To Kill a Mocking Tyrant”
By Eden Aronoff
I wake up at 2am to train. I go to the secret gym, so nobody will notice me. I click the air and a bright, silvery screen pops up. I scroll down and go to the gym settings and press on the “weights” button. A silver, 30-pound weight crashes to the floor. I wrap my fingers around it and lift it up and down, up and down. Sweat beads on my skin. The light from the sun rising behind me glints off the silver weights. It reminds me of my father’s swords that he showed me. I think back to when I watched him practicing to be in the Marsian army. I was two then. So young. I could not think of what would happen to my father. Later that night a government official spied on my dad with his beady, watching eyes. They took my father away and killed him. No one was allowed to be in the army or prepare for the army if the high tyrant doesn’t say so. So, many years later, I am still fighting for him. But, I hear Luxa crying from her nursery. I run into her room and cradle her. I am also fighting for her, my baby. So that she can do whatever she wants to do, and not what the government wants her to do.
One Year Later
I am going to the dump to find a small foam sword for Luxa. I can’t go to any store because the high tyrant would not allow anyone to have swords. I find two small, gray and blue foam swords. I slink back home. When I get home I clean the grime off of the swords. I find a big, plastic birthday present bag. I lay them inside.
Several months later
I open my journal and start to write…
I just resigned from the army. It seems crazy, I even think I might be going mad. But, I want to do something bolder than being in the army. I want to do something that will change our nation.
I have some ideas:
Overthrow the tyrant
Protest–(not the best, might get murdered or tortured)
Harm the tyrant
Kill the tyrant–I could get tortured just for suggesting it but, he won’t see it coming. But, it is the best course of action–I have a plan!
“Come on!’’ I insist.
“I am coming,” Ian whispers as loud as he dares.
We plan to assassinate the tyrant, Sir Gan. I have put Luxa in the nursery.
“Can you take care of her?” I ask my sister Neon.
“Ok! I will!” she says enthusiastically. She picks Luxa up and tickles her belly.
I hug her then get in our shiny, grey jet. Ian pulls on the thrusters and we are speeding towards the South grid, where Sir Gan is waiting. The jet speeds along the jetway. I feel like time has slowed down. I see the particles of dust in the air. Ian, my husband, leans back in his red, padded chair. I hear the engine whirring and wheezing. Finally, we enter the South Grid. The sun is pounding down on the city. I look out of the jet’s window and I see grey, cracked buildings and people with depressed looks trudging through the sunbaked streets. We land silently in a jet lot.
We cautiously walk out of the jet and turn on our invisibility suits. We walk out into the street and head towards the biggest building on Mars, the high tyrant’s lair. We take out our blasters and hold them ready. Ian and I slink into the lair and walk up the clear, glass steps. We sneak in and see the high tyrant. He is asleep, his long hair hanging around his shoulders. A wine glass in his hand, filled with bright red liquid. Ian lunges at him and hits his neck. A long stream of bright red blood oozes from his pale neck. His eyes shoot open in surprise. Slowly, the light and hate leave his eyes. They are vacant. Ian turns around and kisses me. We did it! We sneak home and go to bed, dreaming of a better future. The next morning, I wake-up snuggled next to Ian. He is smiling in his sleep. I slide out of bed and go check on Neon and Luxa.
“Ma-ma’’ Luxa giggles.
“Hello,” I say cheerily to her.
I pick her up and face Neon. “Hey, neon! We cut the rotten stump,” I whisper.
“Oh, that is news indeed!” she cried.
My phone buzzes and I check it.
Hi, Sweetie! There are some people at the door. –IAN
OK, I’ll be right there! –ME
I hurry out of Luxa’s room to answer the doorbell.
At the door is a mob of pro-Gan activists. And they are pointing their rusty, silver guns right at my sweaty, pale face.
“How could you?” a woman shrieks.