Author: panneler-san PM
I killed a God, once. -Short Story-Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Suspense - Words: 1,024 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 09-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3059135
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I killed a man, once.
Funny, he didn't struggle. Strange, how they blamed me for his death. I struck the final blow, that much was true – but I hadn't killed him on some whimsical, random impulse.
He asked me to end him.
Granted, I can see why everyone thinks I'm insane. Ah, but madness is often just a variance of reality, and a lie is just the truth, wrapped up in pretty words. It consumes me. Still, I can see why everyone thinks I'm insane. They haven't embraced their own madness from within.
Oftentimes I find it difficult to live among others. They are too plastic. Too monochromatic. Far, far too deep in apathy. At a point, not necessarily achievable by all human beings, he or she will realize they cannot grasp what could make them perfect. They realize that they cannot obtain the highest form of life.
He realized it. He came to find me. He couldn't live with the knowledge that he had missed his chance for greatness, to not be a part of the masses, to be a God.
I killed a God, once.
… … …
The muffled voice at the end of the long, empty hallway talked in a foreign language. It was too stated for my ears, too salty a difference from English. Yet I could hear every word clearly. The shadows, as always, crept out to talk to me, but I waved them back with a nod of my head. When they refused to leave, I hissed.
"Be quiet! I'm trying to listen."
Footsteps catalyzed their retreat. The foreign voice was getting closer, but the harder I listened I became aware that it wasn't foreign, after all.
"Is this the room?" His accent was heavy, almost palpable, but it was English.
Whoever he asked must have nodded – there was no other voice in the hall. I pressed my ear and cheek against the cold metal of the door, channeling the sound to my ear like water through a funnel.
"I don't want to disturb his sleep, not at this hour," said the accented man. "We can talk in the morning."
The silence tasted, as it always did, of iron.
I recoiled slightly back when a foot tapped the edge of the door, as if one of them had taken one step too close. Settling down, I waved away the shadows once again to listen as the other party member finally opened their mouth.
"What do you want with him?"
She was distinctly female. I thought of any workers that had that voice, and my memory turned up zero results. The man continued. "I read his file. A rather interesting subject, truly. How long has he been here?"
"Long enough," was the staunch reply.
"I see. Forgive me, I recall now that you aren't obligated to tell me about his personal history."
I nearly laughed. History? I had been in this room all my life. The woman spoke. "He is allowed a mirror," she stated in business-like manner. "And he keeps his wallet with him."
"Those were the only conditions he set."
"What's in the wallet?"
"Just a picture."
"Of a man. I think it's a man he killed."
"Have you ever seen him?"
"I haven't ever seen either of them. I hear him talking to himself, sometimes. He always talks about the picture, and he never looks in the mirror."
There was a short silence. "Has he ever said what the man in the picture looked like?"
A pause, as if she was in thought. "Red hair. Flaming red. Pale skin. Blue eyes. I mostly remember hearing about the red hair, though."
"It's a pity," sighed the man. "He's so young."
"You can talk to him in a few hours, when he wakes up." Footsteps. They began to fade away, back in the direction from whence they came. The non-sequential babble between the two voices vanished with it.
The shadows began their advance again. I smiled at them. "Fooled them!" I whispered excitedly. "They didn't even know I was awake!"
They drew closer.
"Would you like to see a picture?" I asked them, fumbling around in the dark for my wallet. My fingers closed around its worn canvas. "It's a picture of a man I killed, once." I held it out for them to see. They looked on blankly, without eyes. "He asked me to kill him, you know. I'm not responsible for his death."
Shadow lingered with the face of the dead man. It brushed across my skin and asked me a question.
"No, I won't look in the mirror today, either. I'm never going to look in it. You know that something surprising is no longer surprising if you ruin it. I don't know what I'll see when I look in the mirror, so I will never look."
The shadow urged me.
"No," I declined. "That's quite all right. Would you like to see a picture?" I presented the same photograph. "See how red his hair is? I liked that about him. It really is a shame he wanted to die."
The shadow refused to give up.
I knew where the mirror was, and I knew I didn't want to look into it. I didn't know what I would find. The curiosity, honestly, was maddening. Still, I knew I shouldn't. Oh, but I wanted to.
"Should I?" I asked my companions timidly.
A resounding and overwhelming approval roared in my blood.
"Then," I whispered, heart thumping restlessly in my chest, "Then, just one look…"
I stood, and began the endless walk across the small floor to the wall the mirror hung on. The shadow advanced even closer, closer than they had ever gotten to me. My eyes were shut tight when I stood in front of it. My breathing was irregular. Something wasn't right about this. I knew I shouldn't look into the glass. I knew it would be disastrous. I knew I would remember something I wanted to forget.
My eyes snapped open.
The shadows of regret consumed me.
The man in the mirror had fire-red hair.