To Them, You are the Hero, and He is the Villain. However, Do They Know the Truth?

Submitted into Contest #48 in response to: Write the 'origin story' of a person who goes on to achieve great things.... view prompt


Drama Fantasy

To the world, you are a hero, their savior. To the people, he is the destroyer, the antagonist. To the world, you are praised, loved, and admired. Each day you live is a victory to them, another symbol of hope. To them, he is a monster, a ghost that haunts them, someone to be feared. Someone that lurks in the shadows, in their nightmares, striking to kill and to hurt each person he encounters. To destiny, he is your arch-nemesis, the one you must kill.

To you, he is your brother.

You can’t shake off the fact that he did commit numerous crimes, so much that it can not be placed in numbers. His crimes have resulted in a bounty on his head, a demand for someone to execute his sentence. He has killed other heroes, defeated all that has gone against him. He has become feared in the faces of the people, seen as a person that disrupts the peace, as someone who needs to be hunted down and killed. He is like a wild animal, unable to be tamed. Even heroes fear him, and his name sends shivers down their spines. His name is spoken in terrified whispers and in long silences. In all of history, no one has ever defeated him. That is, except for you. You are the only person who is not afraid of him, the only person that would never cower at the sight of him, the only person destined to bring him back to the dust, where he belongs. Perhaps he knows that both his and your destiny are intertwined together, and he knows what will become of his fate.

Despite all of this, you don’t harbor any hatred towards him. You never have. In fact, the world doesn’t know your brother as well as you do. They don’t know the kind person behind the actions he committed. They don’t know the days when he was always there for you, of when he wasn’t known as an enemy, or hated by the people. They didn’t know who he was when he was only your older brother.

When he picked you up from school, when your parents were divorced, he was always there for you to confide in. The world doesn’t know that all the times when you fell and scratched your knees, he was always there to help you get up. They don’t know that all the days when you felt you were alone, he was always there, encouraging you to make new friends, to not be afraid of the challenges ahead. The world doesn’t know that he was the only family member that was able to watch you graduate on your high school football field. The world didn’t know that when you struggled to make ends meet, your brother allowed you to stay in his apartment, and that he offered to pay for your college fees. The world didn’t know that your brother was someone that was in every way, not a villain, not meant to be hated. They didn’t know that he was a kind and supportive person, a caring brother. Even now, you still loved him and saw him as family. 

Even now, when you are standing in front of him, watching him die because you took your hands and pierced them through his heart. Even now, when his blood is dripping in your hands, and you listen to your brother’s ragged breaths whistle through his lungs. Even now when his eyes are closed shut in pain, but you can still see his weak smile breaking upon his face. Even when he struggles to open his eyes for one last time, only to remind you that no matter what happens, and no matter what fate has in store for you, he still loves you. Even then, you still loved him, and never saw him as the villain he lived to be.

But that love filled you with bitterness and hate. It made you angry at the world and at fate, for making you like this, to make you a person that chose to be a hero, a hero that chose to kill his loving brother for the sake of the world. For the sake of people who loved you and admired you, for the sake of people who could care less about you. Was sacrificing your brother worth that fame? Worth being a hero? Was the death of a family member worth the many lives of others? Worth the lives of people who you would never meet and never know?

You leave your brother’s body on the ground. In this society, a villain like him does not deserve to be remembered, and does not receive a burial. For the world, his death is another victory. For you, another loss. As the years go on, you would have to fight for justice over and over again. Whoever the villain was, you’d have to defeat them, and to make sure they didn’t rise again. Whether the villain was someone you knew, someone you hated, a friend, a family, or a coworker. The villain was someone, a human, a person, just like everyone else. And yet, they suffered that fate, and you were the executioner that was to carry out their sentence.

In the centuries that would follow, you would be considered the hero. To the world, you are still the savior, the hope, someone that was to be admired. Another person that fought for justice and for the lives of the people. Someone that would be remembered for many years for their duty, their efforts to save the world, someone whose name would outlive their own time.

To you, your name haunts you. Your name is another reminder of your loss, your crime, a reason for the death of your brother. Your name is something for you to be ashamed of, something that you continue to hate as long as you live. To you, your name is nothing but the name of a murderer.

June 30, 2020 03:09

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


Maya Reynolds
20:23 Jul 17, 2020

Another great story! Again, intense but great language. I love the last sentence as well. Also, I love the perspective of the hero's struggles that we normally wouldn't see from the world's viewpoint. Keep up the good work!


03:28 Jul 18, 2020

Thank you so much for reading it! :D


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

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