She rests at the bottom of the ocean somewhere between the North American and African continents while watching bizarre fish glide by in total darkness. The water is cold, frigidly so, and it is just the rejuvenation she needs.
They don’t know any better–she knows that. She understands in her heart that she shouldn’t let them upset her.
The demands started seven years ago, when she was four, and they haven’t stopped since.
Her parents were the first to notice. Apparently, she’d gone days without using the bathroom. They took her to the doctor and he determined that she was both perfectly healthy and legally dead. She didn’t believe this story at first, but after traveling back in time and seeing it for herself, she saw that her parents had not been exaggerating.
The military visited the next day. They burst in with machine guns aimed at her. They marched toward her, looked down at her, yelled at her, threatened to shoot her. She rose to their height, stopped their guns from firing, and then made a decision.
She could have atomized them. She watched herself do so in a fabricated reality that she quickly deconstructed, for it brought her no joy.
Unmitigated annihilation felt unnatural.
Instead, she chose to grant them happiness. She cured one soldier’s PTSD, another’s addiction, and a third’s chronic knee pain. She then faced her parents and intuited that they were the ones who called the government. In an instant, she comprehended their fear, their paranoia, their confusion. Yet, she detected not a trace of hate–none at all.
She gave them peace, then left for the moon.
There she remained for two years. She spent that time observing the Earth and all of its workings. There was much that made her sad, but more often than not those things she witnessed brought her comfort. Love, generosity, charity, compassion, forgiveness–these were but a few traits that inspired her.
She made yet another choice. She could have gone anywhere, done anything, but she decided to remain on Earth.
The last five years were spent serving.
She worked in soup kitchens. When the food ran out, she made more. She helped cultivate fields. When those fields needed rain, she brought water. She volunteered at hospitals. When the doctors were at a loss, she found a remedy. She visited war zones. When people needed to escape, she gave them refuge.
Food, sleep, shelter, drink–these were things she didn’t require. Therefore, her benevolence knew no bounds. She served endlessly, without falter, without ego.
Of course, the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations wanted to meet with her. They wanted to know her intentions, her loyalties, her agenda.
She was more than willing to meet with each and every one one of them, as long as they came to her. They had to find her around the homeless shelter, or at the medical tent, or in the quarantine.
Her answer always remained the same. Her intentions were to help, her loyalties were to those who needed help, and her agenda centered around finding ways to help.
They were never satisfied with the response.
They would also ask: “Are you American? Russian? Mexican? German?”
To that, she would reply: “I’m only trying to be human.”
Some nations tried to bribe her. They wanted her to commit murder, genocide, theft, espionage. She refused them all. They had nothing she desired, for she desired nothing more than to help.
One leader in particular could not accept this. He knew her country of origin and demanded her allegiance, her blind devotion, her unquestioning fidelity. When she refused him yet again, he waited until she appeared in a nearby, third-world nation, and then he fired a nuclear weapon in her direction.
She dematerialized it, obviously, but, for a fleeting moment, she considered sending it back to him. Until that instant, she believed such petty thoughts beneath her. She felt no disappointment in him, for he acted only according to his nature; she instead experienced disappointment in herself. She did not know that aspect of herself still remained.
Which is how she ended up at the bottom of the ocean.
It will never stop. Each new era of leadership will demand her conformity. They will attack her, demean her, and try to demoralize her.
But the needs will never stop, either.
The light above cannot pierce the depths, yet she looks to it anyway.
She bursts through the water, hurls over Africa, and lands amid a fire in Australia. An arsonist initiated the catastrophe–it is not a natural occurrence. Therefore, she has no qualms about interfering. She kneels, allows the flames to overtake her, and then absorbs them–all of them. The fire is drawn into her from miles away.
Once the last spark melted into her hands, she looked around. She saw no signs of humanity. No cameras, no helicopters, no people.
No one will ever know what she did, which is the way she prefers it.
An incinerated joey lay not far off from her. She wants to put her hands upon it–to rectify its unfair death. But she does not. It would be unnatural to enact its resurrection.
Instead, she sends it beneath the ground, spares a moment to mark its passing, then fades into the folds of reality before reappearing in China.
Copyright © 2020 by Scott William Foley
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental to the story
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews or articles.