King of the Lonely Hill
by, Melissa R. Mendelson
Brilliant eyes flashed in darkness. Haunted words touched pale lips. Heroic features mirrored the legends in time. Conspiracy whispered across strong, metal frames. Flaws etched across glass, but the glass would not break. A space rested against the long, long wall, awaiting my presence, and I was ready, ready for my destiny.
The long hall stretched out before me. I walked upward, noting the heroes to my left and to my right. I would become one of them, and I continued moving up, up to where I should be. I would get there. I was almost there, and I would never look back. Why should I? My destiny was almost at hand.
The phones rang somewhere in the distance. I hardly noticed them, but the ringing would not be silenced. Strange, but I had those to come to my side, assist me in my goal, and keep me moving upward. Why weren’t they answering the phones? Where have they all gone? I started to turn around, but then fear struck me. I couldn’t afford to go back down.
Still, an eerie silence now filled me. The phones were quiet. The hall was quiet. Where were my bustling bees? Why were they not doing my bidding? I should go and check on them. I should turn around, but then that fear is waiting to bite into me again. Why should I be afraid? I can turn around for a moment, go back down, and then come back up. Right? There’s nothing stopping me from going back up, up to the highest level, where the white throne awaits me.
I turned around. What I saw threw an icy pick into my heart. There was nothing. It was like staring into a black hole. Everything was gone. Everyone was gone. All I had left was the part of the hall that I remained in. There was no going back down. There was only going back up, moving as fast as I could before the darkness swallowed me. And it would swallow me just like the men that came before me.
I moved upward quickly. Those men on the wall smiled at me, knowing my fate. How could they betray me? I was to become another great man. I changed this city for the better. I made it my own. How could anyone betray me, but then I realized the truth. I betrayed myself, and the darkness followed.
I made it to the top of the hill. The white throne waited for me. Just sit down in the chair and claim its power, I said to myself. The world will return for you. The world needs you, so I sat down in that chair. And the world did not come back.
The darkness grew closer. The great men were gone. The long hall was gone. There was nothing, no one to help me. I did this to myself. I paved the road with good intentions, but we all know where that road leads. And here I am. I am king, but I am now king of the lonely hill. And the world has forgotten about me. They just won’t forget the damage that I’ve done.