Here's my submission for the Mysterious Subjects Writing Context.
For the record, I had all sorts of issues transfering this to the ATS browser because it kept deleting the paragraph indents at the beginning of
sentences. The only way around it seems to have been to entirely reformat it, removing indents and adding paragraph gaps and such, so this is going to
look a lot longer than it originally was and I'll post it in stages. Sorry!
Hope you all enjoy it, regardless of the reformatting.
“You chase me down, you follow me, you watch me, for millennia now you’ve done it. You’ve always been there, on my back but you
scarcely ever say anything. You just watch. You’re powerless to change things, you know that better than anyone. How can you predict a variable?”
he says to me.
“This time,” I say, “don’t do it.” As if it’s that simple, as if he’d ever listen. As if he’s even listening now, all I can hear is
the alarm going off at full volume.
Last time I saw him he was working for the CIA, before that a terrorist group, before that he coordinated guerrilla forces in Vietnam, years before
that he was working for Stalin, before that Hitler, before that the list goes on and on.
Now he’s a general in dress uniform, a red button away from releasing Texas’ nuclear arsenal on whatever dot on the map strikes his fancy. Yet
again he has millions of lives in his hands.
“I can’t not do it and you know that, your predictions are all based on me,” he’s talking on and on, his accent is American now. I remember
the last conversation we had was in Quenchua, on a green mountain overlooking the construction of Machu Picchu. I was saying the Spanish don’t need
to know about this place, he was saying it’s the way of things.
He was saying it’s what he’s here to do. Population control, sanitation, disease control, damage limitation call it what you want, he said, all in
Quencha, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. And why not let it be someone who enjoys it. He told me all this and this was a normal
The truth is I’d love for my predictions to be wrong. It’s not even about the millions of people dying anymore, do you think I care? I’ve seen
billions of people die. I’ve married more times in my life than you’ve had hot meals and I’ve watched every last wife get older and older and
eventually disappear, fade, fall into insignificance. Die. All the while wondering why the man she married 50 years ago doesn’t look a year older
than on the day she met him.
So why would I care about a few more million? I just want to go.
I get to thinking about how we got to this situation, in this war room right now. There’s me, there’s him, then there’s 7 dead soldiers between
It’s hard to defend yourself against a man that won’t die.
Let me try to explain things before the idea of an explanation is lost next to the radiation fields, the death, the disease, the carnage. The third
Imagine living forever. Imagine seeing the rise and fall of civilisation more times than you can count, imagine watching rocks turn to great
monuments, to towers, to pyramids, statues, then watching them crumble back down to earth, just to become another monument for another people in
Imagine seeing the great pyramid in its prime, perfectly smooth with a golden capstone so bright and polished you can only look at it in the
Imagine all this and never being surprised. Imagine the beauty of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Lighthouse of Alexandria and imagine how that
beauty is only surpassed by the astonishing detail with which you’d already visualised the whole thing in your head.
Imagine the boredom.
How much would you have enjoyed Fight Club, or the Sixth Sense or Harry Potter if you knew the end? I knew the end and everything that came before. I
knew Ginny and Harry were going to get married before J.K Rowling had even thought about Harry Potter.
How much would you enjoy Harry Potter anyway though? I mean really. So maybe Harry Potter’s not the best example, but that’s my life.
No alarms, and no surprises, in the words of Thom Yorke.
You may find this all a little hard to believe and I don’t blame you. I found it hard to believe, but you start to understand after you’ve been
alive for five hundred years, or a thousand and look like the same man you were when you were thirty.
Your clothes change, your hair style, you live so long you forget what language you spoke first and when you were born. You live so long you can’t
remember your mother’s name or even if you have a mother. But you know within a margin of a few hours exactly when World War 3 will start.
Except, this isn’t World War 3 that’s about to start, it’s more like World War 7. When you’ve lived through every civilisation on a planet
world wars become tiresome and blur into each other. Mass murder is something you see so often it doesn’t register anymore. You don’t even need to
be a prophet to know how a world war will end, they all end basically the same.
All this, like I said, it’s a little hard to believe until you stand under the drop site of an atom bomb and then walk away.
And I’ve survived five.
News Flash: Mastering the Atom. That happened long before you guys figured out how to do it.
My clothes will burn, my hair burns, but when I walk away from the fire and radiation I’m healthy, there’s not a grizzly radiation ulcer or a burn
mark on me. I’ve not had so much as a cough for as long as I remember.
The black death, Hiroshima, terrorist attacks, whatever. Been there, done it.
Been there, done it, and knew exactly how it was all going to play out long before it happened.
It’s not all fun and games being God. And that’s what I am, at least, sort of.
I’m some sort of evolutionary fluke, some dead end, something that science forgot. And whenever science forgets something, religion names it.
The Mayan’s had a name for me, the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Incas and long before them so did the Atlanteans. They all had names for me. I don’t
remember what the names were anymore, admittedly.
I was probably God of something rubbish. God of teaspoons, God of bricks, God of the Pick 'n' Mix, God of nature documentaries.
God of knowing the future but never being able to do a God damned thing about it. Like the God of fishing rods who’s scared of water, or the God of
butchers who’s a vegetarian. Useless.
News Flash: Teaspoons are all your’s, no one figured that idea out before you, everyone else was satisfied with one general spoon size. All those
civilisations that came and went that had bombs, and TVs, that had cars and airplanes, well, you guys invented the teaspoon, so well done on that.
Here and now seem redundant when the past and the future are the same to you. And when you see the future laid out and paved before you the same as
the past behind you nothing seems all that very different.
The alarm’s still ringing, a red flashing light spins on the concrete wall of the bunker. The dead bodies still slump across the table draining
blood into a pool on the floor.
Ares is still in front of me saying how it’s his responsibility, it’s what he’s put here to do. As a God, it’s his duty.
“I’m not going to let you do it,” I say.
“You know you will,” he says, now turning away from me and tapping at a keyboard. Access codes or programming coordinates, I don’t know which.
“What I’m doing now is my job, what you’re doing is your job. I was always the God of War, you always were the God of being a whiny little girl,
Don’t get me wrong, I played the whole God thing for a while but the assassination attempts get tiresome and eventually even the slave girls don’t
maintain your interest.
I tried slave boys for a while but it didn’t work out.
As best I remember I’m from Atlantis. I’m pretty sure all of us, and make no mistake, I’m not the only one, are from Atlantis.
Some of us were heralded as Gods or demons, some us just went into hiding. Some of us weren’t so lucky.
One of us in particular wasn’t so lucky: Big Foot. Let me tell you, that’s not a family of some ancient monkey species, that’s one of us. She
lived in North America for a while, a while in Canada, then if the stories about the Yeti are true, she went to where-ever the Yeti’s from.
I don’t have all the details, it’s not like we send each other Christmas cards.