The Man Who Sold the World

Can you guess what inspired me to write this short piece of fiction during three years at university? 

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 of it I have… 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 facade, 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. It ends as quickly as it began.

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.  Fire 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 the 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. Two hundred years of suspension and this gets no easier, each time I see what it was before. Memories I can’t begin to suppress, as much as I’d rather forget. It is sad, I still see Humanity 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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