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A Felony of Birds

Harris Tobias
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Harris Tobias
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Jeromy Henry
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Gordon Rowlinson

Sins of the Father

by Branden Szabo


Cypher pulled on the leash wrapped around Rina’s neck for no other reason than to see her fall across floor.  The bullet she managed to lodge into his side last week still burned, even after surgery.  He didn’t mind the pain; it gave him a reason to stay angry at her. 

Inappropriate chuckles escaped Cypher's curled lips.  “For a supposedly elite soldier you’re a terrible shot, Rina.  How much does the queen pay you?”

As expected, Rina remained defiantly silent.  The kingdom of Tepia was the biggest in the known world.  It was a strict matriarchy; only women were permitted to hold government jobs.  As striking as this was, many years ago Tepia was an even stranger place; it was a chaotic cesspool of low-life’s and criminals.  Sex slavery was rampant and persistent until Queen Lusandra assumed power.  In an effort to change the public’s perception of women, the queen organized an elite group of knights to maintain order and re-structure the kingdom.  Rina was one of those knights.

After the onslaught of a crippling recession, the kingdom found itself in the midst of insurrection, instigated and led by Cypher.  Rina was the only knot in his plans to assume power, she was an idealistic young woman hell bent on assassinating him and protecting Queen Lusandra.  Today she was learning the consequences of failure.

Cypher observed the black leather corset and high-heeled boots he forced Rina to wear.  The corset intentionally left her chest exposed.  “It suits you.  You’re a great pet.”

Rina quickly covered her chest with her arms.  “I’m not a pet!”

“All right, then think of this as tough love – can’t have you trying to kill me again can I?”

“Leave her alone!”

Cypher spared a glance at the neighboring jail cell.  Its slimy walls housed the tall form of Queen Lusandra wearing an outfit just as demeaning as Rina’s.  Her hands futilely tugged at the rusty bars.  “You haven’t beaten her, that girl is is stronger than you think.  You’re garbage Cypher, and one day Rina will kill you.”

The queen’s voice was so loud it caught the attention of every young woman in the dungeon.  They all shouted cheers of affirmation.

Cypher pulled on Rina’s leash.  Her face was a mixture of anger and humiliation each fighting for control.  A watery bead slipped down her cheek.

“Oh, you’re not going to cry on me are you?”  He pressed Rina against the floor and stroked her cheek. “You’re going to see my face in your child every day.  And that, my dear, will make you cry forever”


Several years later.

Despite Cypher’s best efforts, Tepia was no better off than it was before the insurrection.  Things were so bad that one of his own lieutenants tried to assassinate him while out in public.  The astute actions of a Good Samaritan saved his life.

The Samaritan was a gaunt creature with a head of hair as black as oil.  Anticipating Cypher’s question, he introduced himself in a sleek, velvety voice: “I am Alexis.  Pleasure to meet you.”

Back at the castle he had stolen from Queen Lusandra, Cypher wasted no time vetting the young man.  The malicious dictator was getting older; he felt it would be nice to have someone take his place when he was gone.

Cypher looked out the window of his throne room and down at the city nearly 3,000 feet below.  “I’m going to need someone to look after all this after I meet the makers.  Tell me about yourself, Alexis.”

Alexis made no movement or sound, he just stared.  “… You don’t know who I am, do you?”   His voice was a resonating hiss, it wrapped around Cypher’s body.  He continued: “My mother refuses to look at me.   Because when she does, all she sees is you.  Want to know who I am?  I am the son of the woman you raped and left for dead.”

Cypher had done so many terrible things in his life that he failed to discern the specific woman Alexis spoke of.  In his confusion he found himself inching away from the crazed boy.

Alexis grabbed Cypher by the neck and pinned him to the wall.

“W-Who are you?!” Cypher gasped.

“What kind of question is that?  Surely you’ve noticed.”

He pulled his hair back and closed his eyes.  When he opened them again, Cypher saw the angry face of Rina.  She looked no older than the day he raped her.

Alexis threw his father out the palace window.  As he fell to his death, he recalled what Queen Lusandra had told him: “You’re garbage Cypher, and one day Rina will kill you.”

His body hit the ground a moment later.

2015-07-18 07:36:18
micheledutcher - It's fun to see some light summer reading in the flash section. Action and revenge - summer staples indeed!

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