They slit my nostrils. They did not even wipe clean the blade after slitting the nostrils of either of the men next to me.

I will not even mention my transgression. For really, there is no such thing. From one village to another, from one country, what is hated in behaviour is never the same. Sin is shifting. It is a dream – or the scene of a dream. For a thing to be truly bad, to be in itself evil, it must be reviled, and universally. It must be hated in all ways and places. And there is no such thing. There has never been such a thing. It is a winged monster. It is a dragon.

The pain of the slitting was so very great. The sound, the rough sound of the cutting, like the pulling apart, by hand, of canvas. For preparation, I had only the screams of the other men–this pair of transgressors. The one … and then the other. Their screams, and then their weeping. So I bolstered me. I closed my eyes. But … the agony.

I would sooner the blade had been placed in my head. Or a vein.

I am inclined to think there is no human action deserving either of reward or punishment. As this is an opinion not generally held, I am all the more firm in my opinion, and sure of it. What is generally held is merely prejudice.

After they slit our nostrils, they cauterized them with a burning file held in fire, telling us this was to speed the healing. But really, I am certain, it was to keep the severed portions of nose from growing together again. So marking us forever. Transgressors.

All action is bad. All is good. It is an option. It is a choice, only.

We must one day make it.

Follow Rolli on Twitter: @rolliwrites.


Photo by ephotography29 [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.