
“And destroys our humanity!” She says proudly.
So typical of the old-style humanists. Nikolas looks to me. “Laas?”
“You destroy it yourself.” I add calmly. “Was it not you who cried for your life a minute ago?”
“I cried for the lives of my children.” She replies dryly. “Not for my own. It is in no danger.”
“You have been condemned to meeting yourself.” Nikolas finishes the sentence. And then adds; “You are wrong when you think your life is in no danger. You have been through meeting with parts of your soul.”
“And they have taught me much.” She raises her chin proudly.
“The shadows do not teach.” I frown. “They take away.”
She looks upon me with an expression I have not seen since my initiation. It is pity. “Then you were unable to cope with their lessons. As the fourth child was unable to cope with mine. And it will kill you. As it killed them.”
“And you.” I reply.
“No.” She says simply. “Go on. I want no other last words.”
I and Nikolas silently lead her to the silver arch. She is left under it, as we walk to the sides of it. We press our palms to the sides pf the arch, and darkness begins playing between it, almost touching it. The feeling of stepping through the arch is like skydiving, I know. Without a parachute.
She throws her hands up. “Nothing is true! Everything is permitted!” And jumps through the arch. The darkness swallows her, and wavers, as the machine starts working
Nikolas turns to me. “I think we will have a new one among us.”
I scrutinize the arch. The gate to the Other Side was reserved for those who did not deserve the Death Penalty. Especially those who committed the ultimate crime against humanity – destroyed the integrity of society by teaching younglings about souls before they were fully grown. This was the standard tactic of terrorists these days. Most return from the arch dead, a cruel death. It contains a realm of endless madness, among which, somewhere, is your own self, inflicting the insanity.
I know all about it. After all, I had once stood before the same gate myself.
The darkness wavers once more, as it spits out the woman who was Marjorie. Her eyes are dead now that she knows what she has been teaching her children. Sanity is limitation, after all. Those who break limitations too early, die to the world. Who survive death, learn to control limits.
Nikolas extends his hand to her. “Come.” He says soothingly. “You have much to learn.”
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 April 2017
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