• Brady Hummel

The Martyr's Ecstasy

Their spell burns my heart, each beat directing the sear torturously deeper, deeper. The walls of my lungs slowly collapse. Before me, my family, my little girl, tormented, in agony, shouting for me.

Hallucinations, I tell myself through the growing pain. Keep fighting. Hold fast.

"So, you want to rule the world?" the sirens sing, giggling with taunting scorn. "You were not Chosen. We were. Nothing can change that. Ever."

"Nothing lasts forever," I retort.

"Like your family?" The visions evaporate, they disappear, and all that remains is screams.

The flame grows hotter. The tears scald my face. I hold my sobs in my throat, throbbing.

"It's all over, Camus. Your family is gone. Tell us where your leaders are. Now." Their voices, in unison, boom within the claustrophobic cell and shake my bones.

"I don't believe you."

"No?" Gray snow falls around me. I feel it collect on my shaved head before something harder strikes me and lands on the floor between my shackled knees. My daughter's locket, opened, my picture staring back at me, condemning me.

My blood is a flowing, flaming river within me. Each breath burns, excruciating. What is left for me? What is left of me?

"No matter what you do, I'll never tell you, bastards."

"If that's your choice, so be it. We'll still find them."

I close my eyes, feel their hands in mine as I am engulfed, ended. The Resistance lives on yet; I hear the people singing in one voice.


This story was written and submitted in the first round of the 2021 NYC

Midnight 250-word Microfiction Challenge. The prompt was to write a fairy tale/fantasy story that included giggling and the word "like," and I had 24 hours to complete and submit the story.

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