Amir woke up and opened his eyes. Through the window he saw an advancing line of lights in the darkness, stretching into the horizon. Though they twinkled like stars, he knew what the lights were and became tense as he tried to count the torches. His pulse quickened as he rose from his bed and dusted straw and dirt from his back. He quickly reached for his old woven cloak and wrapped it around him. He unlatched the lock and pushed open the thin door of his hut. Once outside, he looked down the roads that lead away from his house and realized his exit was cut off. He glanced back towards his hut and saw that a note had been pinned to the door. He ripped the note down and looked it over. If he had been better educated, this is what he would have read:
My friend, now is the time of your reckoning. I dare not wake you for the villagers know that we are associated and if you escape I will be held accountable. I know that you cannot read but there is something that I should, nay, MUST tell you:You are not evil. You only act in accordance with your own nature and cannot and should not be accountable for your crimes. I do not agree with these executioners that will no doubt be at your door soon, but they are as irresistible as the tide or the sunrise and your fate is absolute. May your death be swift.
The chill of the night caused Amir to wrap his cloak tighter around him as he glanced between the two roads and the ever advancing horde. Closing his eyes, he tried to clear all from his mind so that he could savor the final moments of his life without the weight of what was to come overwhelming him. Knowing he could not avoid the inevitable, only delay it, he went back into his hut and locked the door. Once inside, he sat on his bed and laid his head in his hands. Tears dripped down his face and fell to the floor; it was a beautiful cry, pure and sincere. His emotions isolated him from what was around him and the loudening hollers of those outside were barely audible and indeed quiet enough for him to ignore if he concentrated. In fact, he was a little surprised when it began to feel warm and he opened his eyes to see that his house was lit on fire and the flames were enveloping the walls and thatch roof. For a second he thought about rushing through the burning door and charging his killers, to go out with fury - but why bother? This was the end of Amir Unto, the strange man that slipped into town with the last of the refugees then sunk the ships, destroyed the dams, burnt the crops, poisoned the livestock and likely doomed the last surviving humans on earth to starvation in the coming winter months - nothing he could do now would absolve him of his crimes or make history merciful upon him. He continued to cry as the world burned around him. His legacy was sealed and so all that was left was for him to die. So he did.