Fiction Speculative Urban Fantasy

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

They called me a god, once, long ago. Did you know that? When they witnessed my power before recorded history began. When they saw that I did not experience the pull of gravity. When they saw that there was no limit to my strength or my speed. Have you heard the Epic of Gilgamesh? The Legends of Heracles, or Achilles, or Beowulf? They're all true, you know? To some extent, anyway. They're all about one man though, not many. Well, not a man, man, obviously. You know what? I'll start at the beginning, hm?

The earliest thing I can remember is a bright light and a terrible roar. Like thunder, but everywhere and nowhere all at once, then I was here, on Earth. It wasn't called Earth at the time. In fact I don't believe it had a name at all, and neither did I. I was shapeless. Aimless. I spent centuries wandering around looking for purpose. For some meaning to my inexplicable existence. Finally, I found it when I first laid eyes upon you. I fell in love. 

Humanity was my purpose, I realized, and soon, I had shaped myself in your image. That's right. I wanted nothing more than to fit in with you. Live alongside you. Be one of you. I created from nothing a body for myself that fit all the ideals of your race. I was tall and strong and beautiful. Then, I stood back and I watched, and waited for the perfect moment to reveal myself to you. In the meantime, I worked hard to protect you. To help you build. All the while, keeping my true identity hidden from you. My deeds became stories. The stories became legends, and the legends became myths. 

My moment finally came to do something great, to prove my love to you, when the Atlanteans struck your cities from the sea. I reacted too slowly to stop their onslaught but the blow I dealt was decisive. Final. Your bronze age civilization was pushed to the brink of collapse but I fought your assailants to the very edge of extinction. I wiped their cities from existence and crushed their very memory beneath my heel in your name. 

When the dust had settled I revealed myself to you as your savior... and you quailed. I could see the fear in your eyes as I soared, triumphant, over your cities. I could feel your hate despite my act of unadulterated love for you. Some saw my kindness, the purity of my motives, but the rest… the rest saw only a new threat in me. They hunted me. Tried to murder and torture their very savior. The one who had saved them from servitude and slavery.

I let them do what they would. Let them crucify me and humiliate me. Let them think that their enemy was gone. Then I rose from where they had left me, unhurt, save for my pride. I repaired my body and returned to the shadows. After that, my existence became one of impatience and boredom. I amused myself by fighting in your wars, and laughed as you recorded the epic deeds of my false identities in your histories and myths. Centuries passed and you continued to grow. To advance. To master nature and the world around you. My desire to stand at your side began to resurge, until I stood in the light once more ready to announce myself to you. To make myself known. The opportunity came once again to prove myself worthy of your devotion when Mars launched an attack against your pristine world.

Some of you decided to call me Alpha-Man after witnessing my strength against your extraplanetary foes. An amusing pseudonym, to be sure. Seeing the adoration in your eyes is all I needed, however. All I ever wanted in my long and storied existence. Finally, I felt… complete. Finally I felt worthwhile. Loved.

As with all great things, though, pretenders soon began to emerge. 'Superheroes' they called themselves, and lumped me in among themselves. Pathetic. Weak. Imposters. That is all they were. And so I began my work of ridding you of the infestation. You, my love. My purpose. You had me, and that is all you needed. The others would only betray, hurt, and disappoint you.

The Blink was the first to feel the bite of my blade. He was said to be the fastest man alive. Second to none. Second only to me. Next were the Amazons. An entertaining battle, but in the end, they were only ten, and I was indomitable. Third was the Made Man. A simple human man, in reality, hiding behind technology and wealth. After that, the list quickly shrank as I worked my way around the globe. There was the Firebug, a pyromancer operating in Europe, whose neck was easier to snap than a charred twig. Iceage, a frost-powered lunatic living in Egypt who would have lost control of his powers and plunged your world into chaos, had I not stopped him first. The Panther. Ah, the Panther. She had quite a fight in her. Strong, fast, clever, but ultimately, as dead as the rest. 

Eventually a council was gathered of the remaining, so-called 'heros'. Conveniently, I, your Alpha-Man, was invited to attend alongside the others. They voted to put Corona in charge. What a joke, Corona. This was it though, this was the moment to strike one final blow and end the corruption once and for all. And so I did. Aboard the orbital station built to house the new League of Heros, I struck my final blow. All of them. Every. Last. One... was left as little more than a red smear across the metal floor of the council chamber.

And that brings us to today, does it not? Look at me, please, and stop crying. Isn't it clear to you yet? I do what I do, all of what I do… for you. For human kind. You are what drives me. My love. My ultimate purpose.

February 24, 2022 00:28

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.