The trial was rapidly threatening to rage out of control. Despite being told to quiet down, the mob was raging and would not be pacified. The judge waited placidly, seemingly not at all alarmed by the commotion. When it began to settle down he spoke.
“You have made your choice then. This one will be taken for the sentence to be carried out.”
The prisoner in the dock with the condemned one would not meet his eyes. He hung his head and let himself be taken away, back to his cell. He seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, as if a grave injustice were being done. he was guilty, yes, and as for the other…well, it was out of his hands, wasn’t it? He would not see him again, and that was that.
The chosen one was taken away and preparations were made for his sentence to be carried out. The crowd dispersed and reformed at the place where the remainder of the sentence would be carried out. There was much back and forth amongst the crowd. The prisoner’s supporters called out for him to be released and were villified by the majority who had clearly had enough and wanted the sentence carried out as quickly as possible.
As the prisoner was made to take the long walk to the place of his destiny he seemed at peace with himself, as though this needed to happen, or perhaps as though he had resigned himself to it. He did not look at the crowd, even as they called out to him, his supporters pleading with him to speak, his detractors baying for blood.
His sentence was to be carried out in conjunction with that of some others and he was placed amongst them. They stared at him, but he would not meet their eyes. He looked straight ahead and seemed unfazed by what was happening to him. They called out to him and after a time he turned to one of them.
“Are you at peace?” he asked him in a caring voice.
The other was taken aback. His questioner had an aura about him that was hard to define, and was unnerving. “What kind of question is that? How can I be at peace? Look at us!”
The other looked away, as though he was unconcerned with the exchange and then looked back once more. “We are where we need to be.”
The man on the other side of him could contain himself on longer. “No wonder they hate you!” His face was contorted in rage. “You’re a trouble maker. That’s why you’re here. Me, i’m just a thief!”
“It doesn’t matter. Look within.”
The thief snorted derisively. “You make no sense. Do you not care at all what is happening here?”
“It matters not what care there is. Try to find peace within yourself. All will be as it must be. I tell you again, look within.”
The man on the other side let out a cry of pain and twisted about. “It’s true what they say about you. You have brought this on yourself. I don’t belong here with you!”
The one in the middle gazed steadfastly forward. “It is true what you say. I have brought this. It is as it must be. My time is at hand.” Still he seemed oddly serene. “It is an honor to be with you both.”
The one to his right looked on him with disbelief. “You are as crazy as they say, aren’t you? You were warned, and still you insisted on your rable rousing. Do you mean to say you wanted this? Are you mad?”
A sad smile played at the corners of his mouth. “I only wanted to show a better way. I was not wrong. I will die with that knowledge. Is that so bad?”
The one on the left laughed bitterly. “What a way to go. We are conversing with a madman. I never imagined it would be like this.”
“Listen to me now. There is not much time left. It isn’t too late to take heed of my words. I can give you…”
The one on the left went into a rage. “Just shut up! You can give us nothing! Your fate is our fate, can you not see that? What is the matter with you?!”
“It is not what it seems. Soon you will know. Try to be at peace with yourself.”
The two fell silent. There was no talking to this demented fool. He must be delusional with the pain the one on the right thought to himself. How much longer would it be before death took them?
As they waited, the crowd below continued their vigil. The supports of the chosen one wept bitterly, while his detractors gazed in confusion upon him, uncertain now of their previously strong convictions. Why was he not in agony as the others were. A strange light seemed to engulf him, surely it was merely a trick of the sun and shadows.
Some of the guards who had been gambling near by ceased their game and looked up. They too seemed troubled. Something was not right here. They turned back and tried to ignore what they were thinking. There was nothing to be done but wait for the end so they could carry out their duty.
After awhile one of the others turned to the chosen and spoke again. “I want to believe you. I’m sorry I spoke so harshly. What am I to do. I can feel myself slipping away…”
“Know that I am here for you. For all of you. Find it within yourself to forgive.”
The chosen one spoke no more and his chin dropped to his chest. His eyes were closed, but he moved his head from side to side slowly. The other two looked at him with unease, then seemed to slowly come to a realization that had eluded them until that moment. Suddenly, in unison, they gave out and drew their last breath as death overtook them.