“Go! Move stealthily through the city, marking everyone who was embarrassed on behalf of the King today. Every soul not insulted and apologetic for the way the King was handled, let him meet his fate.”
The being did as he was directed, and when he was done he returned to the Master.
“Have they been so marked? Young and old? Male and female? Street walker and CEO? Drunkard and sober companion? Have they been marked with my insignia, as was commanded?”
“They have,” the being replied.
“Was the number great?” the king asked.
“No. It was small,” said the being, “just as you predicted.” Even still, those marked were blessed for they were saved from what was to come.
The skies turned inky black as his minions headed out, the ground beneath their feet rumbling. Before the slaughter began, animals throughout the city shrieked. Plants of the field withered and dropped their heads of grain or bloom to the ground below, afraid to look upon the destruction about to occur. An eerie shimmer was cast across the horizon, as women everywhere began to bawl. Some cried tears of sorrow, others of repentance, but it was too late. The offense had been committed, and the decision made. No turning back.
No turning back, and so it was done.
The beings, for they were many now, found every sniveling liar, every wanton thief, every rapist and beater of women, and all those who victimized others and marginalized the poor. They found every hidden scoundrel and prideful miscreant and every mouth that prophesied falsely, and they silenced them all. The purge diminished the population within the boundary walls by two-thirds.
In the aftermath, bodies lay strewn along rose-covered pathways. The fragrance of peonies could not cancel out the stench of blood pools filling the streets. Those who were dying suffered intensely now, but many more had already been dispatched to the world beyond this realm.
His anger subsided, the beings put away their swords and scabbards. They lay down hammers and scythes. They sang a mournful song as they went along, for brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, families had perished today. Deservedly dead as they were the beings mourned them, for they’d been kinsmen. To their chagrin the king’s men felt a sympathy they knew was not deserved. No one spoke a word of it.
Deservedly, they’d died. That was the narrative, and no one dared say otherwise.