The Man Who Sold the World

The Man Who Sold the World

Can you guess what inspired me to write this short piece of fiction during three years at university? (serial to be announced)

I stand on uneven ground, the cracks of time show, but under shallow moonlight, I see the old world. Skyscrapers, tower blocks, a once bustling city of activity. It died a long time ago. Yet it feels like this happened only yesterday.

Weather the storm. Who said that again. I vaguely recall my old life; the only memory I have of it now… is Him. 

He stands beside me, prying at my mind, he is the curious, the innocent, and the megalomaniac all rolled into one single package. Yet despite this façade, I see a calm, resolute figure. We stare at each other briefly.

He should be dead, and so should I. I laugh and he joins. Our chorus rings out across a ruined metropolis. We soon fall silent.

I like to think I run away from him simply because he is the man who sold the world. There is this air of hostility between us, for am I the one born in that fire.  A fire that is still raw and burning in my mind.

What have I become? two centuries have passed and I am still no closer to that answer.

As if seeing my thoughts he says, “Regret, I am the match, and you are the regret. You are the light that blanketed this planet. Before the silence fell.”

The man who regrets. It seems fitting when I think about it.

“I am a man forged in atomic fire,” I answer.

“And you will burn for all of time,” he adds.

I merely nod, not wishing to speak further. He disappears from my vision, like a magician at the end of a magic act. Over two hundred years of suspension and the world still looks eerily like it was all those years ago. There are memories I can’t begin to suppress even if I’d rather forget. It is sad, I still see the timeless struggle as it was and as it is currently. I see us still locked in the cruel snare that one day will leave this world empty. All because I sold the world. All because I made the choice and caused the end of many a life. Finality. It will never come. For I know even now. I am not done.

I am the man who sold the world, and I have been reborn.

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