Author’s note: This story is based on the wonderful novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.
The bleeding, broken shell of a man tied to the chair was named Sam. He was a rancher who provided the Community with meat and dairy. The Elders also suspected him of providing some members of the Community with firearms and other weapons they would use in their planned revolt. A revolt that threatened the lifestyle I had grown to love.
“Sam, give me the memory of your last contraband drop,” I demanded for the third time, holding my hand out for his. I was answered with nothing but sobs.
“Fine. I’ll be glad to be rid of this next memory; it was particularly gory.”
I grabbed Sam’s neck tightly and let the memory of killing his young daughter flow out of me. She struggled, tried to scream as I drew a semi-dull serrated blade across her throat. Flesh snagged on the barbs before blossoming like a sanguine flower. I pressed back on her jaw, letting the tension of the skin widen the wounds for me. When she stopped gurgling, her head was half buried in the foul-smelling mix of pig shit and mud. As soon as it had played out in my mind, it was gone. But it would be with Sam until he died.
I let him dwell on it, knowing there were two more children to come while I fetched a cool drink. Before I could rid myself of the next memory, Sam caved and gave me the memories I wanted.
I turned to the Elder at the back of the room. “I’m finished. Send someone to Release him.”
The Elders face fractured into a disgusting grin. “My pleasure, Giver.”