• "This is tyranny!" Mordecai cried out from the raised platform. "They burn our crops, rape our women, and kill our children! And they call themselves protectors! Brothers! Sisters! If we raise up we can defeat them! We can be free!"
    I stood in the crowd, hanging on to every word. Mordecai was once a greatly respected elder in our community. But many think he has long ago gone mad. He would preach like this for hours everyday, and i would be in the crowd for hours everyday.
    The Leaders did not take kindly to such blasphemous talk. Most people who thought differently were made an example of, or disappeared suddenly. The town Hood, or sheriff, had given Mordecai plenty of warnings, but he would not listen.
    "We are not free!" Mordecai continued, "And it will only be a matter of time before the fear falls on your children. Spare them this life of tyranny. Rise up! And be free!"
    I left shortly after that. It was getting late, and the Leaders' curfew was in effect.

    It was late in the night when they pulled Mordecai from his home. I slipped on my robe and went outside. The Hood and his team of spooks and tied Mordecai to a pole in the center of the podium. Blood dripped down the old man's face.
    "Mordecai," the Hood said, "You have been accused of blasphemous remarks to the Leaders. How do you plea?"
    Mordecai responded by spitting in the Hood's face. The Hood's face contorted with disgust. He put a gun to Mordecai's head and fired. Mordecai's head snapped back, then slumped forward, fresh blood trickling down his face.
    The Hood turned to the growing crowd.
    "Let Mordecai be an example to all," he said, "Do not anger us, and there will be no problems."
    The blood had began to pool beneath Mordecai. I watched as freedom's blood trickled down his face and dripped onto the ground.
    They proceeded to burn Mordecai's body. The crowd left shortly after. I would stand there for the long hours of the night, watching the flames burn Mordecai to a charred corpse.
    Am I Free?