Short Story – Let It Burn

This is a short story I wrote based on the song “Let It Burn” by RED.  It’s also based on the book Vlad: The Last Confession, which is about Vlad the Impaler.  Written from the point of view of a man who was supposed to be his best friend but then betrayed him.

This is all wrong. This isn’t what we planned. Everything is burning. Why is this happening? I asked you why you let this happen, but you never answered. You told me before that you were trying to save us, to keep us at peace. How is this peace?

Violence doesn’t solve violence. I know that now. Back then, when we were both young, I was with you all the way. My prince. I did everything you told me, punished every criminal, no matter how small their crime. Bodies hung everywhere in every town, to send a message.

What message is that? Fear your prince. You told me once that you can’t change a man’s love, but only control their fear. That’s why you did this. You believed that peace would come through fear. You were wrong.

I gave you my shoulder to cry on. I looked into your eyes when you gave me these orders. I saw dominance there. Power. But I also saw fear. Fear that this plan of yours would destroy you in the end. You tried to push that fear away, but I saw it all the same. I wish I’d said something to you then, but I was afraid, too.

Can’t you see your people in agony? I helped you take back your throne because you promised to save your people, to get rid of the fakers who cared not for them. But you’re hurting them more. And for what? You say it’s to save them from a worse fate. Perhaps, but it isn’t much better.

I’m sorry, my friend. I never wanted this to happen. I never wanted to betray you, after so many others did. But I had to. After what you’ve done, I had no other choice. You’re letting your land burn down.

You were right, it all crashed down upon you. I’m sorry.

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