The Human Thing
I opened my eyes, wincing at the bright morning sunlight filtering through the curtains. I swung my legs off the side of my bed, sliding onto the cold tile. Then the pain hit.
I groaned through gritted teeth, doubling over. Once I could think coherently again, I became aware of an electrifying energy coursing through my veins that I knew hadn't been there the night before. It was as if overnight I had been injected with pure divine power. Power so strong, I realized, that my mortal body was struggling - painfully - to contain it. I felt it burning, bubbling beneath my skin like lava waiting to explode.
I instinctively knew that I could think anything, on a whim, and it would be done exactly as I desired. The possibilities were endless.
I tried to dismiss it, but the burning power refused to be ignored. The more I thought about the possibilities, the more it heated up beneath my skin. Finally, I gave in to my curiosity and decided to experiment with my newfound power.
I wish I could say that the first thing I did was to eradicate disease, or end world hunger, or bring nations to peace. But I was still fully, regrettably human. So I did the human thing.
I got revenge - on all the people who'd ever wronged me.
One after another, I mentally sent karma their way - to my grade school bully, the lady that had cut in line at the grocery store, the random guy who'd dinged my car in the parking lot - every person I could remember who'd hurt me even a little, and some that I just plain didn't like.
I felt a rush of pleasure at the thought of their suffering. Just for kicks, I sent a little payback to a few more people - people who hadn't wronged me, but who I knew had wronged innocent people, children, or animals. They were getting what they deserved, I thought. It wasn't fair that people's evil should go unpunished. Justice would be served!
It was only after I sent a little too harsh of a punishment that I started to think I'd gotten carried away. Omnipotent or not, I realized, this was wrong. I was wrong. Worse than all the people that I thought had wronged me.
I wanted to scream. In a matter of minutes, I had gone insane with power. This wasn't a gift to me or to humanity, it was a curse. I was wracked with guilt. What had I done?
I could no longer trust myself — I had become a monster. All at once, the shame and guilt of what I had done crashed down onto my shoulders and I broke down in tears. I realized there was no way I could handle this kind of power.
After sobbing for a while, I pulled myself together, knowing what had to be done. I began to rewind time, undoing all the punishments I had visited upon my enemies.
The morning sunrise once again shone into my bedroom, and I walked to the window, admiring the beautiful colors in the sky. As dark as the power had tainted me, I wanted the light to be the last thing I saw.
Then, with a resigned sigh, I used my newfound power one last time - and wished myself out of existence.