“And so it began – the lies, small ones at first. That he and his cohorts planted in the most innocent, well-meaning of people. Whispers, asides, glances of doubt that made one question statements that were true.

He had been angry for so long that he could find that feeling in others – even before they consciously felt it in themselves: the man riding stoically in the wagon to yet another back-breaking, thankless day of work. The child looking longingly in the store window, wanting what he could not have. The woman, exhausted and weary from too many people wanting and taking too much from her and no one giving anything in return. These would be his people – the ones he could turn. The ones that he could convince were the victims, the righteous. He would build on the slight affront, the small frustration, until they believed that they had been wronged intentionally, that they deserved so much more. And that it was normal to hurt others to get what they wanted.

In this world that he was creating, he knew that it would not be survival of the fittest – it would be survival of the cruelest.” (from my writing of a short story, 2016, Michele Margittai)


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