Demagogue

The demagogue had his audience captivated. The breeze swept through the leaves, causing them to seemingly nod in accord. He was in inviolable control of their thoughts and feelings. Even nature herself could not help but concur. Aratel now better understood this man’s power. He held people spellbound. These people would die for him. Beyond that, they would kill for him. Aratel remembered a time he was caught in a river current. He remembered keenly this sense of having no control. How could a man harness the unassailable power of creation? Aratel realized that this man had absolute power. Aratel also knew well the outcomes for taking advantage of this kind of power, the potential corruption that few are able to quell. These people would do anything this man said; they might even feel justified in their actions. Aratel pondered the outcome if this rabblerouser encouraged the audience to murder. Maybe there was actually something preternatural happening here. Maybe this man really was harnessing the power of nature for his own gain. Coming back to the present, Aratel acutely felt the current of people swell around him. He looked around at the enraptured faces. He was drowning. Like the time he was caught in the current, he had to let it sweep him away at first, and then to have the presence of mind to find an escape, a passing branch onto which to grab. Aratel took advantage of the spell - yes, that was the right word - to slowly and deliberately make his way to the edge of the crowd, or what he thought of now as a herd, a flock, a murder.

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