Prince Of Peace
He was born on Christmas Eve, an irony of sorts. He came into the world on a holy night, as snow fell and carollers sang. Little did they know what had been brought upon them that night.
He seemed a good enough child, quiet and well behaved. He rarely got into fights in school, mostly kept himself to himself and the teachers never had a bad word to say about him. They wished he’d get more involved in class, speak up a little more, and suggested to his parents that they should encourage him to be more sociable, and make a few more friends. Or any.
He did, in time, of course, as he hit his teenage years he grew into himself and his natural charisma came to the fore. People seemed drawn to him, although he still kept them at arms lengths. There were a few girls, sure, some awkward fumblings here and there, but never any romance, no sweethearts, no love sick dreams. Still, they adored him, and not just the girls, but he seemed to be mostly oblivious to it. He did, however, realise that people would generally do what he asked them to, and he started to use that to his advantage.
It all seemed very innocent at first, just the usual steady rise to political power. He gathered a trusted core of followers and supporters who worked tirelessly to promote him. He presented a squeaky clean and attractive front to the public. It all seemed so very unremarkable.
Then one day we all woke up to find him there, in Number Ten, running the country. It’s strange, it felt so much like he’d come from nowhere. It was only later that we uncovered the trail that had led him there, the mysterious disappearances, the convenient suicides, the series of coincidences that had manoeuvred him into a position of power.
Things changed so quickly after that. It must have been only twelve months before the police started wearing full face masks and carrying guns. All for our protection, of course. The protests had gotten out of hand, something had to be done, the royal family themselves had been threatened! Order had to be restored, arrests were made, and more people disappeared, all in the name of democracy. All in the name of peace and prosperity. The markets had been nervous; they needed to be reassured that the government was in control.
The protests soon stopped, especially after a whole generation was conscripted and sent to fight foreign wars. Oil, water, food, we were told it was all running out, and that we needed to secure our assets abroad. We needed to protect our allies. Our children gave their lives on a distant soil, we were told, so that the wars would not spread to our land. Freedom was worth the price we paid.
I still remember the day the bombs started to fall. Every time I close my eyes I see the sky turn red and the rivers run with blood. I see children climbing over corpses, looking for their mothers, looking for food, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst was seeing a child sat by the side of the road, its eyes empty and hollow, all hope gone. Just sitting there, slowly dying, with no reason to move, no reason to try and prevent the inevitable. I saw childhood’s end, and it was all his fault.
Or, rather, it will be, if I let him live.