A faceless man entered, standing far in the shadows, whilst the beam of the light was shone directly into his eyes.
“We’ve arrested your son. You’d be glad to know he’s been following in your footsteps.”
His heart sank.
“I guess traitors run in the family. What, nothing to say? No fatherly words of concern?”
“What is there to say?”
“No pleading for mercy on his behalf? Ya Allah, you’re hardly human!”
“He chose his own road. Let each man live or die on his own convictions.” Mentally, he prepared a shroud, played a funeral, recited a Psalm. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, may your short life have done some good, provided some beauty, because nothing will be beautiful henceforth. I hope they kill you quickly, mercifully, before you become an animal like me. And yet… Adam for Met. Hadn’t that smuggled note meant that he had escaped? Didn’t it mean that he was now underground with the Metropolitan agents? Or was it merely a ruse to prove that they had caught the mole?
They now dragged in a thin body - a young teen so badly beaten that his features were almost unrecognisable. Mahatma schooled his body to stillness, even as his heart felt like it would fall out of his chest. He steeled his face, showing nothing. The boy, as much as could be seen, resembled Adam very much, and yet, his mind protested that it was impossible. It was impossible that this person could have come from what he remembered of his son’s lankiness. He had only been eight then, yes, but he had shown indications of very great height. This corpse, for it wasn’t breathing, looked to be barely above his own five feet five. Unless his growth had been tampered with… suppressed… denied… but anything could have happened in ten years.
He had to admit to himself, he had no idea who this youth had been. And if he didn’t know, it could be anyone. So he shut his heart back into its recesses and turned his stony face towards the nemesis in the shadows.
“And what do you want me to do with this… corpse?”
“And this is what you would wish for your dream Malaysia? Heartless men like you who cannot grieve the deaths of their sons?”
“You have no proof that this is my son.”
“Oh, you wish proof, cynic?” The man laughed and tossed him a wallet.
Willing his fingers not to shake, he flipped it open.
Adam’s face stared out at him from the identification card, his baby boy grown up. His gaze flickered towards the body. It was hard to decide what he should do. He had been living so long counter to all that they tried to make him be and do, that there were little impulses left in him. Should he acknowledge this strange person as his son and grieve? Or should he deny that it was his son? Or was there another way that would annoy them even more?
Laughter seemed to fill the room. It took him a few seconds to realise that it was coming from him, which then made him shake with fear that he had finally lost it. Maybe he had, and maybe it didn’t matter. As they dragged him back to his cell, tears started falling for the first time in over twenty years, and they wouldn’t stop.
This week's Friday flash is an excerpt from my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel. I picked a passage at random, and edited it slightly for some clarity.