Without Mercy

By Lynn Daniels

Short stories


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2 mins


One day while roaming through the compound, a little boy about five years of age bumped into Oscar. The boy apologized and Oscar scolded him on needing to pay attention to where he was going. The boy hung his head in shame and tried to walk away, but not before using the walls as his guide. The boy was Sunjata and right away, his mother came looking for him. Oscar questioned the woman about her son and after much pressure, the woman admitted her son was blind. Oscar was unhappy about this secret and he wanted to punish Sunjata and his mother. Upon hearing the exchange, Sunjata's father tried to intervene to plead for their lives.

Oscar decided to show mercy, but not without consequences. He wanted to test Sunjata because Sunjata struck him as being odd. Sunjata was quite a bit taller than the average boy his age, but not freakishly so. He also appeared emaciated despite his parents' claims of providing regular nourishment. Most startling of all was Sunjata's eyes. They were an icy blue hue, a stark contrast to his darker features. His eyes were always open and it always appeared as if he were staring at something intently.

Oscar had plans to take Sunjata to a grassy field just outside of the compound. His test was to throw a small rock into the field and instruct Sunjata to retrieve it. If he found the rock, then Oscar would spare Sunjata and his parents. If he failed the task, Oscar had plans to execute all three of them immediately. To be sure he could not be deceived, Oscar burned a tiny hole in the center of the rock he planned to use and he blindfolded and gagged Sunjata's parents temporarily so they would be unable to communicate the general location of the rock to their son.

Oscar did this challenge believing it would be impossible to locate the rock. To make matters worse, the day he chose to do the challenge was a horrible one. It was windy and raining heavily. While outside, Oscar allowed Sunjata to touch the rock and shortly afterwards he hurled the rock out onto the open field and ordered Sunjata to find it. Sunjata's parents remained incapacitated. They got on their knees and began sobbing fearing the worst. Sunjata ran out into the field and after a short distance, he got down on all fours and began to crawl. Oscar looked on with discomfort. He knew Sunjata was already in the general location of the rock and it was evident he was feeling around trying to find the correct rock.

After several minutes, Oscar noticed Sunjata waving his arms in the air. Oscar went over to him and was surprised to see Sunjata holding the burned rock in his hand. Oscar could not believe what he just witnessed. To him, it was unfathomable for a boy so young to be so in tune with his other senses. He desperately wanted to believe luck and not extraordinary intelligence was the reason Sunjata found the rock so easily. Oscar led Sunjata back to his parents where he freed them from their restraints. Oscar told them their son successfully completed the task and therefore he would spare their lives and allow them to remain in the compound. Sunjata's parents were overjoyed, but their gratitude did nothing to change Oscar's sour mood.



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