Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled The Rosean-Tenebris War. Please enjoy.
Lady Aequitas wept. Her kingdom was splintering at the seams. The Land of Rosea had invaded the Land of Tenebris after years of peaceful coexistence. All effort made to unite the land of Libertas appeared to be for naught.
A dark figure appeared before her. She did not see him enter her throne room. Odd as her throne faced the only entrance and, moreover, the man approached her from behind.
“What is happening to Libertas?” the man asked.
“King,” the lady replied, “It can’t be! They told me you were-”
“I know what is happening, but I need to hear it from you. What is happening to Libertas?”
“The Land of Rosea is attacking the people of Tenebris,” she sobbed, “They’ve ruined everything. We were so close to winning this war we’ve been fighting, I’ve been fighting, since time immemorial. We were so close to peace. We were so close to a world without hatred, without prejudice, without judgment. We were so close.”
“Why do you think they attacked?”
“Why do they do anything? They’ve reverted back to their true nature. Try as I could to suppress their inherent ruthlessness, I’ve failed.”
“You didn’t use to speak like this. Where did you learn such nonsense?”
“This ‘nonsense’ as you call it I’ve learned from my allies.”
“You mean the charlatans that have been playing you as the fool for their own gain.”
“These ‘charlatans’, as you call them, are the only ones that are fighting to continue your legacy.”
“They as well as you have destroyed my legacy and berthed the conflict occurring amongst my people.”
“What are you talking about? Everything I’ve done has been to protect your people.”
“You’ve only protected half of them, the Tenebris. The Roseans were also my people. I wanted to unite them all under the banner of a single kingdom.”
“What about their past sins?”
“What about the innocent ones today?”
“Innocence? With their history of oppression, how could you call them innocent?”
“If the sins of the father are used as criteria, then all of us have blood on our hands.”
“Some hands are bloodier than others.”
“Does that justify stealing from them?”
“It’s payback for the crimes of the past.”
“Does that justify barring them from jobs? From homes? From equality? From life”
“‘Tis nothing more than what they did to the Tenebris in the past.”
“Does that justify placing judgment on them for something they cannot control? Their skin color.”
“It’s not judgment. It’s an observation. Simply put, they have a certain predisposition towards certain behavior we need to restrain for the good of the kingdom, and for the good of humanity”
“Why are the lands of Tenebris and Rosea once again separated? We wished to unite them.”
“My allies thought it would be better this way as the Roseans were suppressing the Tenebris’s ability to flourish as their own people.”
“Is this not the kind of segregation the Roseans used to force this upon the Tenebris? Is this not the kind of mindset we fought diligently to defeat?
“No, not at all. it is now voluntary.” King looked at her quizzically and said nothing. After an uncomfortable pause, the Lady continued. “The Roseans are different than the Tenebris. You and I both know they are too different to get along.”
King looked at her coldly, the fury of a thousand burning suns scorching in his eyes. “You have done nothing but undo and destroy what I sacrificed my life to attain.”
“You don’t understand. I had to do these things. My allies and I, we had to do all of this. We are in a constant battle with those people. In the years after your death, things started to deteriorate. Relations started to shatter. I did everything I could to stop the Roseans. Every action I took was to prevent this from happening.”
“This happened because you didn’t know when to stop! You have been fighting the war for so long you didn’t realize that you’ve won! That we won! We persuaded the Roseans, after centuries of heartache and suffering, we convinced them to live in a world in harmony with the Tenebris! A world where everyone was equal with access to the same opportunities! A world where everyone was treated as equally as individuals! You stopped this kind of world from materializing!”
“I did no such thing.”
“You emphasized differences when you should have emphasized similarities. You took away fundamental rights in the name of justice. You judged your fellow man in a manner you say you despise.
“You’ve created what you wanted to defend. A marginalized group judged for something they cannot control. We convinced them. They wished to live in peace. You would not let them.
“People can change, society can change, and the world can change, if only you would let them. You didn’t. And that is why they attack, out of fear due to the injustice you’ve inflicted unto them, and hatred, for the kind of bigotry they’ve suffered that you used to denounce.”
“Even if what you say is true, is my treatment of them not warranted for the horrors the Roseans used to inflict on the Tenebris?”
“Revenge is never justice. It is never just to punish the innocent for sins they’ve not committed. To achieve peace, we must learn to forgive.”
Lady Aequitas was at a loss for words. Her tears had dried, her sadness replaced with apprehension and unease. She was so certain of everything she had done mere moments ago. Hesitation was beginning to creep into her soul.
“It isn’t too late,” King said, “You can still stop the war if you are willing to do the right thing.” Almost immediately after those left his mouth, the man disappeared.
Lady Aequitas called her allies into the throne room. She knew what she must do.
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