You can blame my muse, or BeKindRewrite for this. Both have a share in it. This is just a sketch related to some brainstorming I have been doing on a story of mine. It won’t be in the story, I don’t think. Not in this form, anyway. This is the first draft, with a few revisions made as I wrote it. Input would be very welcome.
The prompt I took from BeKind’s Inspiration Monday was “This is how it starts.”
This is how it starts. 
Sympathy for the Devil. 
I never expected it from him. Should I? We had our differences, but never one this deep. 
If I could just believe him a victim it’d be a comfort. If I knew he was manipulated, controlled, deceived, then I’d know what to do.
But I’ve been watchin him. The change was gradual, but obvious. If only I’d known what it meant. We coulda talked. He needed the voice of Reason. He needed somethin to stop the corruption.
Would he’ve listened? Would he have listened to me. How long’s it been since our last heart-to-heart?
He let the monster out of its cage. I want t doubt it, but I can’t. Did I know he’d become capable of that? God have mercy, did I know? If I did, what should I’ave done?
Even if I stopped the action, I couldn’t stop the intent. His heart’s lost.
We hunted monsters together. Now he’s one of the monsters. My brother’s become the Devil. If I have sympathy for him, where’ll this end?
This is how it starts.
Sympathy for the Devil.
Only the Good God knows where it’ll end.
I wonder if I’ve crossed it yet; that point of no return.
They say the road to perdition’s an easy one. If so, it ain’t the road I’m on. Nothin about this’s easy. In a way, that’s a comfort.
Not much comfort, though. I don’t think I ever hated him more’n when I opened that cell door. But I thought of him on the gallows.
He has his share to answer for, but they’ll make him pay for someone else.
So here I am, holdin the broken law in my hand and wonderin what that makes me. God, have mercy. What right’ve I got to break the law? To decide I’m right and t’hell with the rest?
All this for a man I can’t stand; ’cause I’m arrogant enough to think I know better’n the court. I guess that makes me weak, but it feels like a struggle I won.
I don’t know, anymore. The cage’s open and man or monster, he’s loose. Guess I’ll know soon how badly I’ve sinned, or if God’s smilin t’spite everything.
I just hope my brother can forgive me.  

About jubilare

Just another tree in the proverbial forest. Look! I have leaves! View all posts by jubilare

9 responses to “Sympathy

  • Colleen

    Do you know the Rolling Stones rock classic, “Sympathy for the Devil” ? If you don’t, listen to it on YouTube.

  • palecorbie

    [firmly barricades out all ‘Stones/fallen associations] Makes _____ sound as shiny as Lucifer, for some reason. I’d like the context for the second bit, since gallows-fear and sympathy for it is usually foreign to wild things, unless I read this quite wrong…it’s certainly good stuff, and intense.

    Also, if one wants advice from Reason in this season it’d probably go for hens’ eggs or mincemeat…

    • jubilare

      I’m blanking out the name, there, as I don’t necessarily want this overtly linked to the story. This is an exploration, and an exercise at pushing through a writing block. It’s not meant to be “canon” as it were. ^_~

      I am glad it works! I am not exactly sure what you are asking, as far as context goes. The soliloquizing-character-in-red says nothing of the former prisoner’s feelings. That said, avoiding death has always been a strong motivation for _____.
      Reason is a wise raven.

      • palecorbie

        Sorry. At least you know when I say ‘damn good’ I mean it?

        So what does he think of him on the gallows, that offends bleep’s sense of Justice?
        Blackfontbleep apparently wants its attention. [points up] They are wise birds. Terribly serious, yes.

        • jubilare

          No harm done. You didn’t know.
          I do, and it gives me courage as well as pleasure.

          I’m getting a little muddled, but I suppose it’s my own fault. The blank I blanked out of your comment is the one who was freed. Red-font-blank has a lot of unmentioned reasons for his actions, but the professed one is true: feeling that blank was condemned for someone else’s crimes rather than his own. That would offend most people’s sense of justice, I think. I don’t think red-font-blank actually feels much sympathy at present. The word is more a turn of phrase in this context than a truth.
          Not intentionally. I think black-font-blank considers himself as embodying the abstract concept of reason in this situation.
          It is wise to know when to play. And that is so. cute.

  • Stephanie Orges

    Ooooo. Are these our brothers, Hypo and Rhett? You were right: each one has a definite mix of virtues and flaws, and I can tell you’ve painted quite a complex moral dilemma. Each one believes he’s right, each one afraid he’s wrong. Really, really good work. I’ll look forward to the whole story.

    And I finally get to say it: welcome to InMon!!!

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