This is a story I wrote some time ago. No real point to me posting it here except I thought you guys might like to read it. I dunno.
This is about a boy who kills someone and is in turn sentenced to death. It doesn't sound too classy, but maybe you'll like it. I can't say. People I've shown it to have liked it. Feel free to post in here with crit.
A sigh as I step into the courtroom. My brother, my partner in crime – the one time he leaves me alone, and I mess up. Staring at me from across the room, more disappointed at me for getting caught than angry at me for killing someone. At the same time, a sob – the wife, or sister, or whatever, of the man I stabbed three days ago. She hates me.
I know exactly how she feels.
Thinking back to the crime. I’ve got no chance of winning this case, so I may as well just sit back and reflect. Let my lawyer do the work.
So I’m sitting with my brother and this guy, right, and we’re talking. Just a normal conversation on a bus about alien politics. We’ve never met the guy before, and we never will again. Well, my brother won’t. I see him that afternoon – we always scope out targets on this bus. He figures I’m old enough to get my first haul in, yeah, so we just board the bus like we always do. Except this time my brother gets off the stop after me. My job is to follow the poor sucker off at the stop of his choice.
So we wait about half an hour, then he finally gets off so I’ve gotta get up quick and follow him. I say ‘bye’ to my brother and he just nods like he knows what’s gonna happen. I give him a funny look behind the guy’s back, and then I get off. We’re talking some more about how the new ambassador for the Ur-Humans seems like a bit of a fake, really. So I say ‘bye’ to this poor stooge and go down a by-way that I know just leads into the same alleyway about five minutes away.
Five minutes later I step out and bump into this guy, and he’s recognizing me but before he can I just punch him in the stomach. So he’s on the floor, but he gets up way too quick and we’re fighting, and I’m thinking this isn’t how it went when my brother did it, he always just punched them and grabbed their money, nobody really got hurt, and he always picked out the rich ones so they never lost much money, and he’s winning, I’m gasping for breath and he’s fighting me off, he’s actually fighting me off so before I can think I stab him.
I stabbed him.
I did it.
So he’s lying there clutching his guts and just staring at me. It doesn’t matter that he knows me, he’s not gonna describe me to anyone. I’m trying to just give it a logical look, grab the money and go, go now but I can’t get my head together.
Jeez, he’s gonna die.
After that I just run. They find the body, like they would since I didn’t hide it, and they trace me somehow.
And here I am.
They don’t even need to question me – I left my knife. Both of our blood is on it. The judge is gonna sentence me. Jeez, I’m only fifteen. He can’t call the ExBots on me. I mean, I killed a guy but they wouldn’t kill me, they can’t kill me.
My heart is pounding.
I remember the first guy I mugged. Well, my brother did it but I lured him there, I did, and I grabbed his wallet and his watch and my brother says I did good, but then he shows me the ring. I wear that ring now. He says I should wear it because I missed it, and I asked him is that why you wear so much stuff? And he says of course not, I bought this. But he has a ring too, and it’s a different ring but he wears that for the same reason, and he says you can always recognize a mugger because they have one thing they wear cause they missed it, cause nobody ever mugs someone alone nowadays. Even muggers get mugged nowadays, so their partner picked it up. Muggers always do that. Don’t even take off watches in the bath if they have a memory attached. I’m wearing that ring now.
The judge’s gavel comes down. He’s gonna sentence me.
They can’t kill me.
I’m only fifteen.
But they can.
They can and they are.
The judge is telling me a ExBot will find me at seven pm today in two months’ time.
Jeez, I guess if I’ve got two months I may as well have a ball.
We’re clearing out of the court and I realize I never told my brother what happened. So I run up to him outside the courtroom and he turns to me and says You Got Caught. Three words. And I’m saying damn, bro, real warm welcome, and he pulls me into a corner and we have a big argument about how I’m really gonna die this time, they finally caught me and I killed someone, and how the hell could I be so damn stupid, so damn stupid, and what’s he gonna do without me?! That hit me hard; he’s guilt tripping me when I’m the one who’s gotta take the bullet in two months.
So I just smack him in the face and run. Reporters shooting me. Hurts more than the bullet will – not only do I have to live with the guilt and die for it, people will remember this day forever. And they will. Everyone remembers murderers.
My brother’s right though. I’m really gonna die this time.
Maybe I should’ve just listened to him.
Well, I’ll just enjoy myself for two months, if I can. Thank god for human rights.
Lots of time passed. It always does, eventually. I wake up, think it was all a dream and my brother reminds me, doesn’t he, that now I’ll never mug anybody ever again and I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, and the only one who’ll ever visit my grave would be him, cause we don’t know anyone in this goddamn town.
He’s right. Nobody will do anything but spit on my goddamn grave, but I won’t care; I’ll be dead, won’t I?
So anyway, two months pass.
It’s six fifty-five. The ExBots are accurate, in more ways than one. Apparently I won’t feel a thing. I’m sitting cross-legged in a market square, and the square control man’s cleared the space around me and put up a field. ExBots do a messy job, but there are other robots to clean that up.
My brother’s looking at me from the other side of the field. I step through long enough to hug him, say goodbye. He says God Speed, Little Guy. I’m crying now. I gave him the ring. ExBots destroy everything you’re carrying.
People are gathering now, to watch this sixteen-year-old boy get vaporized. My birthday was a month ago. I see the ExBot pass over. It gets into position and stops. But they have to give me all my time – it’s my right. Right now, I wish it wasn't.
The ExBot loads. It’s a slow process – Varmint Grenades are really messy if they go off over a crowd of people. It takes two minutes, but I’m not counting the minutes. I’m counting the seconds.
Now I’m just sobbing. I would hug my brother, but if I try to leave the field now I’ll just be killed anyway. And I’m staring at him and I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to frickin’ die and I’m sorry, I’m so sorry to whoever that guy is, and that girl who was at the courtroom’s turned up and she’s staring at me and she doesn’t want this, I can see, her face is so sad, so horrified with this.
I’m only sixteen.
I mouth to her.
She looks at me.
I look at her.
The ExBot’s far overhead. I –