blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, short story

Holding on for a hero

who will answer the call?

man_cocoparisienne
cocoparisienne via pixabay

listen: 

Mankind is facing annihilation – again.

People are calling my name – but for all the wrong reasons. I can’t believe you’d expect me to lay myself on the line for them. I am not the man I was. I am not as strong, as fast or as foolish as I was thirty years ago and the world has no right to ask any more of me. For God’s sake. I gave it all before, gave up my one and only love, my peace of mind. I risked everything.

Yes, people chanted my name, put my picture on magazines, even made movies about me. But you didn’t want the rest of the story, did you? Didn’t want to know how my spirit was broken. Didn’t want to hear about the nightmares that haunted me day and night. I see all those faces still. They told me it was a price worth paying.

Tell that to the ones I couldn’t save.

Yes, I got a medal from the president and a pension, but I was alone. I am alone.

So why should I come back now? I’ve had thirty years to figure out that people want you when they need you. And when they don’t need you any more, you’re dead to them. The fate of the planet lies in my hands, and my hands alone? Don’t be absurd. It’s never that simple.

Find another young idealist to sacrifice themselves. Not one of you would trade places with me, and that’s how we see the real truth. If I take on this fight now, and win, what is there in it for me? I already know what the world’s gratitude consists of. And if I try and fail, what is there in it for me? I already know the bitter taste of rejection. There are many less painful ways to die.

How dare you come here to weep and beg for my help. How dare you pretend to care about anything other than yourselves. Guilt and fear is written all over you. Save us, you cry. We are all human, all in it together. Well then.

If that is true, let us all burn together.

I deserve better than this. I have paid the price already.

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.