By David K Scholes
Had my long inter-dimensional journey come to an end? I wondered. Yet if so this world didn’t look much at all like the final destination I had envisaged
Then I realised I had only been diverted because of my overwhelming need for sustenance. An automatic survival mechanism of my kind. .
For a time I remained silently frozen, observing my new environment.
The apparently dominant indigenous species hereabouts seemed very small, very frail and something else. Ephemeral.
My sensory systems are not like most sentient entities'. Light, sound, smell, taste, touch do not mean so much to me as to some others. Though I can smell some things. Such as fear. No, emotions are what guide me.
Here in this place, this world, this dimension, this reality there was a veritable morass of emotions. Fear, hatred, envy, greed, prejudice, happiness, sadness, love, desire and much much more. Though not the full gamut of my vast experience there were even some emotions that I had never witnessed before.
One emotion though, at least in this immediate area, was predominant. Vanity. How utterly intriguing. I would have thought these creatures had more to worry about than mere vanity.
At first I fed indiscriminately on the emotional undercurrents. Mostly the darker emotions, as I find these best satisfy me. I neither knew nor cared what affect my feeding might have.
Then, fully sated, I reverted to my silently frozen observation mode. Had these rather pathetic creatures detected me? If so could they or would they do anything about it? I rather doubted it. Though there were some races capable of giving me pause.
The time came for me to continue my journey, yet I was reluctant. After all it had been a long time since I’d had any fun.
I amplified the effect of certain emotions. Downplayed the effect of others. I could
delightfully feel the overall emotional shock my actions were causing. I was more interested in the changes in the structure of this world’s whole emotion field than the physical effects I was having. Such as the conflicts that I caused ranging from small local disagreements to major wars. These physical things are not things worthy of my notice.
I saved the best until last. Experimenting with their vanity. Pumping it then deflating it only to pump it again.
How does an entity that has known great fame and adoration cope with sudden anonymity? Not so well I observed, at least not for selected members of this race.
Then finally, and as is my way, I tired of it all.
Yet this great tapestry of emotions, this vast feeding trough, was too good to remain unknown. I needed to leave a signal, a sign post for those of my kind that might come this way.
Before departing I created a multi-dimensional emotion beacon high above this world. One permanently fuelled by a never ending source of energy. The vanity that ever arises here.
Then before lapsing into unconsciousness for the still long journey ahead I was briefly amused. A rare occurrence indeed. The thought that I was known among my ilk for my kindness. Of course all things are relative.
Any others of my ilk visiting here would not be nearly as generous as I had been.
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The author has written over 150 speculative fiction short stories many of which appear in his seven published collections of short stories. He has also published two science fiction novellas (all on Amazon). He has been a regular contributor to the Antipodean SF and Beam Me Up Pod cast sci-fi sites. He has also been published on Farther Stars Than These, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He is currently working on a new collection of science fiction short stories.