I live in a world where the sun never comes up, and the smell of leaking gas lingers in the air. The ground is always wet from the thin mist, and the people rarely take their baths. But I’m a Nicholaitan, and I belong to a special group of people.
We ink our skin with the words of our doctrine. We live, breathe, eat, and think of what is right in our minds. Anyone who fails to accept us are small minded fools whose lives value not a single penny. What we say is the truth, and if we are challenged we will fight to the death.
Our code of honour is to uphold our belief, to prosecute those who do not fear us, to punish those who run from us, to alienate those who abandoned us, and to be the ultimate kind in this dark world.
But I… I don’t want to be a Nicholaitan anymore.
They say you live your beliefs, and I have been living by this doctrine my whole life. I have destroyed relationships, tortured innocents, slain children, and I was told I was right. Honestly, I believed I was…. until my sister ran away.
She was ten and she hated who we were. I would threaten her to silence whenever she entertained thoughts of fleeing, but I never understood why until she disappeared.
Every Nicholaitan was out on a manhunt to track down this young girl. She was considered as a runner as she had yet taken the official vow. They were planning on punishing her in a way so brutal that dried my throat when I heard it. I was in more shock when my parents agreed to it. They were willing to let their own child be tied to a pole and whipped a hundred times because it was their doctrine.
But that… that did not sit right with me. She was a confused child who needed a little guidance, but the ways of the Nicholaitans promoted pain and suffering. If I even tried to convince them otherwise, I would be alienated like an abandoner. Was that what I really wanted?
The day they found my sister, they beat her up and threw her into a hole in the ground. They left her there while they prepared her real punishment. They did not feed her, and they ignored her cries. Some nights, I was ordered to guard her hole, and on those nights I feel my insides crushing. It became so hard to bear that I decided to help her escape. Helping a runner escape meant death for me. But my plan was not to stick around, it was to run with her.
One night, while I was the only one on duty, I lowered a rope and told her to climb up. When I finally saw her face under the pale street lamp, I brushed off the dirt on her cheeks and handed her a bag of supplies.
She looked at me confused and asked, “What are you doing?”
“We’re running,” I said.
“They’ll kill you,” she stated.
“I know,” I replied as I grabbed her hand and led her out of the light.
She did not say anything as we crawled through a stinking sewer, sneaked down a mice infested alley, climbed up to the old rooftops, and hurried to a boat that was setting sail that night.
When we finally reached the empty dock, I helped my sister into a small boat that carried rotten fishes. The owner did not wait for me to have both feet in the boat before he started to sail. As I stumbled on board, I didn’t blame him. He knew his life was at risk and he didn’t want to waste any time.
The journey on the boat was a rather long one. The dead silence was almost soothing, except the stench on the boat made me want to gag. When the boat finally stopped at another dock, the owner grunted for us to get off. We did not hesitate as we climbed onto the old creaking wood and disappeared into the mist.
We were now on our own, but we were far away from the monstrous cult. My plan was to find a new civilization that would ignore the ink on my skin and accept my sister and me. I have not found one yet, but I am still looking.
They say you live your beliefs, but they also say your belief would either save you or destroy you. I don’t think they meant it in the physical way, but I think they were referring to what was inside the shell of this body.
I’m glad I ran… I’m glad I chose my sister’s belief. Did I forget to mention that a Nicholaitan could only die in the flames of fire? Oh, I’m glad alright.
I admit, this is a strange story. Don’t ask me what a Nicholaitan is, because I don’t know. At the end of the story, I wondered if they were actually vampires, but I still can’t confirm that. Yes, I wrote this story… but sometimes, it’s o.k not to know everything 🙂
Anyways, this is inspired by a new message series in my church. We all have a doctrine we live by; a teaching and a belief system that could be political, religious, scientific or philosophical. What we fail to realize is that we live our beliefs, and our beliefs could either save us or destroy us.
I’m not here to tell you what you should believe in, I’m just here to encourage everyone to be careful in choosing a belief. As Dumbledore once said, “It is our choices that determine what we are,” and our choices are made from our beliefs. So, choose wisely dear reader…
As always, let me know what you think of this short story in the comments below! I do hope the after taste isn’t too bizarre.
© 2013 Jeyna Grace
(For more short stories, click HERE)