Mythological. Short Story.

He woke slowly, drifting in and out of consciousness. Finally he stretched and yawned, deciding it was time to get up. He slid out of bed and padded over to the table, where breakfast had already been laid out for him. He wasn’t that hungry, but it was time to eat, so he ate. He picked up some strawberries, then had a few grapes. His clothes were already laid out for him. He dressed quickly, it still amused him after all these years. He remembered when the servants tried to dress him, he put a stop to that quickly, after all he wasn’t a child. He picked up an orange and left the room.

He found his advisor sitting in his office, “Morning, how is everything?”
“Good morning Light of the Land, all is good.”
“Ok, now how is everything really?”
“It is good, though there was a rebellion yesterday in the eastern province.”
“Again? Didn’t they rebel last month?”
“No Lightness, they last rebelled,” He leaned over his notes and started rifling through them, “their last major rebellion was three hundred years ago.”
“Oh. Close enough I guess.”
“What do you want us to do?”
“Execute the instigators, publically, that worked the last time. Then replace the current governing bodies, they can’t control the people obviously, what were their grievances?”
“Poor working hours, little pay, their food rations were cut in half due to their grumblings.”
He sighed, “no wonder they rebelled. Their kids and wives are starving. They’re not really at fault. If we kill the instigators we could make martyrs. Life in prison for the instigators, same food rations as before. Keep them weak. Increase the food rations for everyone else. Make sure they have good working conditions. If they don’t I will hold you personally responsible. We need an act of good faith. Execute the government officials who were at fault. That’ll calm things down. If not I guess I’ll make an appearance. When was the last time I left the city?”
His advisor stood and went to a filing cabinet, “uhhh, about a hundred years or so.”
Ah. They probably believe I’ve died by now too. Ok, organise a trip for me, encompass the major cities and a few of the smaller villages, try and hit as many as possible. “
“When do you want to leave?”
“Next week.”
“It shall be done lightness.”He turned and left the room, there was nothing else for him to do. Sure there were smaller governmental things but he didn’t involve himself in that too much, he mostly let it all run its course, only stepping in occasionally or handing out new edicts. After all he was their god. Seven feet tall, skin glowing a faint blue, abs of steel, he ticked all the boxes, add in a few godlike powers and they chose him as their god. He didn’t know where he got his powers, he didn’t have omnipotence, but they still worshiped him as a god. He had tried to keep all that to a minimal though, making sure the church didn’t go too crazy. He didn’t know his own life span, but so far he had lived for almost three thousand years.

He walked through the corridors ignoring the servants scurrying about, they bowed or curtsied to him, no matter how many times he told them not to. He stepped outside and took a deep breath, glad to be in the sun. He wandered through the streets, which always seemed to empty when he stepped onto them. The people weren’t afraid of him, they loved him in their strange way, but they feared getting in his way, feared offending him. He had given up trying to keep people calm around him, it never worked. Last time he tried living amongst the people in the city it had ended up stirring people into factions, religious frenzies, it hadn’t ended well. He wandered through the city, no particular goal in mind, until he found himself at the walls, there he started climbing. There were religious factions, they were always small and hard to find, but whenever they were found he visited them personally, there hadn’t been an attack in a hundred and fifty years. But there were outside dangers, countries who challenged him, or his followers.

He stood on the top of the walls, looking out at the sprawling city. He closed his eyes and turned his face towards the sun, enjoying the heat. After a few moments he opened his eyes again and looked at the walls, empty of people. He had the entire thing to himself. The patrols didn’t care too much about the last defensive wall, he could see them walking on the others. He took the ceremonial knife from his belt, studying the blade, it was dull, but it would suit his purpose. He raised his arm and slid the blade across his wrist, watching his purple blood drop to the stone below it. Flowers bloomed where his blood landed, a riot of colour, before dying a few seconds later. A creature scampered from amongst the flowers, then shuddered and died before it had made it a few steps. It looked like a cross between a squirrel and mouse. Its body rotted, leaving nothing but bones and, after a moment they too turned to dust. The winded picked up, blowing away the powder. He put the knife back into his belt, the blade was pitted and corroded, his wrist was healed and smooth. He had spent three years doing this in a small oasis, trying to find conditions which would allow the life to survive, but he hadn’t come across it yet. Someday he would figure it out. Soon he would test another theory, that it was the amount of blood, it was too small, it needed to be more for life to gain a proper foothold. He had been storing it in glass jars for nine years, he had filled almost four thousand. He would bring them out into a desert and release them all at once, just to see what would happen. He kneeled to where the blood had fallen, the stone was cracked and blackened, he brushed at it, soil was dusted away, he kept brushing until he found stone again, there was a small crater, about three inches deep and five across. The soil was normal, he had tested it many times, plants grew in it normally. He was here for something, he had a purpose and one day he would find what it was. He stood and started to climb down the steps, back into the city.

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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