“Truth” By Rhea Battacharjee

The crowd was going feral, throwing items at the judge and the guards, items they were planning on throwing at the prisoner. The fury in the air was almost visible, a haze of red at the corner of the eye. They did have reason for their hatred– the prisoner had wreaked havoc throughout the island, upsetting decades of peace. Although it was many generations ago when the wars had ceased and the engineers had managed to raise the half-sunken island, the radiation and geological activity still echoed. The welfare of the entire island was fragile, dependent on peace between citizens. And the prisoner had committed the worst crimes possible. Finally, the guards managed to calm down the crowd enough to let the prisoner in. As the figure stepped up to the podium, a hood masking their face, the tension in the crowd stirred up again. It took several more minutes to calm down the crowd again. The judge stepped forwards and a guard removed the hood, revealing an middle-aged woman, in her late thirties. She had ice blue eyes and shoulder length straight hair “Before us stands a prisoner who has committed severe crimes against our peaceful society,” began the judge. “She has admitted to these crimes, so no trial was necessary.” Facing the woman, he began the sentencing. “You have been convicted of violating two ancient laws. Firstly, you have attempted to escape our society. Second, you have committed an act of violence against those who apprehended you. Thalia Krothe, here is you sentence: You will serve 10 years in the field. After this, you will be cast out into exile.” The judge stamped her file, closing the case, and the guards let the prisoner out. The crowd erupted into noise again, and this time the guards made no movement to silence it. Perhaps I should tell my side of the story now. Perhaps I should explain why I broke the two foundational rules of our island. First, I will introduce myself. I am the prisoner. I am the one who broke the rules. Listen carefully as I explain why.

 

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