I was dozing off in the ICU when my eyes were last open. Now I have another problem. What if you woke up one day and was told that you must fill the shoes of the world’s greatest hero?
They are who the books speak about. They are who your mother sings of. They are the icon on your child’s lunchbox. What if you woke up and this was who you were forced to be? That’s my problem.
The room I awoke in was white at first. Over time it went black. And then white again. It pulsated between the two. I noticed this when the beast took a pause from speaking. Because well, wouldn’t you do the same?
The room had no doors. The walls were alien; as if they were constructed from a material that fingers dissolve into. There was no escape. Back to that beast though–the entity making me want to pee myself.
“You have no idea why you’re here, do you?” The beast asked.
“Am I dreaming?”
“The last one thought that. They are dead now.”
Cue the cliche gulp. I tried to walk, but my feet slid across the floor in a moonwalk.
“You are skeptical. But you do not feel pain like the last one. This is very good.”
The beast never turned to face me and was draped in a cloak. It glitched when the beast spoke. Budding out from both sides of the cloak was black fur and no feet, but hooves instead.
“Am I supposed to feel pain right now?”
“Only if you aren’t the chosen one. But it appears you are. The chosen one cannot feel the pain I just transmitted into your stomach.”
“How do you know…”
“Because the last one died.”
I had two questions: What is the chosen one? And how many have you killed? I went with the second question for reasons still unknown to myself.
“I have killed too many. My hands are soaked in human blood. But I am done now.
The room dashed to black. The beast jolted around. I saw his piercingly bright orange eyes.
“You must save your world.” He said. “You must be the entity that keeps its oceans full and its air breathable. You must transcend!”
The room caved in on itself and when my eyes burned open, there I sat on a golden throne high atop a crowd of thousands.
A small-framed squire slowly put a hand to my ear. Before he uttered a word, I caught a glimpse of my wardrobe. Gems, diamonds, silk–the attire of a king.
“The people want to know what your orders are. The dragon shall arrive by sunset.”
I tried to find context clues despite my clammy hands but wound up saying: “And?”
The squirrel forced a chuckle. “I am always game for your tremendous humor, but we are defenseless in this scenario. The dragon will burn–”
I understood. And I finally pissed myself. “Enough. How do i get them quiet?”
“Just raise a hand.”
I did just that and the crowd of thousands went quiet. I then thought back to the beast. When I went to sleep I was in an ICU. Today, I had nothing to lose.
“As your King, I will fight the dragon!”
The crowd roared. Over the mountains in the far east I could see the wings flapping. The dragon was going to have a problem.
About Bernard Greene
Bernard is a writer from Queens, New York who loves cars and his daughter Diane.