In the corner of a dark alley of a ruined area, I see a middle aged-man is holding one big chunk of roasted chicken in his left hand and a slice of apple tart in his right hand while sitting on the sidewalk. He stocked his mouth full before he was able to swallow it with his dirty hand. He choked several times but kept eating like there is no tomorrow. I'm wondering if perhaps that person hasn't eaten in several days. He seems like a jobless man, well, it has been really hard to find good-paying job lately. I can see on his wrinkled forehead, there is a birthmark, shaped as number 16.
"What's wrong Ilios?"
Suddenly my attention shifts back to my friend, Rowan. We're actually in the middle of delivery duty. Once awhile, the headmaster asks us to go to market and bring several food supplies back to the orphanage. He is also kind enough to give us some pocket money, that we can use for our necessities or save it for future plans. The Headmaster is someone that I admire, who always pays attention to our developments and needs.
"Nothing... How many suppliers do we need to go still?"
"Only 1 left. Hurry, we can still go back before sunset!" said Rowan.
Rowan and I walk toward the left and pass that man. In a glimpse, I see a young man go near that old man from afar. Suddenly, I can hear a loud yell from behind. It attracts a lot of attention from people around the alley.
"Hey old man, what is it in your hand?!" yelled the young man.
"Care your own business. Don't patronize me with your sweet talk! I'm just borrowing this from Mrs. Blouse store, I will pay this back after I get my first paycheck... when someone is willing to hire me." said the old man.
"Why do you give your life away?" Asked the Young man.
"What do you mean? I could find a way to repent my sin tomorrow, at least for today, I won't be starved to death."
The young man replies: "No, you will die today. By the name of justice and central government, sentence you for your sin."
It seems the young man is an official from central government, indicates with a silver pin around his collar. Before even being able to talk back, the old man suddenly feels intense pain in his chest. It's unbearable and makes the old man prone to pain. His birthmark which is on his forehead turn from 16 to 15, then from 15 to 14, it happens in a minute.
"You government dog! How dare you give me false judgment." The old man swear.
Well, it made perfect sense for the old man to be angry because as far as I know, the punishment for stealing something is not severe. As one of the commandments, no 5: Thou shalt not steal, the penalty is -7 point. As I've seen before, his birthmark is 16. So, the sin shouldn't take his life.
The young official replies: "Do you remember that you bump with a pregnant woman when you tried to escape the guard after stealing the goods? Because of you, she got a miscarriage. Also, don't forget how many people have been troubled by your actions that violate the rules! The shopkeeper from a store where you stole those foods got fired because of his inability to keep the goods."
The old man struggle on the ground, trying so hard to keep breathing. His birthmark has turned to 3.
"Fuck off! An official like.... you ... doesn't know ... anything about .....it..!" shouts the old man, using his last breath.
"My name is Belial. I'm here hoping no one ever dares to follow the path of this old man." warn that young official to each spectator.
No one dares to interrupt the official nor challenge his judgment. The birthmark of the old man is now turning into 0. He dies because of his lack of awareness. He never thought that one single action can bring a lot of sins. Honestly, this kind of event isn't unusual here. The official then leaves the scene. Some scavengers gather around the old man's body to check if there was anything valuable to take.
Cordville, a city inside Dallas district, is the area where only men live. People are threatened by radiation from nuclear waste that leads to loss of vision and even death. It is regarded as the poorest city in the district. People are forced to adapt to harsh environments or find a way to move to another city. Crimes occur every day here, be a part of our daily life. Robbery, pick-pocket, and gang fights are common. Of course, all of us are afraid of dying by the sins, yet there is no option left: "Do sins or starve to death. At least we won't die if we don't get caught."
"It's a city that no one wishes to live in". Ilios said to himself.