Taking Orders

          The guard looks at the message, at the bridge, and at the boatman, who is sitting peacefully by the bank of the river. It is written on government paper; it must be official. And yet there is something not quite right.

          He shrugs. It is not his place to question orders. With a resigned sigh, the guard picks up his crossbow and loads it. He does not wish to kill, but the message - the order - is clear.

          The city is under new leadership. All who try to enter must be shot. If you do not obey, you will die too. He has no choice - it is a case of being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

          Do not leave any loopholes.

            The guard calls to the boatman, explaining the situation.

          “I may have to shoot you if you persist,” he warns, but the boatman just grins disconcertingly.

          “Fair enough,” he says, and takes a puff of his old pipe.

The End

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