The Literary Lion Challenge: The word is ‘time’. As always you have seven days to create a flash fiction story in 400 words or less. Check out this link to learn more.
He could not rid himself of the question. It gnawed him like a hungry rat.
This agony was foreign, for in all his years of service, he never questioned himself… He had always been confident with his decisions. He prided himself of the ability to see through the deception. Normally, he could detect a lie before it even left the deceiver’s lips. It was his knack and one that he was well known for. Everyone knew his judgement to be quick and his punishment swifter.
But this time it was different.
He scratched his head once again and visited the list of accusations against the convicted criminal. The list was long to say the least. Of course there was the main question of treason but also there were the charges of disturbing the peace, misrepresentation, fraud and even perversion.
The man’s accusers had been so persistent. He had never seen a crowd so fierce with their demands. Indeed, their fervency bordered upon obsession, and he knew, without a doubt, if he had not acted as he had, there would have been a public lynching, that no man could have prevented. And how would that have looked on his spotless record? Not good…not good at all.
No, he had done the right thing.
That damn question again! Why couldn’t he shake it?
Stiffly, he shifted in his chair, glanced at the clock, and realized he had wasted the day, wrestling with a decision that had already been made. Shaking his head, he chided himself and said, “What’s done is done.” And with that he got up from his chair, hung up his robe and washed his hands. Somehow, the cleansing of the water made him feel better.
Before leaving his chambers he glanced out the window to see the criminal surrounded by the same angry crowd. The man had fallen beneath the load of his cross, but some good soul lifted it for him and carried it up the hill.
Witnessing the scene, outside his window, uneasiness nibbled his conscious.
Quietly, he whispered, “What’s done is done. Besides…in time…who’s going to remember?”