Saturday, April 14, 2012

F3 Cycle 75 "Washing away my sins"

Flash Fiction Friday Genre: Fairy tale/mixed
Word Limit: 1200
Cue: Take your typical fairy tale villain or monster and make them the protagonist. Must use “something wicked this way comes” as a line in the story.

The day everything changed for me I was sitting on a comfortable park bench looking like a homeless person enjoying the dichotomy of the crisp breeze alternating with the warm sun of a spring afternoon. To most who walked past my sitting place I was the very definition of anonymity they strived to ignore not wanting to acknowledge the fact that all is not well in their comfortable society. Others looked at me scornfully thinking the fault for my apparent condition must lie with some character flaw, that if I only had a bath, got a job, and acted like them I would soon join the ranks of other productive people and enjoy all the benefits money can buy. In both cases, they are wrong because, as the cliché says, looks can be very deceiving.

It was lunchtime during a normal workweek and Centennial Park in the middle of Atlanta, Georgia was filled with professional types dressed in fine business attire rushing around grotesquely gulping down some sort of processed food product while talking on a cell phone. It was clear every one of them believed the universe revolved around their immediate concerns and were oblivious of all the other people around them, the beautiful park, and the fact that I was a demon whose only purpose was to see them all spend eternity in hell. 

While they are guilty of ignoring their fellow humans and the beauty of creation, I cannot fault them for not knowing my true nature. Human senses are very narrowly defined and those they do possess are extremely limited because their animal natures generally overwhelm their meager intellects. The best explanation I have heard for this failure came in the form of a funny song I heard once that suggests the cosmic baker took them out of the oven way too early.

There are a few exceptions, some have the ability to see into the souls of others and discern their true natures. Most do it subconsciously and given the immature and corrupted nature of humans very rarely use it for constructive purposes. The most common occurrence of these special people comes in the form of politicians who gleefully find enjoyment in exerting this influence over their fellow humans making the job of entities like me far easier. A much smaller group has the ability to discern humans from demons like me and actively hunt us down. While few these Hunters are fanatical and with the advancement of human technology they have created an alliance that crosses all political and religious divides.

So, the struggle that began eons ago when the Fallen One became aware of this insignificant little world has intensified with humans and demons battling to decide its fate. Where is God in all this? He and his minions seem to be sitting this one out leaving the humans to their own devices. With humans so weak the struggle seemed a near certain victory for our side but I had long heard rumors that something was changing but I never believed them until the incident in that park which altered everything I believed.

My mission was a simple one, a prominent Chinese dignitary was visiting the city and through my cohorts arrangements had been made for his wife and young son to attend a welcome ceremony here in the park given by local schoolchildren. Under my control, the homeless man I possessed at the right time would rush the entourage and kill the son with a knife hidden in the sleeve of his coat. With any luck, it would greatly damage relations between the two countries leading to more hatred and suspicion.

Eventually my waiting was rewarded with the sight of the Chinese visitors approaching my position near the Fountain of Rings. I directed my attention to the small boy at the center of the group obviously having a great time as he held hands with his adoring mother. I could sense the presence of my cohorts and felt them urging me to act when I felt a small hand touch my arm.

I found myself looking in to the eyes of a little girl who while very young nevertheless had totally reduced me to a powerless state and was in the process of scrutinizing my soul. My first thought as I felt all my rage drain away was that the other side had interceded to stop me from my task but I have felt the presence of those entities before and she was not part of that group. This little girl was completely human but of such an advanced form that I felt like a virus being looked at by a more advanced being.

“You do not have to follow the path others want you to take.” The little girl said before walking away to disappear into the crowd.

Somehow, I not only sensed the core of my existence changed but I felt connected to life itself. While many humans think hell is all fire and brimstone, in actuality it is a cold and dark place where the torture comes from feeling alone and utterly abandoned. For eons after my kith and I were cast out of God’s light we languished in that place soaking up all the rage of the one who challenged the basic order of all creation. In the space of a few seconds it was all washed away and I felt how each of the humans around me had their own cares, fears, and hopes.

Despite being overwhelmed by these sensations I knew the small boy was in grave danger. The other, unaffected demons would not let my new awareness stop the mission from being accomplished. Without thinking I begin running towards the group aiming for the demon that I sensed would kill the small boy since I failed to act.

I was correct in my assumption on the secondary assassin when a demon possessed young women turned, pulled a knife, and screamed, “Something wicked this way comes.” I jumped, knocking her to the ground and inadvertently stabbing her in the chest with her own knife.

Chaos erupts with the bodyguards hustling the Chinese boy and mother away as everyone else in the crowd scramble to protect themselves. I look at the young women and the knife sticking out of her chest and see her life ebb away. My only consolation is that the demon in her will die as well because it lives off human consciousness and cannot disentangle itself quickly enough.

“Why did you do this to me brother?” The demon inside her asks.

 I find myself unable to explain to my actions and both the women and the demon inside her die seconds later. There is no reward for my saving of the boy because immediately after they pass I feel the presence of Hunters. I look up and already they are in the park approaching the crowd that surrounds us. With them and the sound of sirens growing near survival become imperative and I break through the  mass of people and run. I have to survive long enough to figure out if my new empathy is ultimately a blessing or a curse.


Windsmoke. said...

Well written indeed. Sounds like the little girl was a guardian angel sent to protect the chinese boy :-).

Akelamalu said...

Your imagination never fails to astound me!

Beach Bum said...

Windsmoke: In general I imagined the little girl as an evolutionary step forward.

Akelamalu: Thanks! It's what happens when I am stuck at home.

Randal Graves said...

Oh, evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

Pixel Peeper said...

Very interesting, the little girl as the hope for the future.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Okay, let me start again, after I drink some coffee :)

When are you going to write a book of short stories? If you write it and it gets published I would buy it for our library. :)

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Yeah, they wanted a fairy tale.

Pixel: Yeah, that was the jest. Sort of figure our best chance is an evolutionary jump. Then again, given the republicans I hear we might be devolving.

Life As We Know It: Thanks, playing with a second idea for a novel but its hard to really get anything going.

Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the mornin read Bum ....

Ranch Chimp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glen said...

demons with a conscience. Only you. Your implication of God within the girl hit the spot (at least that's how I read it). nice one

Joyce said...

This was beautifully done. I cannot help but wonder if the little girl was perhaps not the guardian angel of the boy, but of the demon. Maybe even demons have the potential for a conscience and hope for salvation. It is said, after all, that God never really gives up on anyone...

Very insightful tale, as yours always are.

John Myste said...

It sounds to me like someone needed to kill the little girl as part of the plan. Why didn't those spare demons descend upon that rabble rouser?

John Myste said...

Now that I think about it, you really aren't supposed to ask your stories questions.