Famine grew bored with John the second it saw him. Another human, indistinguishable from all the others. The same identical look of misery, of boredom, of crushing despair on its face. Famine understood that look. It understood it all too well. It dealt in hunger and thirst, in need and longing, in greed and emptiness. Famines not just of the body, but the mind and the soul. Desensitization. Ennui.
Famine held its arms up, as thin and brittle as sticks. It stared down at them from behind the blank mask it wore and considered the IV that fed it a steady supply of drugs and saline and calories and then the human spoke, and its voice was so novel a sound that it cut through the music being being blasted through Famine’s ears by the machine it wore upon its head.
Famine let its arm drop back by its side, back down to its distended and empty belly. Famine hungered. Famine always hungered. The human said something again, but Famine couldn’t hear it, and as it realized this, it lost interest. Of course the human had said something again. Making noise was simply part of what they did, as pointless and banal as the way they bludgeoned each other with rocks, scrabbled in the dirt, soiled their beds as they gave birth, looked on their children lovingly, wept and trembled in agony as their families died.
Famine sighed. So pointless, it said. So pointless and empty. All of it. You, me, the entire universe. There was never a guarantee of satiation, of satisfaction, of distraction, but we crave it. We need it all, as surely as we need food and water and air. Ther e is so much we need, so much we can be denied, so much that the universe, in all its randomness, can conspire to withhold from us.
And that’s the joke, little human. There is no higher plan. There is, in truth, no conspiracy. There is simply random chance. You can be born wealthy and another poor. You could be born in a time of plenty or a time of scarcity. There is no control, no order, no nothing. Simply bellies to be filled and not enough food to go around. Minds that hunger for something new, and no meaning to accompany the knowledge they gain.
Happy are those who can wither away in soporific stupor. Happy are those too stupid to open their eyes and see the world for what it is. Happy are those with the resolve to take matters into their own hands and end their lives.
John opened his mouth to protest, but no words escaped him. He frowned, furrowed his brow in thought. There were quotes, he knew, about the goodness of the human spirit, about the love of God, about the natural and blessed order of things, but they would not come to him.
Famine sighed again, bored once more. It adjusted the flow on its IV, increased the volume on its music, tried to ignore the rumbling in its belly. You are obvious and wearying. Be gone.