He was truly arrogant. I was his servant. His beloved angel. One of them. My brothers were strong and obedient, never questioning his demands. They tried to hush me when I asked questions. It infuriated him that I didn't always just take his word. I grew more and more inquisitive. My brothers tried to warn me but I didn't listen. He would always love me unconditionally, right?
One day he accused me of believing I was his equal. I didn't contradict his accusation exactly. It fueled more questions. What if I were his equal?
That was taking it too far.
He enjoyed entertaining himself by watching the interations of a species that had developed on a planet called Earth. The species was quite early in development and had only just started to evolve from beasts.
He began sending us to interact with the new species. He had an agenda. I wasn't sure it was in the best interest of the residents of the pretty little planet.
When he grew so angry with me that he would have killed me, instead he banished me to walk the planet with the underdeveloped young species, never to reside with him in the heavens again. I was quite literally grounded.
A boy was left in an oasis for his entertainment. They gave him their child in exchange for his help in hunting and conquering for a season.
I stayed near to watch. They later brought him a girl. He wanted them to have children under his command. They grew older, doing whatever they were told, questioning nothing. He was doing the same to these humans as he had done to my brothers and I. The difference? The humans could reproduce.
Most of his actions and teachings seemed to be based on his egotistical and jealous nature. He had recently been divorced by this wife because of these things. I watched as he showed favor towards the male and largely ignored the female. He was still bitter.
I felt sorry for the innocent humans as I watched them cower every time his voice boomed into their garden with some new command or law.
He went so far as to forbid them eating from one particular tree with very succulant fruit hanging from it. There was nothing wrong with the fruit. It was delicious and healthy, but he told them that if they ate it they would die. He lied to them and it broke my heart to watch them avoid the tree so carefully while they longed to taste from it.
Finally I had had enough. I decided to speak to them while he was occupied elsewhere as he often was. Usually spying on or harassing his ex wife.
The man, Adam, was so devoted to him that I decided Eve would be best to talk to. She didn't have the connection that Adam did with their 'God'.
I intercepted her while her husband was elsewhere. She was friendly and seemed happy to talk to someone other than Adam.
It didn't take long before we were laughing and talking like old friends. I liked her. She had such an interesting and open spirit. She was intelligent and curious.
I began to share stories with her, but I changed some things so as not to frighten her or have her believe me a liar. I wanted to tell her everything but I held back, unsure of how much she could handle.
I told her to beware of the one they thought was their 'God'. That his agenda might not be to their benefit. I told her that he was not so nice, so loving, as he had them believe. I told her of my own banishment and that my crime was simply curiosity. Wanting to know more about myself, about him. I told her the fruit from the tree was ordinary, very delicious fruit and that he only told them not to eat it to test their obedience. That he didn't want them to know what he knew. I told her that I believed if we were able to learn what he knows, it would remove his power over us.
She listened in disbelief at first.
"Hey, if you don't believe me, go ahead and try the fruit. You'll see that it won't hurt you. I promise it won't."
She reached out and with a shaking hand, touched a piece of the fruit hanging from a branch of the tree. When nothing happened, I winked at her.
Hearing her husband calling her, I said goodbye. I told her I'd come back to see her another day.
I didn't go far. I watched as she animatedly told Adam everything I had told her. The two decided to test my information and they bravely plucked a fruit from the tree. Adam bit it and handed it to his wife. She took a bite. They looked at each other in shock when nothing happened to them.
Suddenly his angry booming voice startled all three of us. I sank further into the shadows and watched him verbally attack my new friend and her husband. I watched as tears rolled down her cheeks when Adam tried to blame her instead of standing up to him and protecting her. I was apalled. What's more, without even a second chance, he did to them what he had done to me. He banished then from the oasis. They would have to struggle to survive out in the desert.
A tear escaped my eye as I watched the two innocent people I had grown fond of being kicked out of the only home they had ever known by the one being they thought loved them and would never hurt them. I saw myself in their terrified faces.
I vowed to be there to guide and protect them to the best of my ability and I quietly followed them as they left the Garden of Eden.
‘There is nothing worse than a thief!’, said the scoutmaster to the grubby troop member.
