So this one is based on the idea of “For the Greater Good.” It’s dark, and somewhat violent. See end notes and tags for more warnings. I am running a little light on saved content. Starting in the new year I am switching the short stories to biweekly posting for my own sanity. I may end of doing the same for microfiction, but the six sentence stories will remain weekly
How did it come to this? He thought, as he lay gasping for breath. He was so cold, and he realized with a start that the warmth seeping up from below him was a pool of his own blood.
Karl had grown up in the poor part of town. He learned young that things like laws only applied to people like him. The rich, the powerful, they could bend the world to their will. Money passing into the right hands changed the course of investigation, and Karl watched the man who murdered his mother walk away with a slap on the wrist.
In another life, he would have called that man father, but in this one he had no proof and so he remained destitute. Orphaned at 12, the victim of violent crime, and a little on the homely side, he was never at the top of any lists to be adopted.
He walked out of the group home at 18 with 200$ to his name, most of which he had pick-pocketed, and a small suitcase of hand me down clothes. With no references, and no address, legitimate jobs weren’t an option. He was one of the lucky ones, he found a place, a crew that would take him on, and kept him from freezing to death come winter.
He wasn’t much to look at, but Karl could tell a story. His mother had called it his gift. So he told the other boys in the crew a tale of a better life. All they had to do was make things change, make people see what was going on right in front of them.
At first the boys laughed, and Narry, the leader of their band of misfits did too. As long as Karl paid his portion of the tax, he was allowed to say what he wanted. The older boys always thought he was ridiculous, but the younger ones, the new ones, they looked up to him. He took care of them, and always told them there was room to do better.
It took eight years, but after Narry moved on, and Karl stepped into his place. A year later he had collected enough to get buy him and his friends a home. He used the tax he collected to pay the mortgage, to fix it up. He got them clothes, food, and schooling. The degrees earned translated into jobs, which meant that they left the home, physically that is. They never stopped being his boys.
It was a surprise just short of his 40th when he was interviewed on his work turning lives around, running what they called a halfway house. He tried to explain that wasn’t what he was doing, it wasn’t a noble endeavor, but they ate it up. Soon he was being invited to run for city council; being told the world needed people like him. His boys lobbied for him, voted for him.
They helped him carry out his good work, as they changed the world, one political office at a time. He expanded the house, made more of them, helped more boys like him get a good start. When he was high enough up, he could finally see his world start to take shape. Him and his boys did what had to be done. Years on the streets had made them used to doing the hard work, the dirty jobs, what needed to be done, but others were too lazy, or too selfish to do.
There were those who opposed him. People never did like change, but he knew that it had to be done. It was necessary, after all for the greater good sometimes a few had to suffer. He tried to make sure that didn’t happen though; he tried to bring them all into his new world.
It ended, in a flash, with a bang, and he lay here gasping for breath. It wouldn’t matter now, if they tried to undo what he had done. It couldn’t be unwritten, people had changed and adapted to this new way of life. For all the opposition’s objections, their declarations that they would fix things, he knew they wouldn’t. Not really. So his life’s work would endure, in spite of their efforts. Karl, a man who was willing to die for the world he believed in, finally did so.
Cara flinched at the knock at the door, and her and her brothers were ushered into the living room, and into the crawlspace below the coffee table. The light from between the boards was covered by a thick rug their father shifted over the floor above them, and they were plunged into darkness. They stayed there silent, and listened to their mother answer the door. What she said was indecipherable, but they heard the door close and lock. Then a gasp from her father, and a loud cry from their mother.
What had happened, had something gone wrong? Then the rug lifted, the crawlspace opened and she flinched back into the darkness. Had they found her?
Her Father’s hands pulled her out and into a hug and ask she looked at him she could see he was crying.
Her Mother was crying as well, and stood clutching a newspaper. Cara ran to her. “Mama, whats wrong?”
Her mother held out the paper, and Cara read. “WAR IS OVER” Karl Leads Dead”
She blinked in shock, and read it again, out loud this time for her brothers that were pestering her. She continued,
“Karl Leads, who claimed political power 12 years ago, was finally killed by a sniper in a joint mission of Allied and Royal special forces. With the death of their leader, the great army has conceded defeat on several fronts and offered their unconditional surrender.
Leads, who initially ran for office on a platform of social change was responsible for the deaths of 2.3 million citizens, accounting for approximately 20% of the continents overall population, and 80% of it’s wealth.
It was only two years ago when this conflict spread beyond the borders of the small country of Blarnia, but in those intervening years approximately 17 additional countries were seized. While today marks the first day of freedom for 18 countries, and over 10 million people, it will be a long hard recovery for many. Even so we will mark today as Liberation day in honor of the sacrifice of the men and women who died ensuring the freedom of the all, and stopping this tyrant before he could go any further. Happy Liberation day!”
Okay, so warnings, Genocide, War Crimes, End Justifies the Means ideology.I always wanted to write something from the POV of the villian. I think this would have had to be a novel to truly do it justice, but as it is, I hope you get a taste into the other side of the story.