“Just give us a name,” said the judge, waving again at the three slim volumes of incendiary manifesto. His eyes were not unkind. “This doesn’t have to fall on you.”
The woman in the dock spread her hands as far as manacles allowed. “I found them. I’m just the gardener.”
They burned the books in a pit behind the gallows. The ash fell with the rain, trickling grey through soil stained with thwarted revolution.
The first shoots appeared unnoticed. Pale leaves unfurled towards the sun, their irregular markings maturing from scrawl to careful text. A breeze ruffled the nascent pages.
Author bio: Phil Dyer does medical research in Liverpool and writes spec fic on the side. His stories have recently appeared in BFS Horizons, 101 Fiction, and Black Hare Press. He retweets animal gifs @ez_ozel.
Flourishing is part of 101 Fiction issue 24.