‘It’s only scrumping apples’, muttered the boy, his head hanging low.
Master Plumb, as he liked to be called, clubbed the boy’s ear and hissed. ‘You always were a bad lot, Benjamin Smith. Your Dad is a dirty crook and your mother is no better than she should be.’
Benjie and his best friend Jamie Jones had been caught coming in from the cross-country hike with contraband. Two windfall apples from Farmer Jones’ orchard.
Plumb immediately worked himself up to a righteous rage until spittle flecked his lips.
The rest of the scout troop hung back so as not to draw his attention. At the same time the little drama mesmerised them. They sensed that dirty little Benjie Smith was really going to cop it at last.
‘I will deal with you later, Jones’, he said to Benjie’s fair-haired and retiring fellow miscreant.
The boys exchanged glances. They all knew what that meant.
To Benjie, Plumb said, ’As for you. It is time to cut the cancer from our troop. Give me your woggle and scarf!”
The yellow scarf and leather woggle were the only signs of scout-hood to be afforded in the poor country neighbourhood. Benjie's mother had worked extra hours as a cleaner to buy them, hiding the money from his drunkard father.
Everyone watched as the angry scoutmaster ceremonially lit a small fire from dry tinder and threw in the scarf and woggle.
He then ushered the whole troop round the boy and led them in a round of booing to formally expel Benjie from the brotherhood of scouts.
The boys joined in with enthusiasm. Some of them jostled Benjie roughly as he limped off to make his own way home.
Later than evening when Jamie Jones went to the scoutmaster’s prefabricated bungalow for his punishment, he stripped off as ordered and cried through five harsh blows from the leather strap.
That was bad enough, but then the scoutmaster insisted on anointing the welts with soothing ointment. He even went as far as to caress the boy to show there was no bad feeling.
Plumb then dragged the boy onto his knees and began a long and rambling prayer begging forgiveness for the depraved acts of the days and asking to be given strength to ‘always do the right thing’.
Afterward, he told Jamie, moisture oozing from his reddened eyes, that the whipping had hurt him more than it had the boy.
’At least that little devil Benjie Smith is out of our lives.
‘Now we can be happy’, he told the boy.
"He was such a young man, wasting away his life with friends." The man in the orange jumpsuit paused, "I took him as he looked the one least likely to succeed. The cuffs were necessary as I didn't want him breaking loose and running into the fields as dusk was nearly upon us. I rubbed his wrists when he told me they hurt. I gave him a soda and chips. I studied him for awhile. Hard to believe twenty-seven years have passed. Yes, I raped him repeatedly but only to showed him as much of the adult world as I could knowing he only had a short time left. He seemed to enjoy it, screaming out for more. I gave him all I could. I've seen the age progressions. He would have grown handsome. Probably would have wanted more of me now. Too bad I couldn't wait. I didn't have it in me then now I would have measured it out better. Yes, that is my regret. Back then I looked at him and realized I had broken him. Tainted him beyond his ability to overcome. We talked about it. I presented him with choices. He said he was eleven but looked so much younger. Kids are just not to be believed even back then you know. I killed him quickly. Coming from behind. I'm sure he didn't feel a thing. Then I took the cuffs off before burying him deep. I did that good, huh? Took you guys twenty-seven years and you would have never guessed even though everyone looked for ages. It took me, Danny Henrich to tell you. That's how good I am at everything I do. A perfectionist, that my fault in life."
I Loved Her
One day, I happened upon a small girl crying. Just curled up on the sidewalk, shoulders heaving with her sobs.
As I crouched down next to her, she turned her face toward me. Her eyes were filled with pain. Two bruises had made a home on her face. One on the cheek, the other resided around her eye. Tears had dirtied her face and darkened the cement she lay on.
"Who did this?"
No answer. Her eyes lowered toward the dark gray cement.
"Ok, I'm going to ask you some questions, and you can just nod or shake. Does that sound okay?"
A small nod.
"Did other kids do this?"
"It was an adult?"
"Was it a man or woman?"
"It was a man and a woman?"
"Do you know these people?"
