Who has fault now, and guilt associated? If it is any of you, do not bother me anymore, you know what the punishment, he said.
Everyone nodded along because he always made excellent points, so they continued on. First, the one in the line died, then the second one, the third one, the fourth one and on and on until only three remained. It was a strange sight for him who was not used to being disobeyed, but he let it slide for a moment as he collected his thoughts.
What kind of destruction has brought you to this point? That you do not wish to die for me or obey me or do anything like it has all been planned?, he asked the three, two women and a man, who stood naked and hungry.
There was a silence from the three and he moved his head sideways. He was also not used to being ignored. So he asked again.
Are you not afraid of death? Or perhaps you are more afraid of life? Whichever one it is, you will not escape it, unless you learn to accept the nature, he said.
The three naked people nodded but said nothing. So he approached the first one, the woman, and glared.
Tell me why you haven’t killed yourself, he said.
I have found a purpose in my life, she said, which is strange because standing in a line shouldn’t be enough for that. But throughout all these years of hardship and conditioning, I realized that there is much to do and things I haven’t experienced, many thoughts I haven’t thought, many feelings I haven’t felt, and many words I haven’t spoken. I think that is enough for a lifetime. As long as those things can be in a potential future, then I can continue living, however vainly it might be. I am sorry for betraying you. But that is how I feel.
He kissed her hand delicately and shot her himself, putting an end to his misery. He then turned to the other man.
Tell me why you haven’t killed yourself, he said again.
There is something about death that disappoints me. It is not the end that I am hoping for. I do not know what lies beyond it and it doesn’t scare me, but it doesn’t comfort me. As such, I have no expectations of it, because I feel that after a life like the one I lived, the reward, the end, should be something better and more beautiful. Death shouldn’t be the end, but it is, and if those are the things that await me, then I do not wish to inflict that upon myself. Do what you must.
He kissed his head with tenderness and shot him himself, putting an end to his doubts. He then turned to the last woman.
Tell me why you haven’t killed yourself, he said one last time.
When I think of death, I am astounded by its lack of existence. As such I wish to be something of a special case in the world of the living, someone who to her very last breath refused to carry out the order of someone who has dominated her life for its entirety. I wish to be a hero, not of legend, but in your mind at least. I wish to live in there, even when you are older and wiser, and be the one person who refused, to her very last breath, to cling to something that you were so desperately trying to take away from her. Someone who struggled to the end and that you loved, despite what you have done to us. You are sick and you deserve to think about me too like I have thought about you my entire life.
He kissed the ground she walked on and then shot her himself, but she didn’t die. He shot her again and she didn’t die. He shot her again and again and again, and she finally died.
He turned away and finally went home. For many years he worked doing the same thing, and never again, did anybody, even one single time, disobeyed his orders.
When he retired, he thought of many things, but most of all, he thought every single day of the three who rebelled: one with warmth, one with pity, and one with respect, and died, peacefully in his bed surrounded by loved ones, with those images still in his entrails.