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Today, you inspired me.
About the Author: Francesgrace is a bookseller and an avid reader, who was raised on classic mystery novels.


Today, you inspired me.

Strange thought, isn’t it? Considering that I have never met you before. I can imagine you, though, and I know you exist out there somewhere. Someday soon, I will see you in person. I will know what you look like, how you dress, where you work and shop, all the particulars of your life. Will you know who I am? Will you understand what lives inside your shadow?

Today, you inspired me.

Are you curious as to what I mean by it? Of course, you are. Let me explain.

Your very existence on this earth inspires me to do great things. I know you will never believe me; not until the very last possible moment will you understand. Likely not even then. Don’t be offended. It’s only that you are just another body among millions, through no fault of your own. You really can’t help what you are.

I do accomplish great things, whether you are able to comprehend their scope or not. You really have no idea. I am the giant upon whose shoulders the rest of this earth is sitting.

Jack the Ripper once claimed that he gave birth to the twentieth century. He did not have a grand enough ambition. In truth, someday people will look back and say that I gave birth to the entire future of this planet. I am the Alpha and I will be the Omega. Everything that is to come will be, in some way, tainted by my touch. The last human breath at the end of the world will belong to me.

Soon, when the world finally understands, as you might in those last moments, everyone will realize that I alone am worthy of regard. Every artist, writer, musician, doctor, smith, butcher, scientist that is to come will stand in my shadow. That is the caliber of my genius and yet …

Today, you inspired me.

How curious that is, that such a small mind could inspire such greatness.

I once heard a man on television say that the frailty of genius is its need for an audience. He was quite right. There is no purpose to genius, no value to it, without an audience. It is my one weakness, if you can call it that. For what is the point of casting a shadow, if those who stand within it don’t feel its chill?

When I close my eyes, I can see the headlines splashed across a television screen. My name in block letters for all the world to see. A beautiful thing.

What is the method of my genius, you ask? Existence itself. What is the medium of my art? Blood and the final gasp of human lungs.

My supposed ‘crime’? Why … Murder, of course.

Are you frightened? No, I think … not yet. You are uneasy, though, and perhaps confused? I describe grand things and make tantalizing hints, but I have not told you anything concrete. I apologize for the oversight. Your unease is not what I desire. Rather, I want your soul, steeped in fear and set to stew like an over-brewed pot of Earl Grey. I demand your screams and your tears and the tremors of your body.

How shall I achieve my desires, then? Don’t worry. It should all be simple enough, that even a mind of your caliber should grasp it.

Shall I describe for you what I have accomplished? Shall I detail it to you, so you will know what awaits you?

Yes, I think that just might do it.

My plans began years ago. I was so very young then, barely more than child. Well over a decade has passed since then. My goodness, how the tempus fugit, when I’m enjoying my work. But you know how these things go. A true chef-d’œuvre takes time and hard, strenuous labor.

The idea took nebulous form while I was on vacation in South America. It started, as so many things do, with a split second decision. One moment I was just like you … or, well, as nearly as I could be. The next? I had transformed. I had taken my first steps toward a shining sun: Icarus, but cleverer.



This story appears in our FEB 2017 Issue
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