A man and a woman. She knows who they are. There was no need to ask, I knew who they were at this point.
"It hurts, doesn't it?"
A whimper with a nod.
"How long has this been going on?"
"For three years", she sputtered.
Three years, and she didn't look any older than ten. Since she was around six or seven, those things have only ever hurt this child. A lump grew in my throat. I needed to do something, but what could I do? I couldn't report it to the police, they won't do a thing unless they are presented with physical evidence. She can't run, she would have no idea what to do. I can't just step into her home to confront her parents. How do I protect her from any future harm?
"Do you want this pain to stop?"
"Okay. Come with me."
I held out a hand. She grabbed it, got up, and we started walking. We kept walking even after we were far from her neighborhood. We struck up conversation when we hit the middle of town. Her name was Natalia. She told me about her school and her friends. She liked art and told me about all the class art contests she won. She had a lot of stories to tell me about her cat she named Mouse. She was the sweetest child I have ever met.
Toward the outskirts of town, I decided to stop at the ice cream shop and get her some ice cream. I ordered her a rather large sundae. She thanked me profusely. My stomach knotted up.
We walked out to the forest outside of the city. A full moon lit the path for us. I guided her past trees, bushes, rocks, and streams. The crickets accompanied us with their music-like chirps.
Eventually, I decided to stop. "I guess this is far enough."
"Where are we going?"
My throat dried up, the forest started spinning, and tears welled up in my eyes. I knelt on the damp ground, and lost it.
"I-I'm sorry..." I whispered in between sobs.
"What?" She came over and crouched next to me.
"I promise, it will only last a second, then it will all be over."
"What are you talking about?"
I pulled her into my arms and embraced her.
"Please forgive me, Natalia. I love you."
I pulled a gun from my coat and dealt a lethal shot. The sound echoed through the woods, bouncing off of every tree, bush, and rock. The crickets stopped their music. She went limp immediately. Her warm blood soaked onto my shoulder.
"It is done", I told myself, "It's okay now. She's safe from harm. Never again will she have to endure pain."
All night I dug her grave with my bare hands. I worked through the roots and rocks until finally, she had a proper grave. Gently, I laid her down at the bottom, careful so that her hair wouldn't get tangled on the roots. Before burying her, I looked down at her for the last time. She peacefully lay there. The moonlight gave the streaks of blood in her hair an interesting, luminous color. She was beautiful.
I finished covering her with the earth, and set stones over the top of her final resting place. Tears once again flowed down my cheeks.
Tell me that I was wrong. Call me the monster. What would you have done? You would have kept her alive, right? You would have tried in vain to fix the problems that fate had given her. They would have placed her with a new family, and that family would try to love her as she would push them away out of fear. She would run. She would live her life with unshaken belief that nobody could ever love her. Then grow up cold and bitter.
Can't you see? Her life would be in constant, excruciating pain. And one day, she would have had enough. She would lift a gun to her head – swallow a few pills – jump off a building or bridge – wrap a rope around her neck. The ending would still be the same.
I did not kill Natalia. I freed her from a cage. One she had been trapped in for far too long. To keep her alive would be to transport her from one cage to the next, each cage worse than the other. I couldn't let that happen to her. I can't let that happen to anyone.
Since the day you were taken away I've been working to bring you back. I told you I'd freeze hell for you and I'd be damned if that wasn't what I came to do. Just remember no matter what the others say I only did those things for you. I needed money to fund my research for my breakthrough, no one cared that I needed to save you. I prayed for forgiveness of every cold corpse I left. Every theft was a closer step to feeling your warming heart. I loved you Nora and nothing has changed. Engulfed in rage I used frost to douce the flame. You're engrained into my soul if you die my fate will be the same. It's hard not to melt beneath the rain. Our town is now under a tyrant's reign. If he stands in our way again he will feel our pain. I miss our house being filled with the sound of your singing. Now my lair is filled with the sound of silence, from these so called acts of violence, but my passion runs deeper than the top layer. The mirror shows the hallow of my life. The shallow of my shadows masked by the bravado of the caped crusader. If you wake to see this letter know it my work was not in vain. But it also means the public did not care about my mission. If I'm caught the judge will through the book at me, he's already made his decision.
