Guardians

So you’re…?

A guardian.

A what now?

You’ve got a world full of human beings, all of them wonderful, worthwhile and important, in potential. Everyone’s got a gift they can use — everyone’s on their way to doing something brilliant with their lives. And then you’ve got the ones like me — guardians. Some people would call us angels, I suppose.

I would call you crazy.

You won’t even remember me in half an hour, anyway.

What do you mean?

I’m your guardian, and you can’t really know about me; a few minutes after we stop talking, all memory of me will simply fall away, and slide to nothing. You won’t be able to recall my face or the sound of my voice, or anything I said to you. You might remember that someone stopped to talk to you while you were out having coffee, but likelihood says you’ll replace me with some story about a homeless man asking for change, or a tourist wanting directions.

So you’ll tell me anything I want to know right now, because it’s not like I’m going to remember any of it anyway?

Exactly.

What if I take a picture?

Film won’t develop.

Digital camera?

Corrupt file.

Audio recorder?

Static.

Hand-written notes?

Odds are, you won’t ever find a pen or paper, and if you do, you’ll lose them within five minutes of finishing writing it all down.

This is weird.

It’s simply the way it is.

Huh.

Anything else you want to know?

It’s July. You’re wearing gloves. In fact, you’re wearing pants and long sleeves and gloves. You’re dressed like it’s fall and crisp and cold. I’m sweating in a tank top. You look like a damn hipster.

Ah, yes, well. Can’t touch. Can’t be touched.

Huh?

Can’t touch. Can’t be touched.

Because if you repeat yourself, I’ll magically know what you meant this time?

It would cause a terrible reaction.

Terrible?

If I’m not to repeat myself, I imagine you shouldn’t, either.

Flesh-eating disease?

Ahh… no.

Boils?

No.

Plague?

No.

Locusts!

No.

…Rain of fire. Frogs. Death to all first-born?

No, no, and no. I’m not the Old Testament God. I’m just a guardian.

Does He exist?

Who, God?

Yeah?

Beats the fucking hell out of me.

Oh. So you don’t, like, work for him?

Not in the slightest.

Who do you work for?

I don’t work for anyone, per se. I was designed to fit my ward.

Designed by whom?

I don’t know. I suppose whoever made me.

Well who made you?

Those who design the guardians for their wards, I imagine.

We’re going to go in circles on this one, aren’t we?

Most likely.

So, what happens, if a guardian touches a ward?

The ward would be overwhelmed by an emotion which has no real human language analogue.

A good emotion?

If an emotion that drove you out of your mind could be called ‘good’, then certainly. It would be excellent.

So I’d go crazy?

More than that. Beyond that. It would be a sort of… of… shockwave. I would be weakened, for a time, and you would be driven somewhat mad, briefly. And then all thought of anything but one another would simply be… driven out of our heads.

But if a guardian and ward are already matched perfectly, what’s the big deal?

That match is only all a potential. It allows me to know where you are. How you’re feeling. There’s a mental and emotional connection there, but not a physical one, because the physical one would… be too much to allow for… life, really. I’m only here to help you achieve your destiny. 

Destiny? Seriously?

Must you disbelieve everything I say, considering you won’t remember any of this in twenty minutes?

Fine, go on. Destiny.

A human life is potential. A guardian allows for that to be… realized. All we do is urge the way. A ward might die, and then their guardian would expire.

..Expire?

We don’t die. If we fail, or once our ward has died, we rejoin the collective and get reshaped to fit a new ward.

Fit a new one? So you mean you’re not just… for one person forever? Who were your other ones? Before me?

I have no idea. I know only you, perfectly and completely. It’s all I can know, so that there are no other distractions.

Huh. Okay, so I have only one other question.

Only one, hmm? Out with it.

Why do you sound British?

To soothe you with an innate sense of my capability and superiority. Something about the accent appealing to both your pre-constructed concepts of hierarchical command structures and general aesthetic sense.

What?

You think I’m hot and you should listen to me.

Ah, thanks.

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