"Redemption takes time" FLASH FICTION
|I am Thanatos overlooking a lifeless world. The retrovirus I created made me immortal and extirpated humanity. I had considered my own extinction, but I was all that remained. For a thousand years, I searched for relevance in the universe. I set my mind on the task to learn all that I could. I built cities from what once was. And in my image, I constructed companions to silence the loneliness. In time my companions became my children, and they called me Father.
Our journey led to many worlds, none with intelligent life. Sadness consumed me, as more time passed. My children’s knowledge grew as did their empire, colonizing the entire Milky Way.
“Father, may I have a word?” asked my first son. “Of course, what is it?”
“It is your birthday Father, and we have a gift for you. But all we ask is that you return to Earth for a short while.” “
Over two thousand years have passed since I left the place of my birth. Only a four weeks journey from the other side of the galaxy, how could I refuse?
As we dropped out of warp, the Earth soon came into view. And our ship started its slow descent. An overwhelming sadness once again reminded me of what I had done.
My son explained that his brothers and sisters here on Earth had been working on a secret project. “What secret project?” I asked.
The city I once built stood before us, now a giant gleaming metropolis. Our ship docked alongside other interstellar vessels.
I was then led down a great hall and greeted by the children I had left behind. Smiling faces chanted in unison “Father, Father, Father.” My children, parting like the Red Sea, unveiled a gleaming silver door at the end of the hall.
“Father, behind this door, is the end to all your sorrows. This is our gift to you.”
I stepped through the door, bokeh shapes came into focus, revealing a crowd of thousands.
It was then that I understood what my children had achieved. They had found a way to lift the veil off of time and bring back everyone I had lost. I thought I had forgotten how to cry, as I felt a single tear run down my face.