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Betrayed (standard:other, 801 words)
Author: A.M. SneadAdded: Apr 13 2003Views/Reads: 1996/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
When innocence is betrayed...wherein lies redemption?

What have I done? 

Horror consumed my soul and spirit as I stumbled blindly through the
fateful night.  Darkness- both of the night and my deeds- swirled 
around me.  In my fist, I clutched frantically at the frayed rope, my 
only redemption.  With my free hand, I swiped at the thin branches 
groping for me through the darkness like the talons of unspeakable 
creatures summoned from Hell. 

I gasped for air, but I couldn't breathe.  I surged forward but my legs
could no longer sustain my weight, and dropped me to the ground.  I 
pressed my cheek against the cold dirt, clawed at it with desperate 
fingers, and wept bitterly.  The emptiness in my heart and my soul 
threatened to shatter my mind. 

What have I done?  Oh, what have I done? 

But I knew.  Oh God, I knew.  I knew him.  I had walked with him, talked
with him, saw his works, felt his love...I knew who he was.  I had 
always known. 

I pushed myself up and sat back on my knees.  Hot tears mingled with the
dirt on my face, creating muddy rivulets down my cheeks.  I looked down 
at my hands, caked with dirt.  But all I saw was blood.  Innocent blood 
that would never wash away.  Blood of innocence betrayed. 

I hung my head and wept harder.  Like a living serpent, I could feel the
rope still intertwined through my fingers...and I knew what I had to 
do, what I'd been planning to do all along. 

I crawled to my feet.  I felt numb now, in body, mind and spirit. 
Though my body still functioned, I was dead.  I realized I had died the 
moment my lips had touched his olive skin.  The fateful kiss.  For all 
the reasons I might have kissed him... 

I could still hear the laughter on the lips of those hateful men when
I'd tried to offer the money back...and redeem myself.  But it was too 
late by then.  They knew it, and so did I.  But to keep the coins had 
seemed repulsive to me.  The echo of the silver scattering across the 
hard floor as I'd flung it at the feet of the men, still whirled 
through my head like a barren wind.  I had wanted it away from me, that 
hateful reminder of what I'd done, of how cheaply I'd sold off the only 
one who had ever really meant anything to me, who had ever loved me so 

My chest tightened until I nearly collapsed.  I doubled over and grasped
at my knees, my jaw clenched as the unbearable ache crushed my heart.  
A plea for forgiveness was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't 
release it.  Oh how I wanted to, so desperately.  But forgiveness was 
not for me.  It could never be for me. 

Fresh tears spilled down my face as I managed to straighten up and start
walking again.  My heart felt like crumbled shards of glass in my chest 
and cut at me with each step I took towards my undeniable fate. 

When I came to the steep ravine, I stood at the edge and stared down
into the dark depths below.  Instead of stepping off, I raised my eyes 
to the night sky and slashing through my vision was the only redemption 
I would ever find. 

The old tree perched on the edge of the steep bank, as if its sole
purpose for existence was this moment, to offer me deliverance from my 
shamefully crushing sin.  My soul empty, I threw the rope up over the 
largest limb that reached out over the ravine like the hand of my 
dreaded fate. 

The course rope pricked the tender skin as I secured it around my neck. 
I stepped to the edge of the bank again and looked down. 

'Judas', the soft voice whispered through me. 

The tears flowed like a river as I shook my head against the voice,
against the urge to fall to my knees and beg for his forgiveness.  I 
couldn't take the sound of his voice.  The compassion and love that 
swelled in it as it spoke my name so tenderly.  How could he still love 
me?  He couldn't.  It wasn't his voice in my head, but my own tortured 
conjuration's.  He would be dead soon, and it would be by my hands. 

A cry of anguish wrenched from my constricted throat and I stepped
forward, falling away into the clutches of darkness.  I barely noticed 
the sudden tightening of the rope around my throat or the distant snap 
of the limb as my weight bore down on it.  There was only one conscious 
thought in my mind as I went to my death. 

I, too, had been betrayed...and that of greed. 

~ The End ~ 


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