The Punishment, by Russell Conover

“Sire, before you is the culprit.”
“What is his heinous crime?”
“He stole ideas from other writers, your majesty.”
“Barbaric. Was he warned of the consequences?”
“Yes, sir. We waved the red banner repeatedly. However, his deeds continued.”
“This act requires severe punishment. And we cannot limit it to only the royals.”
“You mean … ”
“Yes. We must open the castigation for the world to see.”
“Are you certain, my king?”
“If we only show our people, no lessons will be learned. It is for the best of the kingdom.”
“Even the accused?”
“Well, maybe we’ll just send him to Pluto … ”

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