Writing Prompt: He pleaded for mercy.

Happy Monday my little chickadees. I am feeling fabulous this morning. I had a nice quiet weekend and as a mercy I even slept well last night. The cooler temps are beckoning me outside with my coffee and the fact that there was very little sunlight when I got up this morning all reminds me that soon fall will be in full effect. Between now and the actual time change most mornings I am going to be a little grumpy about the lack of morning sunlight, but right now, it isn’t dim enough to make me feel I’ve gotten up too early so I’m just going to enjoy the cooler temps the slower sun brings. So shall we get started with our first prompt of the week? Fabulous, I’ll get my timer.

Not bad. I’m not sure where I’d take this but it could be fun to play around with at some point.

Monday, September 13th: He pleaded for mercy.

He pleaded for mercy.  It was the last thing anyone expected of him.  So long had he ruled with impunity, his iron fist smashing through all opposition and crushing any dissent, that to hear him plead before the court knocked everyone back a step.

Standing in the courtroom, watching the proceedings from a distant row, and if I were honest with myself, staying as deep in shadow as possible, it seemed like a hallucination. Could this man, this man, possibly be pleading for mercy?

I edged slightly closer risking a little more exposure in the light while trying not to jostle my neighbors.  They were too focused on the center stage drama to pay me any attention.  He seemed somehow diminished.  His uniform was gone.  It never matched those of his soldiers, but mimicked them in design.  The cut was similar enough to create an echo, a reminder to others of the power he wielded without being a direct statement.  He was, by rights the supreme commander and could at will summon vast armies. 

Despite not being an actual uniform, I couldn’t think of it in any other way.  It was worn with the same precision and care and with the same regularity as the soldiers on parade in the streets. 

I tried to recall the last time I saw him without it and couldn’t.  Even in private he wore it.  I was certain he removed it in the depths of his personal chamber, but that was an area into which I never ventured. 

Now it was gone. 

He seemed like just a man. 

As I listened to him plead, I could tell that none of the recent events cowed his speech.  He said the right things, told the authorities what they wanted to hear, but altered it slightly to put him in a better light.  His armies were his most visible weapon, but his voice was his most potent one.  Now stripped of those armies, he was relying on his natural skills as an orator. 

He sounded like he was broken, defeated, but there was something behind the words, something familiar.  He was attempting to play the crowd as he always had. 

‘Surely not,’ I thought.  The recent outrages, the horror of the past few weeks.  Surely that was most prevalent in people’s minds.  But as I looked around I could feel more than see the shift in the crowd.  He was not a monster.  He was merely a man, doing the best he could with the tools at his disposal.  Mistakes were made, but they could be corrected. 

I could feel the court’s anger waver, their opinion slowly shifting.  The crowd was leaning towards him.  I began to think the removal of his uniform was more of a calculation than him being stripped of authority by outsiders.  Without it, he was just a man and could plead for mercy and offer the justification that his position would never have allowed him.

It was, for me, especially hard to watch. I knew his tricks and knew this show of contriteness was nothing more than a display.  It was more of a defense than his lawyer.  I felt a wave of disgust and then another wave of despair.  He was going to get away with it.  He was gong to convince them of his righteousness.  He may not be returned to power today, but I could see it happening again.  I could see his slowly worming his way back in.  Once again resuming control.

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