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Bedtime Historical Fiction Fantasy

We were asked to give our disquisition on humanity. So here it is. This shall be brief. It’s not the first time we’ve been asked about our position on the creation of man. Our stance was unanimous. We still think they’re hostile. Belligerent. They were a primitive race light years ago. Racing against the sands of time to evolve. To prosper. To adapt in a world that’s truly fitter without them. And now, they have perished. They are forgotten. Their memory has long been woven into the fabrics of space and time. This is an assessment of their reign as a dominant species on Earth. 


During the times of fire and stone, humans were scarce in numbers. They coexisted with the rest of Earth’s inhabitants because they had to. Once their numbers started increasing, so did their insatiable appetite for war. For oppression. Let me ask this, has their appetite seized ever since? Unfortunately, the answer is no. They have continued their unfathomable blood shed until the very end. It is unquestionably dreary. We had wished they achieved self-consciousness, but it was far reached. And the ones who did achieve it were treated defectively. As though they were the anomaly. Sad, indeed. 


Nevertheless, there has been incidents of rectitude. Virtue, and benevolence. We will not deny those. Humans are eccentric––in their own way. They are capable of obtaining wisdom. But they are very poor at sharing it. They can feign cruelty, but behind it nestles fragility. These traits have plagued us. They can be selfish. Yet they can be very kind to one another. There is no denying that at times humans thoroughly surprised us. A few occurrences of manifold are worthy of mentioning. It involves their invaluable acts of kindness. They have shown great mercy towards wildlife, towards the trees and towards the land. They have also shown bountiful charity towards their own kind. To the needy, to the homeless and to the ill. But alas, the senseless acts of violence surpassed all good. The killing. The barbarity. We say this with a heavy heart. We couldn’t bear to watch. 


There is of course the story of Henri the Brute. He was a man of many names, but we chose this one in the purpose of this disquisition. He lived at the time of Atlantis. A time when ancient nations were at their peaked glory. A time when beasts and dragons freely roamed Upper Earth. He was a man of great skill and deception. He had killed many of his kind. Too many to count. But when we peered into his heart, we only found remorse. We found penitence. It was a surprise to us all. How can slaughter and compassion come hand in hand? One day, he was riding back to Toria after enduring a long battle. He chanced upon a little girl. She was alone. Bare foot and out of sorts. Henri steered the reigns of his horse and trotted closer. Curiosity getting the best of him. 


“What brings you to the outskirts of my village, little girl? All alone. Are you waiting for someone?” 


The girl looked up but said nothing.


“What’s the matter? I asked you a question.” 


“I’m waiting for Lord Henri the Brute.”


Henri cocked an eyebrow at the little girl. “I am him. What is it you need?”


“I come with tidings. I’m afraid it’s not good.” 


“Tidings? From my army in the South?”


“No.” said the girl, almost instantly. “Tidings from the underworld. I’m afraid your people’s time has come, Henri the Brute. Toria will perish.”


Henri’s heart battered behind his chest. “My village will perish. By whom?”

“The armies of Goltic will arrive at dawn. You have no time to prepare for what’s coming. Their armies are massive. No man, child or kine will be spared.” 


Henri’s fright turned to anger. “This is madness. The people of my village have done nothing wrong. They’re not like me. I’m a bloodless warrior, they’re nothing but credulous farmers and fishermen. There must be a way to turn this around. There’s still time!”


“It is what it is. There is no coming back from it. Your village will perish tomorrow.” 


He stared at her. Round-eyed, yet steadfast. “No.” He demanded. “There has to be something I can do.”


The girl was quiet for a single moment. Then she smirked. “There is but one thing. The masters of the underworld are willing to exchange the people’s souls for yours. You have killed a great deal. Your soul is worth a thousand so far. Give us your soul instead, and Toria will be spared.” 


Henri was at a crossroads. The man who’d killed a thousand was now concerned with the lives of mere hundreds. There was surely no way he’d agree to this trade. But as we said earlier, humans continue to surprise us. Henri agreed. His village was spared, and his soul was traded in their place. It was an act of pure kindness. Despite his bloodstained past. 


So, this remains our question. Was Henri’s sacrifice enough to tip the scales in humanity’s favor? Was it enough to counterbalance the defilement they unleashed upon their planet, their biosphere? Was it enough to atone for their butchery, their carnage? As generous as it was, we’re afraid it is not enough. Let us remind you, oh Great Divine, of the tales of Picard Magnus. A man so cruel, he’d forgotten what it was that made him human. He liberated the offender and prosecuted the victim. Massacre was but a sport to him. A ruler that bathed in the blood of children. Drank to the collapse of democracy and cheered the decapitation of justice. 


