Standing on a pillar of flame. Towering high above the world, being raised up, exalted, excluded from the mindless mass chanting my name. All of them my followers, looking forward to the show. I was a rockstar, I was the man of the hour. I didn’t have many fans at first, but once it happened, millions of groupies came flocking. From the poorest of hobos to the richest of executives, they all arrived today to cheer me on. My cult, if you will. People of power, judges, policemen, lawyers, the mayor, everybody. They were all part of my cult. This was my concert; it was finally my time to shine. The special effects were out of this world. Fake fire was climbing up the stage, lighting my performance up. The higher it got, the more the crowd cheered. They loved a good show. I hadn’t even started singing yet. I was planning to erupt into song after everything went black. The smoke machines were on full throttle as the paper flames drew ever closer. The details were meticulous. Even the thermostat was included in the stunt; I could feel the heat of the prop fire on my face. A policeman came on, one of my most loyal groupies. The crowd roared in ecstasy. Then he raised a hand to quiet the mob. Silence. Forced silence. After a few seconds, he picked up a microphone and finally announced, “And now, for the public execution of convicted criminal #4871, guilty of first degree murder.” The crowd roared. If they only knew it was a stunt. The flames started climbing up my body, the phony heat even more scorching. If they only knew it was a stunt. My pants caught on fire, my legs went numb. If they only knew it was a stunt. The flames got to my shirt, and the pain in my chest was excruciating. If they only knew it was a stunt. I was being burned alive. If they only knew it was a stunt. The flames got to my neck. If they only knew it was a — guess not.
August 4, 2011