The sky was an unfinished canvas of paint, pallets of blue and grey splayed in blends of mysterious purple. Red splashed in contrast, as if reaching to join this harmony of hues, before falling back to the unpleasant scene below.
The boy fell onto his back, gasping as his eyes flickered with agony, spitting the blood forced from his mouth.
He could not have been older than fourteen, but that mattered not to his attacker.
The strong fingers of the guard snatched him by his bloody collar, heaving him off the dusty ground, the grass swaying, as if trying to snatch him back to safety.
He dangled inches from the ground, desperately trying to swallow air into his battered lungs, his warm breath visible against the chilly night air.
“Javern Knol. Found guilty of illegal musicional composition.” A seperate guard read the charge from a text memorized by countless repetition. They stood there, awaiting further orders.
“How do you plead, Javern?” The officer spoke, watching a few feet away, observing the criminal, and the boy barely a year older that joined his side.
“I swear.. I only was trying to e..experiment with the chords..”
“In certain keys dubbed illegal by the Musical Books of Law.” The officer cut in harshly. “You have abolished the right to practise your skill and will be punished for rebellion against The Emperor.”
“R..Rebellion..?” The teen’s eyes grew wide, gleaming against the worried watch of the moon. “No.. I didn’t..”
“Execute him.” The officer nodded to the guard holding him, a bored look on his face of commanding.
“N..No!” The boy started to thrash in terror as the guard threw him to the ground, pinning him as the other reached for his gun. “Please! I didn’t mean it! I swear!”
“No.. N..No! NO! Please! You c..cant do this!” He struggled in vain against the vice grip of the full grown man, and the weight keeping him in place. Sobs strangled his throat as fear clogged it with his own racing heart. “Mom! Dad!”
The officer looked to the trainee beside him. “Well?”
The boy only watched on, eyes coldly analysing and observing the execution. Afterall, this ‘Javern’ has blantantly disobeyed the rules. He deserved death.
After watching his apprentice’s for any expressions of interest, he nodded forward. “You do it.”
With barely any hint of hesitation, he stepped forth, in a junior uniform to that of the officer himself, to join the side of the guard loading his rifle.
The guard blankly handed the fifteen-year-old the weapon, clip loaded and ready with its glistening bullet.
“Please! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it! I won’t ever do it again! I give up the violin! Please..please just let me live.. please..!!”
“Shoot him.” His mentor ordered.
The apprentice tested the weight of the rifle in his smaller hands before swiftly falling into position. The weapon seemed to click into place, becoming one with him.
He let the nose of the rifle drop, until it lay inches from the boy’s temple.
“Please..please... please!!” The boy sobbed, trying to lock gazes with the one closest to his age, trying to find and plead humanity from this other boy, to spare his life.
In an instant, a flower of scarlet bloomed beneath the violinist’s head. His eyes were still wide, directed in attempt to find the apprentice officer’s soul, now glazed as they drained of life.
The guard released his slumped body, awaiting further commands.
“Good work.” The officer spoke, satisfaction breaking the tension of the shot. “The Emperor will be pleased on your development.”
“Yes sir.” The student replied, the slightest bow of respect.
He returned the rifle to its handler as his mentor gestured them to resume patrol.
Neither gave a second glance to the wasted life being drained into the earth as his blood wove its own sad tune into the dirt and soil.