The Malignant Deity

There is an omnipotent being called a Trickster who controls all of the suffering in our lives and takes pleasure in guiding us into misfortune. In this story, he takes an interest in an unhappy family of four, each with their own personal desires. The narrative follows the lives of each of the individuals, and shows their reactions to their new found, and fickle, happiness.

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2. The Author's Voice

The clouds of the afternoon shifted, allowing the white-tinged light into the study of Felix Day. Irritating him through the skin of his eyelids, he stirred, and then woke from the peaceful escape of oblivion. Looking up from the embrace of his crossed arms, the sight that greeted him was not a happy one; a screen, whose only companion was a blinking cursor. It, along with the rest of the unused pixels, seemed to say to him, “Why do you even bother?”

After confirming his hatred of computers Felix sighed, the type of sigh that came only after a day of forced concentration that produced no results. Moving his glasses to his forehead, he leant back in the aged computer chair which creaked under his weight, closed his eyes another time, moved his hands over his face, interlocking his fingers, and then let his arms go limp. This was the stature of a man crippled not only by the harsh demands of his unsuccessful publisher, as much so as he, but also by the expectations of his peers, however few they were. His family used to seem vital to his life but as the seconds dragged on to minutes, to hours, to days, he felt as if there was nothing stopping him from grabbing his coat and leaving without a single goodbye. These depressing thoughts swirled around his mind before he decided that this room was hindering his progress, and decided to leave.

But where else was there to go in a house where the walls told not only stories, but opinions of the residents? The study was a black hole where the ideas and promises of Felix’s childhood were destroyed before they had even matured. The corridor that doubled as the landing of the seldom flight of stairs acted as the battle ground of a war not fought with swords, but with emotions. From here he could proceed to any room of the house on the upper floor, but why would he have wanted to? They only held the broken dreams of his forgotten self. Nevertheless he felt as though he must, as if they held the key to happiness and content.

Across from the study lay a bedroom; the bedroom where Felix and his wife spent whatever minute portion of their lives they were together. It felt tidy, but not in the sense of the objects being in the right places but in the places they were forced into. This was the room of love gained, love lost and love never found again.

The rooms of Felix’s children held yet more despair. Firstly was his daughter’s room, a girl who was once special but had now submerged into the waters of anonymity. She had held so much promise, and still did, but chose to ignore it and battle for a place among those whom she was so different from. Her room proved that, decorated with the cosmetics and childhood obsessions that her daughter fought for, but never truly liked; they acted only as a mask. Even her father no longer knew her, for she was now a shadow of the person she used to be. Felix hated himself for disgracing the name of his daughter, but he then realised that he was only returning the favour; again, a room where the bonds of adoration had faded with time.

While a father and daughter’s relationship may flounder, surely a father and son’s shouldn’t? Again, suspicion smothers the truth; Felix had never gotten to know his son but was sure that he had tried. The boy was in a world of his own, cut off from the rest by barriers he himself had erected. Maybe society had given him a push in the wrong direction, but he had taken himself the rest of the way. As Felix pressed down on the handle of his son’s door he was not granted entrance to his abode. He realised that it was locked; it required a key that he had never been granted, or even bothered trying to gain. Resting his head against the cold, hard wood he sighed again, his signature sigh.

The walk back to the study lasted a few seconds as well as a lifetime, what with all of the yet more depressing thoughts circulating through Felix’s mind. As he got there, he sighed a third time and leant against the frame of the door. This was the one room in the house that he could call his own, and he had made it so, adorning it with his copies of his interests in book form; fables, myths, legends. Fairy tales in comparison with real life. Defying his forced urge to return to his chair and scream out a title, even the promise of alcohol, he went to the window. The white-tinted light descended into a grey hue which smothered his life. He had tried to gain friends, a career, a family, but all of these were stipulations left undelivered. Maybe he hadn’t tried hard enough, and this life was all that he deserved. This particular thought was a common one in the times when he himself was alone; alone in the house of the life he had strived to achieve, but realised too late that it had not lived up to his expectations.

While the window allowed him to see, what was in his mind, the wasteland of humanity around him, Felix could also see a reflection of himself. A frail man who looked far older than he should, with slumped shoulders and grey strands of hair; only his eyes betrayed him of his real age, shining a bright green. What a pitiful sight. But, astonishingly, as if by magic, or insanity, or even both, Felix was somehow able to see the future he had always wanted; a man of fame, encircled by adoration and popularity. There were people screaming his name, asking for his curled writing on what resembled a bestselling novel. A smile on his face, he was such a different man, but it was Felix all the same. As he looked deeper and deeper into the visions of a failed future Felix felt the urge to lift his right arm and reach for it. While the possibility seemed just in front of him, he was instead greeted with the icy, harsh face of glass.

This was the final push; a single tear flowed from the corner of Felix’s eye and raced down his cheek. He felt a bulge in his throat, expanding with his increasing heartbeat. Felix then opened his mouth, and while gazing into the path he wished he had taken, uttered,

“Where does the fame hide? The want for recognition; I yearn for it so.”

Felix then closed his eyes, breathed in and whispered in his husky tone,

“I want to be famous from a bestselling book.”

As if these words had taken all of the strength out of him, he crumpled to the floor with yet another tear on his face, before his world tumbled into darkness.

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