Sunday, 3 December 2017


by John Xero

Slowly, the crimson veil slips from my eyes. The world is obscured no longer. And yet the red remains: slick on my skin, drenching my clothes, dripping thickly from my hair. My knives are twin rubies catching the light wetly.

People approach, my people, stalking through fields that I have sown with a terrible crop, the earth heaped with corpses.

Their cries reach me.

“Hero,” they cheer. And, “Champion.”

But why, I want to say, and no, can you not see what horror I have wrought?

But I say nothing, and they bear me high, a stained and undeserving idol.

Author bio: John Xero believes in heroes, but he also believes in complicated; he believes the penumbra between hero and monster is vaster than either the light or the shadow. And complicated is interesting.

Red is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.

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