What they left behind


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What they left behind

  1. 1. Justin Anderson About 700words712 Delaware StreetOskaloosa, KS 66066(785) 260-0758JTAndersonwrites@gmail.com What They Left Behind By J. True Anderson “No! Wait! Please!” He sobbed. They left him. Their promises, all lies. The fumesof the ship’s thrusters eddied around him as he watchedthem soar to the heavens. The weight of despair thatskulked in behind the storm of anxious panic pulled IsraelMurphy to his knees. The horizon was speckled with thefires of thousands of ships rocketing away, carryingeverything that They considered useful – not IsraelMurphy. He tried to suffocate the wracking pain thatreminded him of the way he felt when he was a child, lostin the market, crying for his mother.
  2. 2. Anderson/ Left Behind/ 2 He gazed after the ship that had been his only hopeuntil it was no longer even a cold white star in the nightsky. Fires burned in the shanty settlement below him, andhe knew he must descend from the hilltop launch site. Hehad to make his way back to what had been the home he hadshared with his masters. Murphy picked his way around theluggage that he had abandoned in his haste. He felt noneed to reclaim his worldly things. All of humankind hadbeen left with nothing, and he was now acutely aware of hishumanity. It was not out of humanity that he had served them.He had hoped to secure his own comfort, to maintain hisaristocratic lifestyle. They once had need of a few whocould govern, who understood the psychology of the beaststhat had to be harnessed for labor and food. One who spokethe words of the beasts in a way that would achieve thesingular result they would accept. This task Israel Murphydid flawlessly. “The slaves will be coming soon.” He said to himselfas he reentered what had been his home. It wouldn’t be long before the angry masses came tothe Governors compound looking for anything of use that hadbeen left behind. There were some few things that had notbeen taken. None of it was considered useful by their
  3. 3. Anderson/ Left Behind/ 3Masters. But Israel had always been impressed by thethings that those under his oversight would put to use. Hecouldn’t help but imagine the antique furniture beingburned for a cook fire as he unlatched the door whichopened to reveal the stairway that led down into theservants’ cell. “Fetch my things from the landing pad.” He saidevenly as the four servants appeared at the bottom of thestairs, and they immediately obeyed. As the servants returned with his luggage he directedthem to take it all to his room and ready his black suit --it was best for solemn occasions. As his orders werecarried out, he filled his shaving bowl with water from hisbedside decanter. It would not do to look so harried whenthe others arrived. Israel took extra care with his shave,though he twice regarded the long blade of his straightrazor as a possible relief to what he knew must follow inthe days to come. There would be a trial. It would beshort. Some man or woman would feel bound by honor to actas advocate for the infamous Israel Murphy, collaborator,traitor, and enslaved master of slaves. His noble defensewould be anchored upon the principle that he had no choice.That in light of the horror of occupation anyone else giventhe chance he had been given would have done exactly what
  4. 4. Anderson/ Left Behind/ 4Israel had done. It would be a valiant effort, but in theend they would find him guilty of the highest order ofcrime. Humanity would vent a generation of anger upon himbecause They were out of reach. He would hang. The doorbell rang, Israel heard a servant answer it.Wrathful footfalls thundered up the stairs. Hestraightened his blue tie and hoped that he would notdisappoint the young heroes who would unite all ofHumankind behind their raging anger. “Israel Murphy?” A hoarse voice, disfigured fromyears of slavery, demanded. “I am.” Israel turned to see a filthy young man, intattered clothes brandishing a bloody knife. “So… no trialthen?”