As they stepped out on the street, Cain said, "You know, I've just realized something, Duke. What went through my head just now was that I could make the Fellowship's cause stronger by working with the mayor. I hadn't even considered the fact that he was a bigot, that he stood for everything which I claim to abhor. I just made a deal with my ideological arch enemy. What do you think of that, Duke?"
"I don't really think much of it at all, sir."
"Oh, you mean you think that sometimes beliefs must give way to practicality?"
"No, I don't mean that, sir. I just mean I hadn't really considered it."
"So you do think I've given up my principles?"
"No, I don't think that either, sir."
"I'm afraid that I've strayed, Duke. I think I may have betrayed myself. Have you ever had that feeling, Duke?"
"How can that be, Duke?"
"Well, sir, I don't serve myself. I serve you. What I value about me doesn't come from any belief of my own, it just comes from my obedience. My honor is my loyalty. The only way I could betray myself is if I betrayed what I served. And I've never betrayed you, sir."
"You're a simple man, Duke. A good, righteous, simple man."
"Thank you, sir."
"You must promise me something, Duke. When I've sold out my belief system because it seemed like it would help my belief system - you must betray me. When I've become totally corrupt, you must betray me to save yourself, Duke. Will you promise me that, Duke?"
"I'll never betray you, sir. I'm sorry."
"Yes. So am I."
They both stood still and the wind blew around them.
"It's a very cold night out," Duke said.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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