Author : Jeff McGaha

“Who’s there?” Brother Peter questioned. “Answer me. I demand to be let go. Do you know who I am? You’re in some serious trouble. The whole planet is going to be looking for me.”

The bag covering Brother Peter’s head was quickly removed, pulling a few hairs along with it. He blinked hard a few times. Bright lights were aimed at his face. His eyes adjusted. He was on stage in a small theatre. A man with red hair stood in front of him, his head cocked to the side. His left eyebrow was raised and he had a large frown on his face.

“Peter, It’s,” there was a slight pause and then he continued, “a pleasure to meet you.”

“It’s Brother Peter. Now, let me out of here. The whole world will be looking for me. You are never going to get away with this.” Brother Peter’s face, flushed already, darkened. “You have no idea what kind of pain you brought down on yourself. I have a loyal legion of billions who will stop at nothing to see my safe return. You should –“ Brother Peter stopped mid sentence as the red-headed man revealed a small photo and held it up for Brother Peter to see.

“Do you know who this is?” The red-headed man asked, smiling gently.

Brother Peter swallowed hard. It was clear in the picture that he knew the woman – intimately. When Brother Peter didn’t respond, the red-headed man continued. “This doesn’t look like your wife. Is this your wife?”

Brother Peter looked away. “I didn’t think it was. Great, I just wanted to check.” The man pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. “This is Alpha. Bring it all in,” he said into the phone and then hung up.

The door to the theatre opened. Identical red haired men began marching in. They all carried two buckets each. Twenty in total lined up behind Alpha. The buckets rested at their feet.

“Ugh,” Brother Peter spat. “You’re clones. Edict 13, subsection DL of the Tome of Edicts states ‘All humans shall be unique. Cast away all copies as evil. Only one shall be allowed in to Paradise.’ You’re all blasphemies.”

“What’s the penalty for breaking Edict 13?” Alpha questioned.

“Stoning.” Brother Peter yelled.

“What’s the penalty for breaking Edict 4?” Alpha questioned.

Brother Peter lowered his head.

“Answer me.” Alpha demanded softly.

Alpha nodded to the line of clones. They each picked up a rock from their buckets and hurled them at Brother Peter. They struck him all over the torso and limbs, but missing his head. Brother Peter winced in pain.

“Answer me.” Alpha demanded again.

“Stoning.” Brother Peter admitted in a soft whisper.

“Correct,” Alpha stated. “You have a choice Brother Peter. You are not allowed to pick and choose which rules you follow in your rule book. You have to make a choice. Either you follow them all or you ask us to let you live. Which is it going to be?”

Brother Peter began to pray.

“Answer me.” Alpha demanded softly.

Brother Peter continued to pray.

Alpha nodded to the line of clones and walked away.


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