With all the love in the world, Victor
What Makes A Villain
I was born a disappointment, a midget. I was never loved as a child, but I found someone to love in my early adulthood. She was a beauty, her smile radiant like sunlight, and I couldn't help but find myself drawn to her. I watched her quietly, I didn't dare approach her, not with this hideous form. She drew people to her and I adored her for it. She always had a kind word for everyone and she lived humbly. As much as I loved her I hated her father. He was an arrogant boastful man. One day he came home drunken and miserable telling her how he had bragged to the king about his beautiful daughter who was able to spin straw into gold. The wonderful girl she was my love agreed to go to the king and try to spin straw into gold as the penalty of failing was her father's death. I followed her in shadow as the king's men came to take her away to the palace. They locked her in a room full of straw and a single spinning wheel with orders to turn the pile into gold before morning. I watched as she crumpled to the ground in tears of despair. My heart broke for her and I managed to do what I hadn't been able to for years, I stepped forward and presented myself before her. I did not give her my name, but I told her I would spin the straw to gold for her. I was never gifted with looks but tricks and that mysterious thing that is magic, those were my strengths. I spent the night turning the straw to gold for her and vanished back to the shadows right before the sun came up the next day. She presented the king with the gold, but the king was a horrible greedy man and demanded still more. This time she was sent to a room twice as big with twice as much straw and the same orders as before. She was once again in despair and once again I helped her with her task. However, that greedy king still wasn't satisfied and demanded one more room to be filled with gold by morning. The king told her if she could complete this last task she would marry his son and become a princess. As much as I loved her I could offer her nothing in comparison and so with a heavy heart I spun the last room full of straw to gold. Before morning an idea struck me and I persuaded her to give me her first born in exchange for all the gold. She was overcome with delight at the idea of marrying a prince and being free from the dreaded task of spinning straw to gold and agreed immediately. At least, I thought, I would have a small part of her to cherish, and so after I had finished I took my leave. I stayed in the shadows for years until at last she gave birth to a child and I could have my slice of happiness. I presented myself before her at once. This time it was my welcome that was met with despair and she begged me to reconsider. I was hurt at her pleas, I gave her everything she could've wanted and she did not want to grant me this little gift. I told her if she could guess my name she could keep the baby and I would leave and never return. She had three days to correctly guess. It should have been an impossible task, no one knew of my existence. Yet the same family that had abandoned me before came back to help the princess. On the third day she managed to correctly guess my name and I was forced to leave behind my one chance at happiness. Centuries later I heard the tale she told of the tiny man who had tried to steal her child. In every version of the story I was the villain. I had helped her, I had kept my word and left her the child and she couldn't even remember me as the one who helped her. It was then I made my decision to become the villain she had remembered me as. It was too late to avenge myself on her family, but I would never help anyone again. I turned to deals where I gained something as precious as the magic I used to give them what they wanted. Time does strange things to a person and even my magic began to leave me. I closed my eyes at last and dreamed of a world where I was not born a midget, where I got to keep the girl. I fell asleep to happy dreams despite the unhappy world I had only ever experienced.
Our Fallen Hero Gaston
He was the only one we knew who could save that poor girl, trapped and enslaved by some monster in that godforsaken tower. Gaston was the best hunter in our village, albeit a cocky and arrogant one, but such arrogance is warranted when you're blessed with his skills. We needed him and he knew it. He'd parade himself around the town's tavern calling everyone to arms, cursing the monster, and ensuring us that he'd take it down. Like the story of Beowulf and Grendel, a story which we knew he never read, we had faith in his abilities and prayed for him as he set off for the castle. Nobody save for Gaston had the courage or the gall to approach it since Belle was taken by that thing.
We sat in our homes and the tavern, cowering behind our walls as our hero trekked his way up the cliffs to the stronghold, knowing full well that whatever lay inside could prove to be his end, though he didn't care. Perhaps he was going on this journey to further reinforce his self image, perhaps he truly cared about that poor girl trapped by the beast in spite of his constant teasing of her, perhaps it was because he knew he was the only one who had the slightest chance of success. So when we saw his fall from the cliffs to his demise, when we heard his screams come to sudden stop when he reached the bottom, we knew our chances were grim.
