short story, story promptStephanie likes her independence. She likes being able to do what she wants, when she wants and how she wants. Unfortunately, humankind is under threat from the ’emotionless ones’ and they’ve chosen her to be their hero… is she really cut out for this?


“I just want a nice, easy life! What’s wrong with that?” I fisted my hands into my hair. “Why do you have to try to paint me as some kind of hero? I don’t want to be one!”

Simon glared at me. “Be reasonable, Steph! They’re asking you to help save people. To give people hope.”

I shot him a glare of my own. “You’re not helping matters. What if I don’t want to help people? What about my feelings?”

Simon stood, shaking his head. He turned away from me and walked to the other side of the room. For some reason, that made me feel more guilty than the thought of letting down thousands of people.

“We understand your hesitance, Stephanie.” The young woman at the head of the table gave me a small smile. “The fact is, we have nothing else to try. We’re all out of ideas and plans. No matter what we do, somehow they are always two steps ahead of us.”

I reluctantly accepted that what she said was true. I’d seen it with my own eyes over the years. The emotionless ones always seemed to know what was coming.

“But how do you plan to use me? How will making me out to be a hero help?”

The woman bit her lip. “We thought … well, it’s more of a theory really … but we figure that they might be unprepared for something so emotional as the power of hope. Give people hope and they will start living and fighting again.” A determined glint entered her eyes. “I won’t let humankind give up yet. Even if everyone else has almost given in to the emotionless ones, I won’t stop fighting until the very end.”

Grudging admiration took root. It was hard to resist rallying behind her when she spoke with so much zeal. Heads around the table were nodding vigorously.

“Please, Stephanie. We’ve got nowhere else to turn. I know it’s a long shot, but I have to beg you to give it a chance. Please.”

Damn the woman for being so passionate! “I really don’t know if I’m the right person for the job,” I said slowly. “What qualifies me to be your hero?”

She spread her hands. “You’re already a minor celebrity with the stunts you pulled earlier. You were on holo-screens across the world when you saved that child from becoming emotionless, despite the danger to yourself. People see that as something to look up to and aspire to – they like to think that they would be capable of being even half as good as you if they found themselves in the same situation. You give them something to believe in.”

No wonder they had chosen her to be their spokesperson. She was good with her words. I could feel myself caving. I’d never had aspirations of being in the spotlight. Never wanted to be looked up to. Heck, there was no way I was even close to being perfect.

But these people … they seemed to think I could do the job better than anyone else on the planet right now.

I groaned and let my head fall to the table. “Do I really have to?” I mumbled to no one in particular.

“You’re just frightened of the responsibility.”

I jerked my head up and frowned fiercely at Simon. “Thanks for your insightful input, dearest friend of mine,” I snapped. “I don’t see you volunteering to be a hero!”

He shrugged. “You’re the one with the kick-ass skills and celebrity status, not me.” A sly grin peeked out. “Or are you finally admitting that I’m better than you?”

Why did he have to know me so well? He’d practically challenged me to do it, to take on the mantle of a hero. My eyes narrowed. I’d only backed down from a challenge once in my life, and he made sure I never forgot that time. I wouldn’t let this be a second opportunity for him to ridicule me.

“Fine.” I stood. “You’ve got yourselves a hero. What’s next?”

Some have greatness thrust upon them… 🙂

Is this one of your favourite 500-word-story-starters? Click the heart to like it and it may become a fully-fledged story! –>  1

<– Day 45     #    Day 47