Domino

There was a thick morning fog forming over what was once the Thames. Harris sat on the pavement; his grey eyes matched the storm clouds flowing from the horizon.  He fiddled with a small domino, the white paint on the dots nearly worn off. The piece belonged to a set that was long forgotten, but he always kept this one in his pocket. It reminded him of a time ages ago, long before The Fall, when he would line them up in extravagant designs with his son Jared. Jared would giggle with joy when Harris tipped the first domino. That small moment of time before his finger pushed it felt suspended and all was still, a moment of peace before everything collapsed.

Harris was interrupted from his memory by the marching of city guards down the street. He moved back into the shadows of a nearby building.  It was not smart to be out at this time of day, especially on the morning of inspections. But on this particular day Harris needed the fresh air.  He woke up with new aches that only this anniversary could bring.  It seemed like only yesterday that Jared died.

There was something different in the air exactly one year ago. Being a fairly compliant man, Harris was angry when he discovered Jared’s involvement in the Rebel movement, but Jared had agreed to let go of his illusions of revolution. When Harris heard the gunshots and shouts that early morning, he knew something was wrong.  Call it fatherly instinct, but something drove Harris to run out into the street.

“Stand down, Rebels!” an order erupted from the block of city guards. With their large silver guns, they looked significantly stronger than the small group of rebels.  Harris felt a drop in his stomach when he saw Jared standing in the front, his eyes shining bright despite the dark marks on soot on his face.

“My fellow British people!” He yelled to the groups of commoners now lining the sides of the street. “We must not let this harsh government control us! We may not have the power of machines, but there is strength in numbers! Together we can overcome this oppression!”

“Stand down, or we will be forced to fire.” A guard yelled, his demeanor frighteningly calm.

“Jared!” Harris heard himself yell. His eyes met Jared’s, who then looked away with a vigor that told Harris standing down was the last thing he would do.

In a second that now seemed like a lifetime, Harris watched the actions unfold in slow motion. Just one slip of a finger led to a chain of catastrophe. A shot in the crowd from a nervous Rebel rang out and in the next moment, gunfire and Jared lay on the ground, gasping in a pool of his own blood.

Harris breathed deeply in the shadows, still holding tight to the worn domino piece.  He pulled himself up from the ground and knew his role in this game. Their roles had reversed; Jared was the first piece—the moment of silence was over. Harris slowly walked out of the shadows: a new man, a Rebel.

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