“This seems a strange place to meet,” he said. He had forgone his customarily bright regalia. No capes, no tassels, just a suit, like a businessman would wear. Even the tie was subdued. It was blue, a dark blue, almost black. He came beside me, hands in his pockets, and bowed his head respectfully.

“Do you know,” I began, glancing over at him, “It seems a strange life. Thanks for coming.” It was a very quiet afternoon. The sun wasn’t yet setting, but the day was passing. It had reached that point when time lost meaning and everything hung still in the air like the world was catching its breath.

“He’s the one I regret,” I said.

“The one?”

“The only one.” I began searching my pockets. “The others, well, they were necessary.” I could see him stiffening as I spoke. Clenching my jaw, I tried to lower my voice, “I walked away. I would have left you all alone. You searched me out.”

He exhaled slowly, his steaming breath billowing under his nose.

“But him, he’d left me alone.” I produced an envelope from my pocket.

“How did you do it?” he asked, taking the letter.

Lifting my head, I smiled at him. “You’d all like to know. To you, I killed a god. You all think you’re gods.” He gave no reply, but I could see the steam rising off his head. “I’ll tell you then; I’ll tell you all. He did it himself. I only helped.”

My companion burst into flames. “Liar,” he shouted.

“The same way I can get you to lose control, I got to him.” I shouted proudly. “I whispered in his ear. I convinced him to do it. Death always wins.” I snarled. The envelope had already turned to ashes in his hands. I laughed, “You’ve already destroyed what you came here for.”

He looked down at his hands, and screamed, “No!” Off and on it had rained that day, and it began again, a light drizzling. Steam rose over his flaming body like a cloud. Slowly the flames died, and his charred suit hung from him in tatters. “Why?” he demanded.

“I killed him,” I said, “because I hate. That’s all I am now; you took everything else. You took my life, my childhood, my hopes and dreams, you took everything from me. If I could kill you all, it would not sate me. If I could, I’d drown this world in blood until nothing was left, not even a flower. I’d make this world a desert, and then I’d be satisfied.” Pointing at him, I lowered my voice, “and it was all of you. I am what I was made to be. Judge me? Judge yourselves. As you all like to remind me, I was made in a test tube. There was not one point of my life you let me have. Every moment I was your product. Well, here’s what you have made.”

It’s strange to recount, but amid the sun and the rain, a brilliant rainbow stretched across the sky. It was beautiful, and I screamed. How dare it be beautiful while I was ugly? How dare the world go on, blindly, ignorantly, while I raged against it?

I left him there with his useless ashes, wandering among the tombstones. Why? Why did I live? Of all of us, why the one who hated life. I was never blessed. I could never fly, or punch through walls. If only I had been aborted. If only they had seen that my DNA was the common DNA of a man. I was no god. Why couldn’t they let me go? Why couldn’t they let me live out my meaningless life without their constant control?

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