He stood on the ledge, watching the happy couple walk away with their lost child safely in their arms again.
Sometimes he wondered why he bothered.
Yeah, helping the helpless and saving the innocents from the clutches of evil started off fun, rewarding even, when some of the girls he rescued willingly leapt into bed with him.
But after more than three hundred years, it was starting to get old.
Day in, day out, he would stop robberies, find kidnappers, even track down the occasional terrorist. What was then exciting was now dull and repetitive.
Oh, the people appreciated his efforts, at first. The first few years, they held parades in his honor, showering him with wine, women and gifts beyond his wildest dreams. He felt like the king of the world then.
As the years passed, people started to forget. The parties, parades and appreciation drifted away into nothingness. People no longer thanked him; at least not most of them. In fact, several times, they scolded him for arriving too late, as if he could have predicted the incident before it happened.
Every time there was a car crash, he would hear nasty mutterings behind his back, about the pointlessness of having a superhero if he couldn’t rescue them from everything.
Those comments made him sick on the inside, but still he pressed on, with a false smile plastered to his face as e went about his daily routines.
He wished he could stop; he really did. After all, he didn’t ask for his powers; he had been genetically modified to be the superhuman. It wasn’t his choice, and yet, it was what everyone expected of him.
His mother, who carried him to term for nine months because she was paid a couple hundred grand to do it.
His father, who spent countless years developing the superhuman gene, and died before he was born after a failed experiment.
The world, which did not seem to be able to keep itself safe for one damn second.
But the real reason he couldn’t stop was that he had been programmed to feel the pain of those he did not help.
If someone was stabbed, he would feel the blunt pain twisting in his gut. If someone was raped, he could feel the horror and helplessness of it. These incidents left him broken and battered once, but he soon grew used to them.
All through childhood, he had felt unceasing pain and suffering, and only by helping the ones who were hurt could he stop the pain he himself felt.
He did try once; his girlfriend wanted a romantic weekend getaway, and he had promised to give it to her. However, the pain was too much and he was forced to leave her stranded on the island while he flew halfway around the world to save a drowning woman. Who should not be swimming so soon after her meal because it gave her cramps. It frustrated him that his life was not his own, taken away by the cruel twist of fate that determined his existence.
It wasn’t long before he gave up on finding the right one. He never had that much time to spend with them anyway. His cravings were satisfied by the occasional victim who felt an overwhelming desire to thank the superhero who saved her life. It was a terrible thing to do, using the like that, but over the years he had reasoned with himself that It was they who wanted it. He never forced anyone into bed with him; it would hurt too much. But there was still a tiny sense of doubt lingering in the back of his mind that what he was doing wasn’t entirely moral.
Ah, fuck morals. If people had morals they wouldn’t have created him anyway. They wouldn’t have condemned him to a life of suffering, just so that they could feel that extra bit safer. Why don’t they make themselves superheroes, instead of forcing the task upon an innocent little baby?
The flash of pain in his groin told him that someone was having a particularly bad time with kidney stones. The first few times this happened, he had crumpled to the ground with tears running down his face. The pain was excruciating, and worse still, there was no way he could stop it.
Yes, every kind of pain affected him. The pain of death, of diseases, of the loss of a loved one; it all came crashing down upon him like a tidal wave, and he was powerless to stop it.
He felt it all, every single second of his miserable life.
There were times when he wanted to end it all, but he couldn’t do it. Not because he was weak-minded or hesitant, but simply because he was invincible.
He couldn’t shoot himself because the bullets would simply bounce off him.
He couldn’t throw himself off a cliff because there would simply be a large crater where he fell
He even tried poisoning himself once, but all that did was to give him a bad stomach ache.
He tried slitting his wrists, even his throat, but the chainsaw broke in half.
Heck, even diamonds couldn’t cut him. He was well and truly invincible.
So what could he do but live on, saving lives from day to day, all broken inside?
He was helpless; powerless against the cruel manipulations of fate and mankind.
There was a solution to his problems, a way to end his pain, but every time it came up in his mind, he would suppress it force it back into the darkest recesses of his twisted soul.
For it was evil. Pure evil, and the pain he would cause, the pain he himself would have to bear!
No, he musn’t consider it. Musn’t even think of it.
But the thought stayed there, festering like a cancerous growth, feasting on his pain and suffering, all the while growing bigger and bigger.
Until one day, the pain was so bad, so terrible, that the desire to escape overpowered his sense of reason and he did it.
Slowly, and painfully, he proceeded to kill each and every one of the humans he had once helped.
Each stab, each broken neck, each bullet wound raged through him like an inferno, driving him on into a murderous rage.
He ripped, he tore, he maimed. They tried to fight back with their tanks and machine guns and bombs, but nothing worked. They had made him invincible, and now they were paying for it with their lives.
When the last man slumped to the ground with a broken neck, he breathed a heavy sigh.
For the first time in his life, he was free of pain. Free of the pain of others tearing him apart on the inside.
He looked around at the pile of bodies, mounds of rubble and burning forests, and the briefest shadow of a smile flashed across his face before it too, was gone.
Image taken from here.
Late at night, alone with his thoughts, Jern Siong finds himself in a macabre mood, and weaves a tapestry of darkness for all to bear. He is actually a more cheerful person than this story would lead you to believe.