Bookmark #140

They are running—rampant and hungry—dividing the city between right and wrong. They are running, each preaching their own gospel. Some say you may not believe otherwise. Some say you may not disagree. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is right. “Take a side or we’ll take one for you,” a banner swirls through the air.

There is a kid—dazed and confused. He’s walking, stumbling into them as they ignore him walking between their feet. He sees a dog on the street — scared. He walks up to it and pats it on the head. He comforts him. Perhaps, he comforts himself in the process. He leaves the dog and continues walking.

They are here. They break down the door. “How do you think?” They ask me. “How do I think what?” I ask them back. “How do you think?” They stress on the last word. A knee to my stomach. I fall down in pain. “Who do you write for?” They scream in my ear. I look at the floor—silent.

Outside, the kid walks further, astonished at the chaos and destruction. He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand anything. He looks at a white flag stained red. He looks at people arguing, even killing each other, left and right. He stops by an old house. He looks inside.

I hear the deafening question, “Who do you write for? How do you think?” They continue asking me. A question follows a knee, a knee follows a question. “Why won’t you agree? Why won’t you disagree? Why won’t you take a side? Everyone has to. Everyone does.” I stay silent, my body aching. I feel the life running out of me.

I look outside my door. A kid looks straight at me. I look at his forlorn face. His expression turns pale and just, sad. He looks inside the house, and with it, my heart. I know how he feels. I have felt the same way too — caught forever in battles with which I have nothing to do.

Another knee in my back, “Who do you write for?” They ask again. Barely breathing, I struggle to speak. “I write… for the kid,” I answer, “I have always written for the kid.” Unable to understand, they shoot the both of us. We stop breathing.

Perhaps, they didn’t get it—what a tragedy.

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