Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Curse: A Flash Fiction of 450 Words

“Before You Embark On A Journey Of Revenge, Dig Two Graves” — Confucius

The Curse

by Alan Loewen

You have probably heard the debate about parallel or alternate universes, the theory that there is an infinite number of space-time domains that lie next to each other. Differing in only slight degrees, these timelines become more radically different the further you move away from your own home cosmos.

To me, it’s not a theory. These alternate universes have become part of a curse of my very own, borne about, strangely enough, by a curse spoken in a rage so deep, my very words shattered space and time.

Since that day so long, long ago when I cursed Glen Gardner, my own words have carried me from universe to universe in an eternal quest to fulfill a vow to kill him even if it took an eternity.

The Curse continues to drive me even now from dimension to dimension, plane to plane, cosmos to cosmos seeking Gardner out in his infinite incarnations. 

My shame is that I have been at this for so long, I can no longer remember the original sin Gardner committed against me that brought me to utter those evil words.

And so I travel the alternate universes to hunt him out to die at my hands.

In some worlds, he is still my enemy and I kill in self-defense. In other universes, he calls me friend and brother and I weep at the memory of the look of stunned surprise in his dying eyes. In most times and spaces, he doesn’t even know who I am.

I want to stop.

In some alternate planes of existence, he is a man in his prime, in others, he is in his dotage. The worst ones of all are those universes where he is still only a small child.

I try to stop, I really do, but the Curse makes me hunt him out and then the Rage returns to ensure I carry through on my vow.

In some worlds, he is a criminal of the basest sort and I do humanity a great service, but in others, he is a saint. In one world, he was a leader that kept an entire nation from chaos and ruin.

But in almost all of them, his death causes a rippling cascade of more death and horror and misery for innocents not involved in my personal crusade. So it’s not just Gardner’s blood on my hands.

And my hands have become so very, very bloody.

I should have forgiven him. I wish I could forgive him now. I feel I am plunging toward a death of my own that I will never reach.

Please. Somebody. Somebody help me to stop. I just want to stop.

I think I am in Hell.

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