There is a trend happening. Social media is being used as a conduit for social justice. A click of the fingertip can bring positive change, but it can also destroy a life. Such intoxicating power. It concerns me. Does it concern you? Power and influence should be more than just a tweet or post away.
We’ve all been guilty of swallowing what we should have questioned.
I destroyed them. It was easier – much easier – than I thought. It’s so easy to destroy now. You wouldn’t even believe it if you knew. How easy it is. To kill.
I suppose it happened rather inconsequentially. I raised my voice to right a wrong – a grave wrong. It was good and noble for me to stand up, and those around reacted – like minded – but without a voice.
I gave them mine.
They came like bees, pouring out of crevices, swarming toward me. So many. So many that I almost didn’t know what to make of it. They were looking to me. But I was young! They didn’t care. They were young too.
“Lead us!” they cried.
I shrugged, and said, “Follow me,” not really thinking about it.
I knew, as the buzzing cloud covered me, that they offered me a purpose. A reason to be. And there was pride too. I can’t forget the pride. Plenty of it. It dripped off me like honey, but the bees told me it was good. All my decisions were good. The taste of it was so thick on my tongue that it was hard to talk. Yet they still listened. Cheered. Hummed so loud our thoughts became one – one voice so incredible that everyone else had to stop talking. Stop thinking. We took over. It was grand.
They needed me. You know that. I was necessary. A voice that all needed to hear. And they heard. I had a message. Before the humming took over, do you remember what I said then?
Pity. It was a good message.
Part of me mourns it, because I was innocent then. Still young. Still unsure. Not like now. Confidant. Cocky. Powerful. Still young though. I suppose that can be an excuse.
You know, it happened so quickly. Can you believe how fast it took over? The power? I craved it. I had so many followers! How could I go wrong? They loved me. They heard me.
They demanded from me, “Keep talking! Scream it! Feed it to me!”
Their mouths opened, urgent, ready to take any tidbit I offered, and carry it to those around them. Regurgitating it. Vomiting my words up for others to eat. Still tasty. Still so very good.
My message spread, but not the way I thought. It spread like a virus, infecting, infiltrating, stabbing into other messages, until the original was so convoluted that even I couldn’t find it anymore. But the hum had become so loud by then.
My hungry little bees.
A good leader couldn’t let them starve. They were starving, can’t you see that? Can’t you remember how their rib cages poked out and their beady eyes became sunken and faded? They just needed something minuscule and they’d survive another day. I just had to give them something small. I dug out little seeds from my pocket, wrapped in shiny foil. They ate them up. Didn’t even remove the foil. That’s how hungry they were. Didn’t even question the food. I could have fed them rocks. Maybe I did. Yet they would’ve asked for more. They were that starving. Near death. Looking for a savior. It was me.
Then that day came. The killing day. I tell you, it felt like only moments since this had all begun. I was so high now. I was lifted up, levitating on the wind created by my hives’ incessant batter of wings. There would be no wrong decision. I could do nothing wrong, they told me.
Then, someone’s voice pushed through. Someone outside of us. I can’t remember what it was all about now, but you know, it was important at the time. So important. Everyone was upset for me. Oh, we were all plenty upset.
“Louder!” they hummed, for fear my voice would lose its power.
“Do it!” they cried, and for them (it was for them), I agreed.
I could not disappoint my clan. They had supported me. Their righteous indignation spurred me on. And I knew it could be done.
Someone had to pay. Someone’s blood would be shed. My busy friends wanted to lick up the red with their tiny tongues, and paint it all around, so that all would know I was the strongest, the most powerful – that my message was still throbbing in their hearts. That everyone had to listen, and do as I say. Only I.
Oh yes. That message. In hindsight, a bit weak. I would rewrite it though. My vengeance is what you would know now. That was the important thing. That was my message. Hadn’t that always been my message? How could you argue with that?
“Why would we want to?” my happy hum paraded, and choked on the rocks I fed them.
I raised my hands, and brought them down, obliterating those that had to go. It cost me nothing. I didn’t even see their faces, for the swarm had blocked my sight. I didn’t hear their cries, for the swarm had crawled into my ears. I slept at night, rocked by a lullaby of gentle buzzing, knowing that what I had done was good. I was justified. Those who surrounded me told me so.
No one would question me again. I wouldn’t question myself either.
I would only listen for the hum.
written by – Ami Cameron – March 2018