It was a necessary illusion.

No one knew him. No one understood the constant heartbreak, the sorrow or loss he constantly absorbed. He comforted himself with a convenient lie—he lived a life of sacrifice for the good of others.

Yet at times this solace fell unspeakably empty. He was lonely. He had never known a friend. He had never felt loved. Two more convenient lies. He had friends as a child. His parents had loved him. But remembering only made his life now more painful. He would have been better off if he had never known humanity. He had no hope of ever being loved again, no expectation of friendship. That at least was the truth.

He hated when it was time to take the young. He detested himself when his victim was an attractive woman. He hated himself most when he destroyed youth or beauty. But he had to, such was his life of sacrifice. It was his role to strike fear into the heart of civilized society.

Rarely a day went by he did not kill. He studied himself in the mirror. He had been crying again. His ribs were beginning to show from lack of eating. He counted 4 scars across his chest, from times he had foolishly given his victims opportunity to strike back. His injuries were never treated.

He turned away from his own image, loathing it. He hardened his mind. Steeled his thoughts. He pulled on the black shirt. Standing he pulled on the mask. He picked up a large axe. Today he would carry out the king’s edict against a common thief. He turned back to the mirror. Now the image he saw was the dreaded executioner. The image was of a phantom. It bore no resemblance to the man inside.

It was a necessary illusion.


This post is in response to today’s Trifecta, Week 100 Challenge. You might like to go over there and take a look. Maybe even add something of your own.

PHANTOM (noun)

1   a :  something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence :  APPARITION
b :  something elusive or visionary
c :  an object of continual dread or abhorrence <the phantom of disease and want>
2 :  something existing in appearance only
3 :  a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal <she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth>


  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.



16 thoughts on “Lies

    • Yes, I was thinking few people can be cold enough to do the job without also being so cold as to become a monster. Actually if I had a few hundred more words I think I would have played with his fears of becoming that monster. oh well limits are limiting. Its part of the fun.

      Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your commenting.

  1. Was thinking of the grim reaper when you turned over the executioner!
    There’s a great old Spanish film called El Verdugo – the executioner and his family trying to buy an apartment and get ahead in life, while carrying on the family tradition. Called Not on Your Life in English.

    • Glad you enjoyed the piece. I was hoping the reader was wondering at first. Vampire, serial killer or what. Then wanted to turn it around to be executioner.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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