The Aftermath

Erin Chow

Erin Chow

A music lover seeking a way out of frustration.

Winner of a Merit Prize in the Undergraduate Category of the 16th English Short Story Writing Competition

Here I am. Standing in front of a bunch of dirty, disgusting pieces of clothing. Wondering which should I pick out for today. It’s our big day. Frankly, we are running out of time. We still have 10 minutes until the ceremony begins.

The clock is ticking. Servants are waiting outside the corridor. I can see their gaze, the urge to ask me out of the room and straight to the stage. But I have decided to take it slowly. For this is my day, it should be about me. After all, who cares this ceremony more than the secretaries of this state. I still move slowly, trying to think which dress suits me the most. It gets me sometimes, is it right to do?

After an hour, I could finally choose the right one.

‘Your honor. It’s time.’

The ceremony should begin. I look at the mirror. Gorgeous, I thought. Those dull looking dress with dark high heels. I put on my thick denim coat and grab the ‘glory sword’ right away, which my father fight against with the Americans. And went straight to the balcony. People are chanting. Soldiers take their wooden board, banging it over and over again. Like the glory will never end. I stand up to the balcony performance stage, begin my speech. But who would know what will happen in the next moment?

The ceremony ended with my sword above the criminal’s head. This is part of the ritual though, since the end of the Golden War in 2025. All guests rushed into the dining round table hall for the final step, the feast.

Staring at the table, I intentionally glance across the round table to seek an eye contact, a pleasant one. This is the moment where my eyes meet up with his. With a little spark, and hope. His glamorous clothing and innocent look. I thought, how could someone look like that can be on this table. He is glowing, I can say. It is not about the charm that he has, but the feeling of he can change or even rule the world. I look into his eyes. I can tell that it speaks for itself.

But I have decided not to approach him.

I took my glass of wine, barely conscious. Try to concentrate and think about the country’s future path.

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