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.