"Redemption takes time" FLASH FICTION --- My first story.
|I, Thanatos, once stood over a lifeless world. A world I had called home. You see, a retrovirus I created so long ago had escaped the confines of my lab. This virus inexplicably endued me with immortality, and then wind swept it spread across the planet, extirpating humanity. This tragic circumstance filled me with such remorse that I had considered my own extinction; but I was all that remained.|
And so, for a thousand years, I searched for relevance in the universe. I set my mind on the task of learning all that I could. I built cities from what once was. And in my image, I constructed companions to silence the loneliness. And in time, my companions became my children, and they would call me Father.
We built interstellar ships that took us to many worlds. None held intelligent life, and thus sadness would consume me as more time passed.
Through the years my children’s knowledge grew as did their empire, an empire that spread across 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.”
Earth? Over two thousand years have passed since I left the place of my birth. It is but a four-week journey from the other side of the galaxy. How could I refuse?
As we drop out of warp, mother Earth comes into view. The sight of her resurfaces, buried memories, painful memories.
It takes us mere moments to reach the surface of the planet. Now, gliding just above a lush green landscape, we move silently toward a gleaming metropolis in the distance.
Arriving in the city center, our ship docks alongside other interstellar vessels. Once disembarked, we were greeted by the children I had left behind. A multitude of smiling faces chanting in unison, “Father, Father, Father!”
“Father, this is our gift to end all your sorrows," says my first son, as he raises his hand toward his brothers and sisters.
And then in lockstep, my children part like the Red Sea, giving way to bleared shapes. Shapes that come into focus, revealing a crowd of thousands.
It was at that moment I understood what my children had achieved. That they had found a way to turn back the hands of time; returning all I had lost.
I thought I had forgotten how to cry until I felt a single tear run down my face.