On Chuck Wendig’s blog, “terribleminds,” he gives his readers different fiction challenges. His newest challenge is to write a flash fiction story using one of 20 psychic powers that he listed. A random number generator gave me 18, which was “mind control.” So here is my story, entitled “The Demigod.” It’s my first real attempt at writing in second person, so we’ll see how that goes. Hope you enjoy.
At first, controlling everyone made things so much easier. There was nothing you couldn’t accomplish once you had everyone’s mind under your control. You thought you would rule this world forever. And you would have been right, if she hadn’t burst into the grand palace last September.
She really had no business ruining your plot. You had everything planned out perfectly. Those two billion slave workers who mined, built, and farmed were really getting the job done, and your private actors and artists were just starting to get used to your influence over them well enough to present something entertaining. Your twenty million scientists were churning out the fastest cars and boats for you to drive, and your space program was innovating at perhaps fifty times the speed it was before you stopped the world from worrying about petty things like war, politics, and religion. The thing you were most proud of, however, was the group of the fifty best scientists you had, who were so close to perfecting the process of reversing aging. You had all this power, and you weren’t going to let death, of all things, take it away from you.
But then she showed up. The little girl, no more than twelve, you guessed. She managed to ruin everything for you. She burst into your palace, somehow making it past your guards. She made you question the power you had over the minds of those soldiers.
And then, an even stranger thing happened. When you tried to climb inside her mind, you failed. You fell down the stairs of power that had held you steady and upright countless times before as you invaded the minds of every human on the planet. You spent months traveling the world, enslaving everyone you could. Sometimes you did it through television, radio, or the internet. Sometimes you did it more personally, looking at a person or group of people in person, and capturing their precious self-hoods. But that day, you failed. The little girl met you on the battlefield of her mind and cast you out, back into reality.
She could not be controlled. You stepped back from her in fear. It was not the girl herself you feared, but the possibility that your power had limits.
She smiled at you and left, and you sank into your throne, shivering. Now it has been six months, and you have watched as she travels the globe, freeing your slaves from your grasp. Over and over she has met you on the field of mental battle, and her victories have been complete. Your scientists, your workers, your peasants—all of them freed by this girl.
Now you have waited another month, locked in your palace and taken by fear. You have lost, but you still have influence over some of your guards, the five-hundred beautiful wives you keep, and the fifty scientists who search for immortality in the basement of the palace.
It is a sunny, cloudless afternoon when she returns. She looks tired, but you are exhausted. She looks thirsty, but you are parched. She looks ill, but you are dying. You know the toll mind control takes on your body, and you see the signs of it in her now. You had known for months that she had the same abilities as you, but this was just proof to solidify your suspicion.
She is followed by an army. They look like they are still being controlled, but it is her that holds power over them, not you. She asks to come inside, and you reluctantly agree. As she passes your guards, you watch as they betray you and submit to her instead. That is unfortunate, as you had instructed them to kill her when she turned her back.
You and the girl stand in your throne room, just looking at each other. Your wives stand in a line along the walls of the massive room, but you know they are under her control now. You tell the girl to walk with you, and the two of you walk to the back of the palace. A single woman follows her, and holds a pistol. The weapon will be your death if you try to hurt the girl, so you turn down a sharp corner and run.
You run faster than the girl, who is caught by surprise. You run into the tunnels beneath the palace grounds, down to the laboratory. The scientists have already loaded their equipment and experiments onto the enormous space ship that sits in front of you. It is your last resort for escape, but life in space is preferable to death on earth. At least you will still have power over the scientists. The ceiling above the massive room is open, and you can see the blue sky above.
But when you reach the ramp to board the ship, the scientists block your path. You turn around and see the girl, and you know that you are alone. It is a truly empty feeling.
“Who are you?” you ask.
The girl walks to the ramp, and the woman with the pistol follows. The woman’s face is familiar, like something out of a dream. You have seen a truly uncountable number of faces in the past twelve years since you discovered your power, but hers is one that you remember.
“Do you remember her? You should,” says the little girl, smiling.
“It can’t be,” you say. The woman walks closer to you.
“Hello, dear,” she says to you. Then she turns and gestures to the little girl. “Meet your daughter. Isn’t she lovely?”
The shock sends you reeling for a moment, but then it all makes sense. You passed the power down to her. When she was old enough to realize what was happening, she freed her mother—the woman you loved before you were consumed by power. Your daughter steps closer.
“You control everything, and seek to be immortal. You are only a man, but you want to be God. No man should have that much power.”
“But you’re doing the same thing, girl. You control them all just like I did!”
“You’re right. But it was just a way to defeat you. Once you’re gone, I will free everyone,” she says. “Even if it means I have to die.”
You reach into your coat and pull out a knife. You run at the girl, your own daughter, and her mother takes aim at you
A single shot echoes around the cavernous room, and you fall to the ground. But the knife has already left your hand, and humanity is free.