CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Woman after woman lined up and put their heads on the podium and then subsequently lost their heads.

That night when I was back in my bedroom I was restless since the image of the women lining up and then having their heads chopped off still haunted me.

The next morning after my Dad went to work and my Mom went to the market to get groceries, I heard a knock at the front door and I assumed it was Julian.

Boy, was I wrong.

I walked downstairs and opened the door to discover two tall, tan men with black mustaches and black hair standing before me.

“Can I help you?” I asked as I began to realize that something was definitely wrong.
“Are you Cecily Jones?” asked one of the men.
“Yes, why?”
“Come with us,” said the other man.
“Why?”
“We have orders from the Chieftains to take you in,” said the man that had spoken first.
“What?”

I thought about running, but it was too late. They each grabbed one of my arms and dragged me to the driveway where their jet-black car was parked. I guess I was being taken away by the secret police.

Just as I was about to be shoved into the car I noticed Julian hiding behind the bushes. I wondered what he was thinking about. He shot me a sympathetic look but that didn’t matter, since before I knew it I was downtown in an interrogation room.
The door opened slowly as a tall and slightly overweight dark-bearded man walked in with a machine while I trembled in fear in my chair. He violently shut the door behind him and then approached me as he wheeled the machine. It was too bad that my hands and feet were handcuffed or otherwise I’d fight back.

“Why am I here?” I protested.
“I think you know,” said the man.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” I pleaded.
“We know about Julian Houston.”
So much for rebelling!
“All you have to do is confess to premarital sex, sabotage and treason,” said the man.
“All I ever did was love him. How is that a crime?”

The man attached two strings from the machine to my head and then turned the voltage on low.

“Please don’t,” I pleaded. It was too late. I screamed as the electricity pierced my body. There was nothing I could do.
“Are you ready to talk?”

I was silent. He cranked the voltage to medium and my body was pierced even worse than the first time.

*

The next morning I woke up in a jail cell and I saw my mother standing in front of the bars.

“Mom,” I said as I reached out to her and she grabbed my hand. This was the only comfort I’ve had in the last day or so.
She just stood there speechless.

“I’m surprised they let you visit,” I continued.
“Well they do allow you one visitor before you are executed,” said my mother.
“What?”
“They didn’t tell you? You’re being executed next Friday. I’m so sorry, darling.”
I began to burst out into tears and soon a waterfall was trickling down my face.

“Don’t cry,” she said. Then my mother began to cry, too. I guess she had always hoped for a better life for me but it clearly seemed like that wasn’t going to happen since I was going to die in a week.

*

Next Friday morning came by in an instant. My pulse began to race and sweat slowly trickled down my face as I realized I only had hours to live.

By some miracle Julian burst into the room with a gun and my jail cell key.

“What are you doing here?”

“Why, I’ve come to rescue you. Besides it would be better if you didn’t know what I had to do,” said Julian. He quickly opened my cell door and we both ran outside as fast as we could and quickly got in his car.

“You’re so amazing,” I said as he began to drive. He started speeding and soon a black car trailed us. Julian began to drive even faster. We lost the black car once we arrived past the outskirts of town near the desert.

*

For the next twenty years, Julian and I escaped to Paris. I could not help but think of my parents constantly.

I left Aklava, but I could only wonder whether they were as lucky as me and got out, too, or whether they had to pay the ultimate price for the fact that Julian and I had escaped.

I opened the door to my home in Paris after I heard the doorbell ring.
“Mom? Dad?” I said in shock.

“It’s so good to see you Cecily,” said my Mom as she gave me a hug.

“Yeah it is,” said my Dad who gave me a hug after my Mom.

It was great that after twenty years my parents and I were reunited at last. In all honesty, I never expected to see them again but it seemed there was still some humanity left in the world, after all. I couldn’t wait to hear how they had escaped.

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