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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1993886-The-Answer
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #1993886
The prisoner can finally answer his question during his execution.
It's been five years since I've exposed my eyes to the bright, glorious daylight.

         All these years I've spent locked up in a filthy, grim cellar that reeked of cold blood and death. Time taught me that complaining would do me no good. It would either quicken my death or soil my already rotten reputation. I was a man that held great pride, but all was lost when I showed the government my own sense of justice.

         I helped a pirate with a great two hundred million bounty on his head escape. He was known as Black Jack.

         Targeted by the government because of the strong pirates he'd defeated, he vowed to conquer the blues and become the king of the sea. He called himself a pirate because he was planning to spend his whole life on the sea, having adventures and experiencing ordeals not by himself, but with his beloved crew. He had a formidable crew that was made up of all kinds of people, even bounty hunters. It was a wonder how he'd tamed such monsters.

         He'd stopped at my homeland for supplies ten years ago. People feared pirates too back then. Usually pirates would go on a rampage and leave after they strip the people of their money.

Of course, he was different. He never picked a fight with the people. Despite his efforts in peacefully leaving the city without having a fight, a few government officials that were on duty in that town noticed him and aimed to bring his head back to the government so they could claim the bounty.

         The government was extremely corrupted back then. These government officials had demanded the citizens to pay extra taxes if they wanted protection from the pirates. I was also a victim of the government. My wife was snatched away for their own liking. The people in the town abhorred the government since they were selfish and cruel.

When I heard that he was a good-natured pirate who possessed inhumane strength and will, I hid Jack from the officials in hope that he could help us get rid of them. When I told him what they had done to me and to the people in this town, he was outraged. He left and challenged these officials to a duel before I even requested him to do so. Five minutes later, the officials were already beaten into a pulp. Before they could send for reinforcements, I let this pirate escape using my boat. The government realized what I'd done and took me into custody.

However, after this incident, I heard from others that the town had returned to its original peaceful state in which no government officials had their noses sticking in other people's businesses.

         Did I regret helping him escape? That was a question I've asked myself for the past five years.

         I hear the rattling of keys and look up to see a guard reluctantly fitting the key into the lock. My eyes widen. Am I finally released? For a moment I thought it would be a dream come true, but it proved otherwise.

         "John Brown, you are to be sentenced to death tomorrow morning."
         
         The next morning I am kneeling on the execution platform, with the shouts of "Kill! Kill!" ringing in my ears. The sunlight I'd yearned to see for so long boldly announces my death.

         As the laughing swords were raised, I ask myself the question again.

         Do I regret saving this pirate?

         For a second, just for a second, I can see the righteous Black Jack with a determined smile hanging on his lips.
         
         I smile and closed my eyes.

Finally, I have the answer for the question I've dwelt on for the past five years.


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