Mirror (A Villain’s Quest)

They say every villain is the hero of her own story.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. Not sure I buy it either, but it’s possible.

Take the evil step-mother. Even a do-gooder like yourself has heard of her, right? Her own version of events could feature a grieving widow uprooted from her distant home only to be abandoned in an lon

They say every villain is the hero of her own story.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. Not sure I buy it either, but it’s possible.

ely, echoing mansion, where her only allies were her insecure daughters, and where the eyes of her husband’s dead wife stared at her from paintings in every room and from the face of a spoiled step-child.

Rumplestil-whoever-he-was? The poor guy probably just wanted someone to look at him, to really look at him for a change and acknowledge the profound significance of his existence – not to dismiss him once again as that odd foreigner with the unpronounceable name.

(Don’t look at me that way. I get the irony.)

Anyways, as I was saying. Big bad wolf, wicked witch, troll under the bridge: they all have their own tales to tell.

So what about you?

Have you never walked into a room to hear the voices die out? Caught sight of a shoulder quietly disappearing behind a closing door – while everyone else pretends they’ve seen nothing?

Do you honestly disdain that heady feeling when you finally discover someone’s vulnerable point, and you know precisely how to exploit it? Can you deny the addictive power of withholding  knowledge that might give your opponents the will to go on? Haven’t you ignored that twinge of regret for not following up on your promise … and leaving your partners to fend for themselves?

Ever turn your head just in time to see the clenched jaw relax, the white-knuckled fists uncurl, the knife slip back into the butcher block?

Ever notice that you’re the one whose eyes nobody else will meet? Nobody, that is, except that one person, the problem you’re about to eliminate: that troublemaker who doesn’t know better than to get in your way – or worse, knows all too well, but doesn’t care and stares you down in spite of the danger?

That stare will haunt you long after the problem itself is resolved.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe – just maybe – the reason you occasionally feel rather friendless and alone is not that you’re some kind of lone wolf, a misunderstood hero? What if it might just be that your footstep makes grown men shudder?

Maybe the truth is, you’re actually a heartless bastard trailing inevitable destruction and despair in your wake.

No?

Really?

Huh. I guess we don’t have as much to discuss as I’d hoped. And here I’d thought, at long last, there might be someone who would get it. Who’d get … me.

I guess you’re just like all the rest. Useless to me. No point in wasting further breath here.

So … Enjoy your life.

What’s left of it, at any rate.

Hm?

Yeah, maybe you’re right. Maybe I will see you in hell.

Or maybe it’ll be just me there. Alone, as usual.

So long … “Hero.”

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