* * *
“It’s not safe for you now. They tried to kill us both, but I am eternal.”I didn’t know how to respond. Eternal? I thought, What does that mean?His eyes showed a depth of experience I hadn’t noticed before. He turned to me and said, “It means just what you think, I cannot die.”
I felt my breath escape. My fear increased exponentially. What had I brought into this world?
He smiled and leaned closer to me. Oh, that smile! I recalled for the briefest of moments when he was four months old – ‘gorgeous’ was the word that poor woman used… Before… It was best not to dwell on it.
“Don’t be afraid. I’ll keep you safe.” He kissed me on the cheek. The pulsating pain was the most intense I had ever felt. As my vision faded, I heard him whisper. “I love you mother.”
* * *
“The mysterious child, known only as ‘Martin’ continues to subjugate his victims.” The newscaster squinted in disbelief as she read the TelePrompTer, “Multiple sightings in multiple cities across the globe were reported this morning. Citizens are urged to stay indoors.”
I clicked the button on the remote, but as expected, the television remained on. The news hadn’t changed in the last month. After I awoke, his reign had been three days old. The fact he allowed the news station to broadcast at all was hopeful. Conflicts across the globe had ceased. Generations of fighting and war ended during the three days I was in a coma. On the first day weapons of mass destruction stopped functioning. On the second day, people resulted to using knives and clubs. Martin appeared on the third day and declared all conflicts over. Anyone who disagreed were denied the use of electricity. They were also unable to kill each other. Martin had, as he did with me, resurrected anyone who had fallen in conflict.
Governments and law enforcement quickly realized they would not be able to control the people and declared martial law. Martin repealed it the next day. It was obvious, Martin was in control.
* * *
Martin was now fourteen. We had been living under his iron fist for five years now. It’s amazing how reliant we are on electricity. When the people rose up, Martin simply took away their electricity. After a few days those people either submitted to him or fled to a different area.
Yesterday, we saw the first resistance to Martin. It was a town in Hamilton, Ontario. Canada wasn’t usually in the news for defying Martin – after all, they needed their electricity more than others to heat their buildings. The citizenry declared themselves emancipated from Martin. What followed was what shocked the world. When Martin took their electricity away, a single floor of an apartment complex remained powered. I don’t need to tell you that this was completely unexpected. Martin refused to comment on the events and the first exception to his unconditional global rule filled more people with hope. The old news reporters became brazen. We all watched intently as a reporter broadcasted a live feed while investigating the apartment complex.
“Thomas, are you sure we should be doing this?”
“There are hundreds of cameramen who would jump at the chance to film this. Do you want me to get one of them?”
“Of course not! I just feel uneasy about this whole thing.”
“Uneasy? More than the last five years?”
We couldn’t see the cameraman, but the shot did move for a moment. I suspected the cameraman had shrugged his shoulders.
“Just keep that thing on me. We’re going to get to the bottom of this mystery or die trying.”
The two men made their way up a few floors to where they expected to find the source of the forbidden electricity. They stood in front of the door and the reporter pressed his ear against the door. A smile creeped on lips and he closed his eyes.
“What do you hear?”
Rather than respond, he opened the door. The hallway was filled with laughter. A child’s laughter. The view zoomed in and the world saw her at once. There in a wooden crib sat a child. She couldn’t have been older than one year old. All around her floated wooden toys. they circled her and dipped in their orbits. Each dip was accompanied by more laughter.
The reporter and camera man slowly made their way towards the crib. When the lights flickered, there was an audible gasp from the cameraman. In the corner stood Martin. He smiled and gazed briefly at the child in the crib. He turned to the cameraman who immediately focused on my cherub’s face.
“This building is off limits.”
“Who is this child?” The voice was disembodied, but it was recognizable as the reporter speaking off-camera.
“You only need to know that I will use force if necessary. This broadcast is now over.”
Martin snapped his fingers and the screen went black. The last thing the world heard from the child was more giggling.