When his army burned down the flourishing city of Lanceud, a squire came running to his side.  


“Lord, the people in this church are said to be believers of God. Shall we not spare them?” 


Picard, tugging his lips in an ugly snarl, said, “No, kill them all. Their God will recognize his own.”


As a conclusion, we believe that humans have done far more wrongdoing than they have fairness. They have done far more aggression than they have clemency. We regret to inform you, oh Great Divine, that humankind, as a species, has failed. We say this with a hefty heart. For we know how much you cherished their existence. You had considerable plans for them. But they have failed you. They have failed us all. 


It’s been long due that we offer our disquisition. We have assessed many, no endless of worldly and unworldly beings. Ancient civilizations. Peoples. None has come to compare to what humans have done. The betrayals. The genocides. The wars. The secrets. It’s haunted us for epochs. Now, we are unfettered to speak our peace. We only wish our word comes with admission.  


Signed and agreed upon, 

The Angels of Death.  

April 11, 2022 17:55

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13 comments

Jordan Williams
10:52 Apr 21, 2022

Hi R, I enjoyed this story. The framing device of having the Angels of Death reporting on humanity like a legal proceeding is particularly interesting. My quibble is that light years are a measure of distance not time, but that's just a pet peeve of mine. Keep writing!

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R. Sadeh
16:07 Apr 21, 2022

Oh dang it, you're right! Thanks for pointing that out :) glad you enjoyed it!

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Graham Kinross
05:50 Apr 21, 2022

Guilty. Case closed. Good story.

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R. Sadeh
16:07 Apr 21, 2022

Thank you!

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20:16 Apr 17, 2022

Oh wow, this was a powerful read, I enjoyed how the story steps back and appraises humanity through story telling. The end is chilling!

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R. Sadeh
14:08 Apr 18, 2022

Thank you L.!

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Felice Noelle
19:53 Apr 16, 2022

R.: Here, please accept your first like and comments for your first story. You read my story and I always like to return the kindness. IMO this story deserves many likes and positive comments. Do not be discouraged by their absence at this point. You know you can give yourself a vote, just hit the gray to turn it blue and get you started. I found this a deeply philosophical piece that set up the beginning, revved into a little Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth) and then turned macabre. I loved it. If anyone had given you feedback you ...

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R. Sadeh
20:23 Apr 16, 2022

Thank you, Felice! I'm loving your vibes! I'm also a big fan of Ken Follett, Pillars of the Earth was amazing. That's a huge compliment for me. I haven't put too much plot in here as it's meant to be a letter or a thesis written by the angels to 'God', describing their dissatisfaction with the human race. But I hear you on the descriptive part! Still finding my way as well. I've only been on Readsy for 2 weeks, and I think the community is absulotely fantastic. I can't wait to read more of your writing - and thank you so much again for the f...

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Felice Noelle
21:41 Apr 16, 2022

For Christmas this year, I bought myself Follett's newest tome (I think) "Never." It's been saved for summer reading along withMichener's Journey". Can't decide which to read first. Anything will be a welcome relief after I slog my waythrough the book my husband wants me to read Robt. Kiyosaki "Who Stole My Pension." I told him I'm saving that book for after his zombie apocalypse...ha! Maureen I didn't know folks still read long winded writers like Follett.

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R. Sadeh
23:21 Apr 16, 2022

That's hilarious! I don't know what the Kiyoski book is about, but sounds very informative! I know, people like to skim through nowadays. Easy to read novels. Which I'm not complaining about, coz I like those, too. Follett is an incredible writer, the research he had to do for Pillars of the Earth was astounding. I really appreciate writers like him. I'll make sure to check out his new book, the blurb sounds interesting! WW3 + female president, whoa! R.

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Felice Noelle
23:44 Apr 16, 2022

If you're a lover of long tome, take forever to read, deeply researched, historically authentic books then I hope you've gotten acquainted with a fantastic IMO English author by the name of Edward Rutherford. Don't look into his books unless you are prepared to leave your personal life behind until you finish the hundreds and hundreds of pages in one of his. He seems even more deliberate and deep into his research than Follett and Michener, who once researched over four years for one book. Happy reading....p.s I have a fairly old copy of...

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R. Sadeh
14:05 Apr 18, 2022

Never heard of him, I'll make sure to check it out!

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