The governor frantically signs another bill. It’s all he knows to do as buildings in the city crumble and disintegrate at my passing. He knows I’m coming. The stroke of a tyrannous pen doesn’t prevent his world from splintering now.
His jails open as the locks pop off, and the guards are traded in place of the innocent. The state is awakened as if by the sound of a glorious trumpet as it blasts the flags into tatters. Neither screams or prayers alter the course. Perhaps if they knew my mind, however, the people would rejoice.
Soon, he and I come face-to-face among the ruins as he evacuates his own mansion. He is devastated to see his kingdom, and all he has built in his name, rescind at the consequences. He is for the first time scared of a subject. My hands shine with the sun and the moon glows in my pupils. He never expected this.
“This is what it’s come down to?” he says, raising his gun to shoot.
He pulls back the hammer and releases the spark meant to strike me down. I block the bullet, then consume it in the void of my palm. His world has been brought down, but I have made sure to spare him at the moment to see it. I wish my face to be burned into his memory.
“Now I am the one who has the power,” I inform, snapping my fingers. His weapon disassembles and floats before vanishing. “I will do away with fake gods.”
Many cannot live here freely, nor can I. The oppression has taken over. Therefore, I decide no one shall reside in this place, and I bring its life to an end. Everything perishes; the time stops and prepares to restart.
I enter into the reborn world I created. I find my home so beautiful now. My mom is waiting outside the house. I want to tell her of my amazing journey and colossal victory, but she’d naively humor me at best. She might even take me to see a mental doctor. Like all the others, she has no idea what happened. No one dies. They simply move into the new realm as their brains reset to the time before the tragedy.
She reaches out to hug me as we meet. I embrace her tightly, never wanting to let go. I have waited ages for this inseparable moment in a better time.
She doesn’t seem real. Her touch is like that of a dream, a false reality I have created with my mind. We begin to cry as we realize that we can never fully exist together here. I reluctantly conclude that time and space must be restored.
The old world returns. I stand normally on the main street of the capitol. I manage to find my mom in the crowd, cars rushing by and ceaseless chatters filling the old human atmosphere of this land. She is delighted to see me, an emotion that is now clearly real, a touch that moves even the soul of a son.
We have returned to our old selves, but so has the world. The injustices remain, the evil running rampant. I go into my mother’s arms, this time for real, to be protected. She assures me of her love, but I am still saddened as I return the power to the universe.
The tempest of dark clouds in the sky now begins to break apart, and I become a little more at ease. There’s still light that can come through the dismal in its own time after all.
Chris Aldridge is an American fiction and non-fiction writer originally from Thomasville, North Carolina. Find him online at www.caldridge.net
–Art by Marina Ćorić