The Council – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s photo prompt
comes courtesy of Roger Bultot.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Roger Bultot

Click here to hear the writer read his words:

The Council

It is not a great hall, like in Capital City.
But in this modest structure we make decisions of life and death.
I have the casting vote on the man before us.
Guilty, and he dies.
Not guilty, and the investigation re-opens.
It will lead inevitably to me.
And I will take his place.
It has taken me years of hard work to attain this position.
I have sworn blood oaths to the gods and to my ancestors.
I can do so much good here.
I must decide.
Set him free and lose everything.
Or condemn my innocent brother.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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29 Responses to The Council – Friday Fictioneers

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Oh wow. I guess how much does he love his brother? More than his own life or not enough to permit him to live, to allow him to die as a scapegoat. A difficult choice. I’ve probably mentioned it sometime before, but this reminds me a great deal of the short story “The Lady or the Tiger.”

    In short, a king finds out his daughter has been meeting and is in love with a commoner. He permits the guy to choose between two doors. Behind one door is a beautiful woman who could be his wife, and behind the other is a man-eating Tiger. The princess meets her lover one last time and he begs her to tell him the right door to choose. So, in the end, which door does the princess choose for the man she loves: the lady or the tiger? Will jealousy and self-preservation overcome (in either story) or will the person choosing do what’s right, what’s best, to save their loved ones life?
    Great piece CE. It’s been nice to catch up to your stories. Hugs and enjoy your week.

    Like

  2. 4963andypop says:

    Heaven save us from do-gooders!

    Love the term you coined, Sound Bite Fiction! Perfect!

    Like

  3. Wow!
    The choice was so obvious until that last line.

    Like

  4. Lynn Love says:

    I have a feeling if he’s come this far, he may go through with the whole thing and watch his brother die – and do a lot of praying afterwards. A Machiavellian schemer on that scale does not fall easily. Well written and wonderfully told

    Like

  5. Sarah Ann says:

    Such a strong voice and tantalising tale. This is such a good set up and you leave us now wondering. Although obviously he will save himself, unless he really loves his bother.

    Like

  6. A dilemma indeed. Toss a coin maybe. Which is the greater good? And could his bro do better?

    Like

  7. jillyfunnell says:

    Set him free and start over. Living with himself in any other circumstances would be hell on earth. If he has the capacity to do good maybe he will not be executed. Great story.

    Like

  8. Mike says:

    It is a conundrum you have set him.

    Like

  9. Eat or be eaten… easy choice for a predator… but I doubt that anything good can come out from a decision…

    Like

  10. willow88switches says:

    I really like the fresh approach to this image reading. It wasn’t what I would have expected, so it’s a delight to read – and the narration is spot on. Of course, the twist to the story, is well crafted and worded – (I would expect no less from you) and I have to say, this is by far one of my favourite pieces. References to ancestors, oaths, and the idea of loyalties …. and initially, it sounds like a “city counsel” – yet you’ve cleverly switched to include this notion, while also clearly, showing it isn’t the case. And the idea of “guilt and innocence” and stepping in to replace – for “crimes” committed or not? Whether on a political playing ground, or an actual crime – oh how teasingly delicious of you to leave this open-ended and left to the reader’s imagination. Bravo C.E. Bravo!

    Like

  11. granonine says:

    “Good” leaves a lot of room for definition here. If you start by murdering an innocent brother, I’m wondering what your good acts will be. . .

    Like

  12. Joy Pixley says:

    If he would commit some crime horrible enough for the death penalty, and then frame his innocent brother for it, I’m terrified about what “good” he’s planning to do next!

    Like

  13. Well, that sound like a two-second decision.

    Like

  14. Dilemmas dilemmas!! I guess it is all in whether or not blood is thicker than water! Loved it! ❤

    Like

  15. Well, that’s certainly dark but I truly like where you took this. Brother against brother usually turns out for the worst. Well done.

    Like

  16. Brother against brother, is that not always the choice when one human condemns another?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I didn’t expect that…….

    Like

  18. At times like these blood turns thinner water. Very well written, You reserved the best for the last as is your wont always, Ceayr.

    Like

  19. Anita says:

    Well narrated.
    What a decision to make!
    Future goodness based on the foundation of a crime- that too death of one’s own innocent brother…
    You Make Me Feel Alive- Anita

    Like

  20. Iain Kelly says:

    All that work and time, he’s not going to let a small thing like blood ties get in the way.

    Like

  21. pennygadd51 says:

    Such is the arrogance of those who strive to rule. His brother’s a goner.

    Like

  22. Rowena says:

    Very well done, you led me right to the slaughter. Great twist at the end.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

  23. What a dilemma! Time to toss a coin methinks!

    Click to read my FriFic tale

    Like

  24. James says:

    Quite the puzzle you have posed.

    Like

  25. Dear CE,

    it seems we both presented conundrums this week. Exceptionally good one.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a wonderful twist, very nicely done! =)

    Like

  27. Sandra says:

    You’d need to have a colossal conviction about your own potential to condemn your brother to death. Or maybe he’s just fooling himself. Good one, CE.

    Like

  28. neilmacdon says:

    But he can do so much good. The choice is obvious

    Liked by 1 person

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