Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. Government control stifled our freedom. Speak out and suffer greatly. Act out and cease to act. A police state molded our society into a highly-defined shape with bold lines and spear-tip points. A work of precise geometry. A triangle of sorts.
But triangles have legs. And legs can be broken.
I murdered him, the leader of this government. I snuck into his house while he slept. His stomach was bloated, his hair slick and greasy, and his skin blemished. He snored like an ox, which was ironic; he made the noise of an animal that was enslaved by a yoke and worked by its master. I couldn’t help but smile as I pulled the blade out of my pocket.
I walked quietly beside the sleeping man and covered his mouth with my hand. He was unaware for the first few seconds, but he quickly realized.
Before he could scream, I stuck the knife into the side of his neck. It was smooth, the edge sliding into the soft tissue like it would into a piece of overripe fruit. He stared at me, eyes wide and bulging with red veins, in disbelief.
I knelt beside him, his emptying blood staining my hand crimson. I whispered in his ear, “I’ve broken your leg, you bastard.”
I twisted the knife sharply, forcing him to squirm in his bed. I pulled it away. And I stabbed him again.
But as I stared into his pale, lifeless eyes, footsteps approached the door. It creaked open.
“Sir, are you alr…what the…hey! What are you doing!?”
I had no hesitation. I ran towards the window. I closed my eyes, lowered my shoulder, and crashed through the glass.
I clambered to my feet. The guard ordered his men out the door. They bolted after me. Like a group of hunters cornering a fox. That’s all I was to them.
They were close behind. Thin cracks of rifles echoed behind me. Stray bullets raised dirt around my feet. I ran with all the strength of my legs. I churned my feet as hard as I could. Stretching. Striving. Sprinting.
Finally, I could run no more. I stopped. I knew this place. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the bright blue spout that provided our weekly water rations.
Panting, I placed my hands on my knees. I peered over at the pump, remembering the life it had given us, and how that was ironic, too.
They caught up.
“Turn around!” yelled the lead henchmen. “Turn around I said!”
I obliged. There were ten men, all in uniform, pointing rifles at my head.
“Drop the knife!” barked the guard.
I held it firm in my hand and looked at it, blood still fresh on its edge. I stared for a while, then shifted my eyes to the guard who spoke to me.
I looked at him, then down at my feet. I closed my eyes, gathering all the strength I had left, and told myself it was worth it. I inhaled deeply. And I ran.
I ran – knife raised over head – directly at the soldiers.
Explosions. All at once they fired. Like fireflies against a dim sky, the barrel tips lit, extinguished, and erupted again seconds later. The bullets flew into me. One by one. Searing through my chest and arms. Covering the wall behind me with my blood.
The barrage stopped.
I fell to my knees, my body filled with holes. But I didn’t grimace or wince. I grinned.
I said to the guards, with my last breaths, “I am crippled no more. And my people will walk strong and tall. And there is nothing that can stop them.”
One final shot rang. Straight through my head.
I died there. Next to that water-spout. My blood remained on that wall for years to come. And, with time and sunlight, it turned a brilliant orange. It turned into a symbol that we will never be silenced. A symbol that we will make ourselves known and burn bright with liberty. A symbol that we will not be constrained by people, fences, shapes, or lines. A symbol of our freedom.
I died there. Next to that water-spout. But the message I delivered was vastly more important than my life. That message is one that will free people for generations:
Linear becomes misshapen, and absolute becomes unsure. Such is the way of revolutionaries.