This story is by Andres Palacios and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
The weather was chilly outside, and the night sky was already covering the majority of the city with its dark veil; Brooklyn checked his watch repeatedly and started to pace on the pavement for a while, waiting for the work bus to arrive. Two years ago, he’d chosen to work the night shift, he had always preferred to work beneath the velvety dark sky while everyone settled down under the city lights.
The bus finally arrived and Brooklyn walked doubtfully towards the bus’s door. He hopped in, but hesitantly. He went to the seat at the back of the bus where he always sat. Throughout the route he looked sideways as if expecting something, Brooklyn had an eerie sensation. Looking out the window “closed” signs were visible on the stores’ showcases, lights were being turned off and the motion began to cease. It thrilled him that for the majority the day was concluding and for him, it was only beginning.
When Brooklyn arrived at work and got out of the bus, there was fog everywhere. His coworkers moved like a swarm of moths attracted to light. As Brooklyn got closer to the building the light seemed clearer and clearer, he could now see the source of light. It was not a street lamp nor a lightbulb that emitted the light, but a tall, strange looking creature that seemed almost human-like, which glowed from head to toes, as if covered in flames of light. It stood next to the main entrance where everyone went through. Nobody appeared to notice, but Brooklyn. Throughout his life Brooklyn had experienced a series of events when weird looking creatures appeared to him, so it seemed normal now.
Curiously, when a person got near the creature, it emitted a sphere of light and inserted it in the person’s chest, each sphere a different color when it came to another person. What were these spheres all about? Brooklyn scratched his palm, everyone was almost inside the building and he was about to be left alone outside. He tried to talk, but stumbled upon his words. Brooklyn had this impulse, this attraction to the creature; he was determined to figure out what it was and what it was doing. Every time he had these “hallucinations” he wanted to interact with them, but when he was about to do so, they vanished. But still, Brooklyn cleared his throat and held his head high as he walked directly to the front door. There was no one else outside and it almost felt as if the creature was waiting for him. The creature watched him, a faint smile visible behind the light it transmitted. The creature spoke and this took Brooklyn aback. He was shocked that one of his hallucinations actually communicated back at him. However. It did not talk with spoken words; but instead, it used telepathy.
“I haven’t got much time.”
The creature took out a sphere for Brooklyn while he continuously scratched his palm and heard his own heart beating.
“You may do as you wish with it, I gave the others only what they needed; some love, others hope, courage and so it goes. I’m giving you something special, it’s not what you need, but what you will do with it, you have a choice to make.”
“Wh-at, what do you mean?” Brooklyn said dumbfounded.
“You have the freewill and power to change your present, or change someone else’s, you can give life a greater sense.”
If anything, it felt even more confusing for Brooklyn. The creature pressed the sphere in Brooklyn’s chest gently, and he suddenly felt more lightheaded, his pupils dilated, energy cursed within every fiber of Brooklyn’s body and he felt capable, dynamic and mighty. He thought that his mind had already drifted too far this time around, as if nothing had happened, he walked into the building.
He went up in the elevator and then entered his office, Brooklyn still felt a strong energy and a demanding desire for power. He sat in his chair, staring at blank papers of work he hadn’t yet done. Brooklyn craved a cup of coffee in that instant, and just as he did, one popped up in front of him, bringing along a surge of pain in his forehead. His eyes opened wide and his mouth went dry from the shock of it; but at the same time, he smirked, realizing that the creature was real, and so was the sphere it gave him. If his wishing was receiving back what he wanted, then everything was possible. Brooklyn then thought, I wish my work to be done, correctly and precisely, a few seconds later his paperwork was completed, but again, with it came a strong pain. With this power, he could do anything. He rushed out of his office into the common area where all the coworkers took a break; using his new powers he did everything as he pleased. He deformed Stanley Cooper’s face, a colleague Brooklyn despised. He wished for a promotion and so it was granted. He requested a car and outside the building a beautiful new car materialized.
“I’ve seen you haven’t used your powers wisely.”
The creature suddenly appeared, and around it, Brooklyn’s memories swirled in the air. The moment his mother died, how the things he loved so dearly were taken away from him. He fell down to his knees crying desperately, wondering where in the path of his life he had gotten so lost. Sure, he lived comfortably, but he was missing the true meaning of it all. Brooklyn turned his head towards the creature with pain, and with terror realized that the creature was taking Brooklyn’s appearance.
“You’ve become a prisoner of your own desires and selfishness. Humans can be easily drawn by the frivolous things, get so caught up in the routine that they forget what truly matters. Go out into the world, give people what they truly need; heal others and learn to heal yourself.”