What Was Once Mine

I see you, though you do not see me. I hide in plain sight, move around and have my being before your eyes for all that they fail to discern me. I stroll along your sidewalks, drive along your roads, watching, waiting, enduring my punishment because I must. As I sit beside you just outside your field of vision, I muse to myself in bitter mirth. If you knew that I was there, if you knew the least of what I was, you would howl in fear, foam at the mouth like a rabid dog until the madness allowed you to forget. Thinking of this, I smile, rise from my place of rest and continue with my wanderings.

Once, I was the most powerful man in the world. More than a man. Once, when the world was new, when men hunted in packs with sticks and stones, when men ran alongside the wolves that would one day become dogs, when men fought and killed over food like wolves themselves, I ruled them all. You would not understand the things I did, the blood I spilled, the men I worse than killed. You could not understand. The horrors wrought by my wicked hands far surpass the comprehension of mortals.

I was condemned to wander the earth until the end of time, unseen, ignored, powerless and alone. I was to witness those I had oppressed evolve, grow in wisdom and strength, multiply, organize, conquer the world that had been mine so long ago. A fate worse than death, they had said. They had been fools.

Patiently I wait, biding my time, watching for the day when I can seize power once again. For all their supposed intelligence, men are weak and vulnerable. Their emotions betray them, rouse them to suspicion, to hate, to war. Whatever stability they’ve enjoyed until now cannot last.

Lo, my hour comes with the dawn. The very knowledge that men have used for millenia to bend the world to their will shall be their undoing. With nuclear and biological weapons in the hands of over-evolved primates, the world is a tinderbox, waiting only for that single spark to burst in flames. And when they break the world beyond fixing, I’ll be there to pick up the pieces. I’ll be there to remake the earth in my own dark image.

My captors should have killed me. If they had, perhaps mankind could truly be free. Instead, the only beings capable of tearing me down lie in dusty forgotten graves deep below the surface of the earth, no longer capable of pulling me down when my opportunity comes again.

Enjoy your freedom, Man. Your tens of thousands of years are but a grain of sand in a swirling storm before the history of the world. All that you see before you was once mine and will soon be mine again. Enjoy your freedom, Man. It will not last.

Subscribe to receive a free copy of my short story The Sign.

Leave a Reply