Our fallen hero Gaston failed to save the beauty, and was slain by the beast.
I’m Only a Doctor
My colleagues and I understand the importance of this time in history. My intention is to further humans.
A cadaver is fine for students learning to become doctors, but it can't replace the experience of actually seeing how internal organs are able to dissipate certain gases versus a duplicate set of organs as a control. Understanding the anatomy that causes different mutism will help us annihilate future tragedies by identifying the chromosomes or hormones that cause these disabilities.
As a doctor, there is no better time to perform these experiments. We want to end future conflicts that arise from diversity. Imagine a future where children are the same height, weight, and intelligence. Children free from diseases and competing with equality.
Imagine a world without fighting for someone considered to be prettier than others or wealthier than others. Everyone is equal.
Some may question the morality of experimenting on humans, but what truly separates a human from a dog or a rat? If we are allowed to experiment and learn from the anatomies of dogs and rats who still have their full life ahead of them, how different is it to learn from humans who are sentenced to die? It is such a waste to exterminate without the opportunity to have some good come out of it.
I did not create this time in history. I am only trying to extract some good from it. Hopefully, my experiments will prevent this from happening in the future. A future where we all live as one - free from abnormalities and conflicting ideology.
The happiest home can become the most hollow of holes. No trust, no hugs, or kisses, and no kind words. A home that was once lighted and packed full of delicious smells. The echos of laughter were obliterated by shouts, screams, and cries…cries for the death of a loved one.
My little sister is dead. She was murdered in our house. I don'tʼknow how or when. But I remember when I found her. She just laid there. Her broken form at the bottom of the stairs. I stood there staring at her frozen body.
“Get up." She didn'tʼmove, her eyes staring up at me unblinking.
"Get up!" I fell to my knees and gathered her in my arms. Shaking her, I repeated my plea countless times. My vision blurred and spots began to appear sporadically on a dark blue blouse. She always made sure to dress to impress.
It was an accident—it had to be. We all love each other. I mean, we were a family. How could one kill someone they love? I loved my baby sister. I lifted my gaze towards the family game room.
Mom and Pop moved restlessly. Their mouths clamped shut on their grim faces.
Or was that guilt? Which one of them did it? It couldn'tʼhave been me. I had heard her call out to me right before that loud final crack. Help! Bubba! I didn'tʼget to her in time—I was all the way upstairs.
My voice burst through the room, "Why aren'tʼyou calling an ambulance!?" My parents turned to me their grimness disappearing and becoming more sad. They were sad? "Can'tʼyou see she'sʼhurt."
My mother broke into sobs and my father pushed her into a spare chair. He turned back to me and made his way over.
"We're trying to protect you. It was an accident, right?" His hand enveloped my shoulder. "You'll be okay, son. You can plead insanity.” He took a deep breath as his brows furrowed and he blinked away oncoming tears.
I’ll Be Your Villain
They call him a monster, even though he's obviously not. Maybe I'm the only one who can still see it, the good in him. They say he's killed before, but who are they to talk? People kill more than each other, which is strange, sure, but true.
So I'll make him a hero. I'll make them see.
That light in his eyes he gets when he sees me, how we just sat and talked for the longest times, our friendship, I thought I was prepared to see it all ripped away, that I could be his villain. And it was hard to see that coldness in his bright emerald eyes when he looked at me. It hurt that his arms around me weren't hugging me, but pushing me harshly to the ground.
It was a macabre kind of happiness, a cruel way of heated torture.
I can see from the tenth story window of my complex of operations, the press van as it ambles to a halt next to him as he walks down the blustery street. I can see the light in his eyes when he talks to the reporter, and I lower my binoculars because they're getting kind of blurry through my tears.
For a moment, just a moment, I could have sworn those shining jade eyes flicked up towards me.
It's a sweet poison, being my best friend's villain, but I'll keep doing it as long as you keep looking at me like that. I'll be the villain any day, as long as you keep being my hero.