Author: Jackson Lanzer

Screens illuminate my face as the names of the damned dance to a symphony of crimson letters atop a digital stage. I will give each name justice. It is what they deserve.

My forearms are strong. It takes strength to push a button that snuffs out another man’s flame.

One name amongst the crowd of traitors catches my eye.

James. Accused by his neighbor of harboring a personal telephone. Guilty. Espionage against social order. Death.

The screen changes from the crimson names to a colorless, bleak cell. John sits on a chair, and tears rip themselves from his closed eyes. He knows his fate.

My fingers hunger for justice, and I set them rampant, leaping toward the button. My index finger hits plastic, and a guillotine slices through the room.


The screen is doused in color: scarlet death.

Darkness conquers the screen momentarily before another name is dragged before me.

Sara. She taught her daughters about Susan B. Anthony. Guilty. An attempt to destabilize gender order. Death.

Again my mighty forearms grasp the button, bearing the weight of Sara’s fate. I think of her children as I press the button, and I smile as I free them from lies.

Again, a wave of scarlet purifies the screen. The truth remains eternal.

A third name arises on my screen. Only I know this name.

I knew this day would come.

“Comrades, it is not enough to bring justice to our enemies,” the glorious leaders would say. “We must bring justice to ourselves. Revolutions are built on sacrifice.”

So my arm reaches towards the button as the screen shows a young revolutionary at his desk.

I watch the revolutionary. He stares at a screen, contemplating a man’s fate, and his arm inches toward a button.

I take a deep breath and press the button just as the revolutionary presses a button of his own.

As the blade rips through our body, I don’t scream or cry like the others.

I simply wear the proud smile of revolution.