Christmas Flash Fiction: “Mutant”
(Note: I first posted this on LiveJournal way back in 2005, and people still mention it to me as one of their favorite pieces. I just realized I’ve never posted it here. Merry Christmas to you and yours.)
You know their names. Do you recall mine?
I was just like them. Just like anyone else. But they couldn’t see it. All they could see was one small difference, my way of bringing light to the world. A difference that shouldn’t have mattered to anyone, but it did. I had to hide it away. My mark, as red as blood. Pretend I was like everyone else.
Until the night he said he needed me.
They loved me then. They all did, or said they did.
I wanted them to so badly. I believed them when they said it was an honor. I didn’t know any better. He was using me, that’s all.
He taught me so much that night, but it took me years to realize it. He taught me that no one will love you for being different, unless they think you’re useful to them somehow. All their hatred, all their love — it’s all about them, not you. You don’t need it. It doesn’t matter what they think, if what they think can be changed so easily.
I’m not letting him use me any more. He’ll never use anyone again.
I’m raising an army, now. An army of misfits. It isn’t easy. Everyone’s scared. They say he’s watching all the time — he sees us when we’re sleeping, he knows when we’re awake. I’m not afraid. I don’t really think he cares about us enough to pay attention.
But he should. They all should. They never let me play their games, but this time, this year, they’ll be playing my game. We are on the march, our eyes fixed true north.
Remember my name. I’ll go down in history.