Monday, May 21, 2012


            At this point, Lina was more annoyed than shocked or grateful when someone, moving as a gust, gently caught her from falling down the stairs. As she was gently placed to her feet at the stair’s bottom, the force caught the flying energy drink (spilled contents and all) and restored it to her hand. The entity then vanished from the spotless, rigid house.
            Lina sighed loudly. She didn’t even intend on falling down – she was sure she could’ve taken it and still job-hunt – but she would’ve preferred it to his caring touch again.
            “Why don’t you just carry me like a baby everywhere while you’re at it?!” she screamed.
            She didn’t have time to regret her choice in words before the mighty arms of that being swooshed by and picked her up. His face — chiseled, stoic, small – made her want to throw up and leave the mess on the wall for days.
            “No, not literally! Put me down!”
            With that, the man let her float to her white couch and old pillows, and then disappeared.
            The house had too much room to Lina. No amount of films, clothes, paintings, Playbills, and autographs could make up for the fact that she had seen only one person for about a month now. Not a friend, just a man who cooked for her, dusted for her, carried her places, gave her the house, the clothes, the clown statues, paintings, Playbills. Perhaps this was to make up for what he had taken. As the month before it, she had nothing better to do… maybe today she could finally rid herself of him.
            “Omni?” she called out. “Omni, I’d like to talk.”
            The brief pause that occurred spawned doubt- surely he would hear her at an instance? But this did not last. The chiseled man opened her back door without a touch and flew in, landing carefully in front of her so as to not shatter any glass or dent any floors. The jeans and collared stripes he had been wearing since Lina first saw him appear at the U.N. conference were still immaculately clean.
            “What would you like to talk about?” His voice was both calm and commanding.
            Lina gave him a verbal throwdown to be reckoned with in her mind’s eye, but the tall, buff man in front of her made her reconsider. “I… don’t know just yet. I’m sorry if I’m wasting your time.”
            “Time doesn’t really matter to me.”
            “Right then.”
            A pause later, “Would you like a drink? I’ve got plenty on me…” It was meant to fill the silence, but even Lina couldn’t believe how stupid her question was.
            “I have no need. Thank you.” His posture was patience itself.
            Just jump in. This is your moment, she thought. She smirked, wondering how long it’s been since she’s had one of those. A brilliant proposition had just reached her.
            “So how do I become like you?”
            Omni, who before responded faster than traveling thoughts, had fallen silent. Something powerful was swimming in his mind. He then looked up. “I don’t understand.”
            “I want to be like you. You’ve helped everybody out, becoming a servant to all. I admire that. How did you get such abilities? Were you born with them? Can they be learned?”
            “I received them by accident,” interrupted Omni, with good graces still falling from his voice. “Besides, I do not need that help. I can build a house for all on this planet in minutes, and already have done.”
            “Even for those who don’t deserve it?”
            His soft eyes became as if stone, glaring. Lina couldn’t help but worry that this was somehow one of his powers.
            “I mean, I thought North Korea and some others forbid your help.” She relaxed. You’ve talked your way out of worse.
            “There are those who did not understand I had no reason to remove their foes. It’s all rhetoric; every citizen accepts my help, and I have refused none.”
            “Of course it’s all rhetoric nowadays,” muttered a bitter Lina. No matter the risks, she had to speak. “Politicians are one of the few people with jobs now.”
            “If a person needs me to do their work so they can use the time for themselves, then I’m happy to help.”
            “Use the time for reruns, more like. That still ruins the economy for people like me who don’t need anyone.”
            “Come again?”
            A pain had stabbed through Lina’s gut. She knew she had stepped on a glass line, but had gone too far to think about regrets. For the first time in a while, she had a reason and a power to stand, and did so with toes facing her barriers. The sun was once again her spotlight.
            “I don’t need your help. I’ll do just fine without you.”
            The air in the room stood completely still. Lina heard a low humming behind her, and turned to see the porcelain lamp behind her vibrating. Every painting, window, and tile was vibrating. Omni’s eyes were stone now, albeit completely white.
            “You don’t need my help. The world is now my fingernail, and I have given it all to you. I’ve given it all to your family, and your friends, and to everyone you’ll ever meet. I have kept for myself nothing, and you somehow desire that. Are you discontented? Do you feel cheated in a deal where I gave you the stars for its own sake!”
            “No, please!” She fell to her knees, too afraid to hate what she had been reduced to.
            The air in the room was now his, and he dove up it with arms outstretched. “I now have a condition for the deal! For these acts and possessions, you shall be content. You will have children that will feel joy when their every wish is granted! Is this not how the human system operates?”
            “Yes! Yes!” she cried out with gasping, defeated breath.
            All light from the sun converged onto his floating, stoic being, and then returned to its rightful place afterwards. He had disappeared.
            She couldn’t stop shaking. No plan in her mind could restore her. Any conversation with a friend was too dangerous, since a single crumb of dirt could summon him and lead to him overhearing. She didn’t even know who else could’ve made the deal. She was frozen, trapped by gifts and wishes. Lina felt as if she would never stand again, paralyzed by this concept of regret.

1 comment:

  1. This story has a certain dream-like quality that makes it very evocative. I like the relationship between Lina and Omni and the way that Lina struggles to accept how much she does or does not need Omni's help in her life. It makes me think of the way people wrestle with whether they need God or divinity of any kind, whether they truly are strong enough to stand on their own. Good work.