People tend to think that if you’ve stolen one thing, you’ve stolen them all. But that’s just not true. I’ve stolen quite a number of things that you’d think couldn’t be stolen — intangible things like love and happiness, depression and anger. And over the years, I’ve bottled them up and resold them so that other people could feel them again.
Trouble is, no one seems to want to buy any, these days.
They say it’s like an organ transplant. If you feel someone else’s emotions, you start to feel their thoughts. Their experiences.
And I get it. In stealing emotions, I’ve had to test out a few on myself — just to see if they were potent enough for sale. But the thing about me is I’m a pretty blank slate to begin with. I don’t mind having other people’s thoughts and dreams and aspirations floating through my head. It helps me sleep at night. I don’t like sleeping without dreams, otherwise. Makes me nervous.
Where do I find these emotions, you ask? Oh, they’re easy to find, once you look hard enough. Lots of new mothers weeping for joy in hospitals. They can’t tell the different between me sucking the life out of them and postpartum. Others in the past have come directly to me because they want to be numb. I tell them I can’t help them, because numbness indicates there’s nothing there to begin with, but they still like it when I… work my skills on them. Gives them something to think about instead of what’s bothering them.
Then there are the people who come up to me and want to be angry at someone, but they don’t have the guts to be angry with them. So I give them a drop of ire. Good to find in bars every so often.
But like I said before, business isn’t going well, these days. People are happier. They’re meditating more and going on retreats and exercising. They’re learning to handle their emotions, and while that might be a good thing for them, that’s not good for me.
I need their emotions. I need their dreams. I’m a sociopath.
But I guess, once again, I’ll have to become a thief and steal emotions just because I have to, not because of profit.
If I could go back and tell my younger self what to do before starting a business and building a reputation like this, though, I’d tell him to ditch the mask. Don’t be cloak-and-dagger about it. People aren’t as skittish as they seem once they know you can do something for them. People love it when you can do things for them. They don’t care how. They just want it done.
Also, keep your private and public personas intact. That’s different from cloak-and-dagger. You don’t want the emotions to get to you and your patrons. You don’t want their anger to become your anger. It takes practice to get this good. It takes years of learning to see that being a sociopathic sorcerer has benefits.
Well… some benefits.
Hey, everybody! Thanks for reading to the end. This was born out of a freewrite I did in late May. I think the prompt was “Tell about a time you stole something,” and while I’d personally never stolen anything, I’m sure at least some character in my subconscious did. And like Adiri, I’ve really fallen in love with this emotion-bottling, sociopathic sorcerer! I might use him in a story one day ❤
Freewriting is awesome! I’ve got to do it more often, but I’ve fallen off the wagon. Maybe for longer sessions?
Also, you might have noticed that in the title there’s the word “FINAL” in parentheses. I’ll explain why on tomorrow’s Surprise Saturday post. But in the meantime, I’ve decided that I’m going to stop leading them with the title “Flash Fiction Friday.” I’m just going to lead them with their titles.
Anyway, that’s it from me! See you next post 🙂 !