Short Story: Good god of love! [First Line Competition]

This was for the First Line competition. The prompt is: ‘I’m tired of trying to see the good in people.


I’m tired of trying to see the good in people. What? You don’t believe me? I have two words for you:
Good God of Love
Social Media.
Take that young girl down there. She looks sweet enough. She looks like she would be fun,
doesn’t she? That girl has just spent an hour and forty five minutes trying to get the perfect
picture of herself. Now she is going to spend another two hours ‘Photoshopping’ it to make
one leg look thinner and the other one look longer.
What do you mean I could do with a bit of Photoshopping? A two thousand year old God of Love
does not need to take selfies to know that he still looks like a dear little cherub. What I do need to
do is to let people be themselves. Let the good in them shine out. Let their fresh little peepers see
the good in others.
Right. This works until they’re about nine these days. After that the rot starts to set in. That’s when
the poor little dears get pelted with pictures of the impossible. People who could never – and should
never exist. Heck, people don’t even recognise themselves anymore!
I do what I can. But now I have ‘Swipe Right’ to deal with.
I’m missing my targets. The big G is not happy.
Oh there’s enough of them. They’re procreating all right. But where’s the love? It’s a slippery slope!
Don’t worry though – It’s not all doom and gloom. I have my ways.
A phone you thought was fully charged suddenly has a dead battery, or you’ve left it behind, or,
oops! You’ve dropped it again and the screen has smashed into a million sparkly little pieces, like
glitter in your hand.
Without your little devil screen, you forget to worry about what you look like for an hour or two.
Five minutes are long enough for ‘piercing blues’ to lock onto ‘limpid pools’ at a bus stop and
maybe actually start a conversation?
Without the ‘instant excuse machine’ with its instant communication, you end up actually going
where you are supposed to and have a much nicer time than you expected with Julio from Accounts.


You see, you humans, you think you’re modern, sophisticated, multi-tasking beings, but what
you are beginning to lack is good old-fashioned, primitive emotion.
But don’t worry, I’m here. And I’ll carry on looking for tiny chinks in the armour. And I’ll keep
finding ways to push you together so you can find each others’ squishy bits of ‘good’ that you still
keep buried in those soft little bodies of yours. I think I have another thousand years on the clock?
Then I’m off to find a little bit of ‘good’ for myself!

A. B. Syed

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