The Angel of Mercy

The world is a confusing place. Throughout the ages, humanity has created a number of different rules through which they have come to understand how everything works. Many of these theories came in the form of religions with a varying number of deities associated with them. What humans didn’t know is that through the creation of these religions, they have also inspired the creation of the gods, themselves.

Simply put, without religion, gods do not exist; however, when a new religion is created, a new god is also created for that belief system. The god’s strength is determined based on the number of believers. This means that certain religions and their corresponding gods have dominated the world for ages, while other religions and their corresponding gods have died out.

As more and more deities have come into existence, there has been a need for more order within Olympus, the mountain where all gods make their home. As such, the Order of the Gods has been created to deal with day-to-day dealings. The Order acts through angels, such that the gods, themselves, never need to directly interact with humans. This is a rule that all gods have agreed to follow because they are in competition with one another, and if a god were to be seen by a human, the belief in that god would become much stronger, and so would the god’s influence.

I have been given the role of an Angel of Mercy. This means that my job is to save the lives of certain believers; however, I do not work for any god in particular.

One day, I was given a job to save the life of a gentleman by the name of John Doe. For some reason, the seal on the scroll was signed “urgent.” It is unusual that a god cares so much about their individual followers that saving a single one is important, so it was surprising to me when I found out that John was no more than an average man, not a pastor or priest leading people to worship.

As always, my missions start with a little reconnaissance. I need to figure out who is endangering the lives of my clientele. After that, I need to find a way to keep everyone alive. I am distinctly not allowed to kill anyone. I am only allowed to prevent people from dying.

As I studied John, I realized he was really down on his luck. He had lost his job and his girlfriend and was struggling to keep himself alive. As the days went by, he stopped eating regularly and rarely left his house. He began scribbling notes that he would leave for himself, all of which reminded him to do basic chores, like brushing his teeth and showering. Every morning, he would wake up and curse his very existence before falling back asleep and doing nothing productive all day.

At some point I realized who would kill John: John, himself.

I didn’t know how much time I had before the event, so I did what I thought was best and appeared to him in a dream.

“John,” I called. “Speak to me.”

There was no answer. Even in his dreams, he had no motivation.

The dream was different than any other I had ever been in. Usually, the dreamer expresses themselves in some way, but not this time. John literally dreamed himself into a dark void to escape a reality that he didn’t even properly live in.

So I did something a little unusual, I provided some form of creative expression of my own. I began showing John what the world would be like without him.

Immediately, the apartment around him was emptied and the family that would have lived there without John’s existence appeared. The air was filled with the scent of a home-cooked meal, and a child was bouncing in her chair at the table, begging for food. A well-dressed husband just entered and kissed his wife before entering the main bedroom.

“What is this?” Asked John.

I didn’t say anything. The apartment John lived in certainly looked a lot better without him.

“What is this?” John asked again. “Where am I?”

“This is a world without you. One where you were never born.” I said.

“Why is it so…” He paused for a second, struggling to find the word. “Happy?”

“Well…” I shrugged a bit. “This is just your apartment. I am sure other places are much worse without you.”

So we travelled together to each and every person John had ever met. Every single one of them appeared to be better off without ever knowing of John’s existence. As the day continued on, John found himself more and more distressed.

Eventually, he asked, “Why do I even wake up in the morning?”

Again, I didn’t know what to say. “I cannot answer that. You must look within yourself for the answer.”

He then said, “Maybe I should just continue to live here. In this weird dream where I never existed.”

I had honestly never seen a world that was so incredibly better off without a single individual, so I told him again, “You must choose how to live your life. I cannot tell you what is best.” At that point, I didn’t know what to do, so I left him to make the choice for himself.

The next day, I returned to Olympus, having failed in my duty to protect John. As I looked around, I noticed that there was also a single empty seat at the Order of the Gods.

The reason John was so important was that he was the last follower to a long-forgotten god. Now that he was gone, so too, was she.

Prompt: It seems a cruel juxtaposition to be in. You, an Angel of Mercy, have been tasked by God herself to keep this man from ending his own life, but when you show him what the world would be like without him, you both realize it would be better without him in it, not worse.

results matching ""

    No results matching ""