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A Story Worth of Paper
February 22, 2023|Short Story

A Story Worth of Paper

A Story Worth of Paper

Despite his insistence on adhering to acceptable forms of behavior, Theo became a villain. Life was not supposed to go down that path. It was not the future that Theo had imagined for himself, perhaps the opposite.

Theo’s life revolved around studying human behavior. His priority was understanding each other to make life in society easier. Hundreds of experiments published in medical journals propelled him to the top. He was an unknown who had managed to understand the human mind, but his path to becoming a villain began when he decided to share his knowledge.

Theo knew that his discoveries were beneficial to the average citizen. Sharing his findings became a priority, and to his surprise, acceptance from the public grew faster than he could imagine. Every day, more people benefited from the seminars Theo gave around the world.

It didn’t take long for him to be caught by the attention of the world’s rulers. The elite gathered together and saw how damaging it would be to awaken more citizens. Theo had to be stopped. Of course, their experiences silencings minds that dared to fight the establishment had taught them that death only worsens the problem. They had to destroy Theo’s reputation and prove that his ideas had a negative factor—to neutralize him.

The economic power began to move its gears to get the great engine running. The machine quickly found a way to counter Theo’s ‘opinions.’ That was the way: to destroy his reputation by proving that everything he tried to express was simply his opinion. Discrediting his years of experimentation.

Theo quickly noticed the change in the way the world treated him. He went from hero to villain in a matter of months. The media turned the public against the man with radical opinions, while a massive campaign was launched against the scientist’s discoveries.

As a villain of the system, Theo felt caught between a rock and a hard place. His plan wasn’t good enough to fight against the power of the machine. In a short time, he had to accept the position that the system gave him and began to dress up in a vertically divided two-color suit. It was all part of his mockery of the system that was trying to destroy him. But soon, the world saw him becoming the personality that was portrayed by his peculiar clothing style.

He was seen as a radical extremist with the sole function of destroying the way of life.

The real problem started when he couldn’t let go of his principles. Witnessing the results of his studies became his weakness. Theo continued to defend the knowledge he had discovered. He continued to share it with those that still had an open mind. He continued to fight against obsolete ideologies that his discoveries had proven wrong. Theo became a madman fighting to change what was established.

The world saw him as the system wanted him to be seen: a being who lost his way and, thanks to his popularity, thinks he can force his opinions on others.

For years, Theo fought against a system that never sleeps. Against the economic power that controls the machine. It was a matter of time before he gave up. Years passed, and his strength did not diminish. His followers continued to grow, but those who couldn’t accept the change also increased. Eventually, deterioration defeated him. After all, he was only human.

Now we watch him fight against the system in unconventional ways. A villain even in the eyes of his followers. A misunderstood madman who dresses up in a purple suit and tries to awaken the world with acts of vandalism that are impossible to ignore.

After the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, everything became more problematic. The machine had to create a hero to be the light that citizens can see at the end of the tunnel. A philanthropic millionaire, who knows that killing the madman will only give more power to his philosophy, became the hero that society needed.

Theo persists in his attempts to awaken the world’s consciousness. He tirelessly fights against the machine’s army which is hiding behind the mask of a vampire. This is the true story of Batman and the Joker.

“Reporting live from Chopper Nine, I’m Cindy with the latest developments,” said the radio reporter. “A madman has taken four hundred people hostage at an international conference downtown. We don’t know his demands yet, but we are on the scene to bring you the latest information.

“CAREFUL… a black aircraft barely missed us,” Cindy continued. “It appears to be an unidentified plane that… It looks like it’s landing next to the auditorium where the hostages are being held. Could it be the hooded vigilante?

“A group of men, dressed in black with bat masks, are coming out of the…”

Static noise over the radio followed by an announcement. “We apologize for interrupting this broadcast,” said a man’s voice. “We will be back with our regular programming after resolving some technical issues.”


Sebastian Iturralde

I am a fiction blogger and lover of literature, art, and all things creative. As a citizen of this beautiful planet, I am constantly inspired by the natural world around me.


  • February 23, 2023 at 12:42 am

    Excellent story!
    (I wish there was still a “like” button on your page.)

  • February 23, 2023 at 2:32 am

    omg this was so good– loved it. shared it on Twitter.

  • February 23, 2023 at 5:32 am

    I like the surprise about the misunderstood(?) madman near the end.

  • February 23, 2023 at 7:29 am

    The philanthropist turned madman reminds me of my country, there was a man like that named fela anikulapo kuti…..I wasn’t anywhere near born then but the stories and interpretations of his songs filled that page for me……he was like a madman to the world but not to people who truly understands him….I really like your story’s depiction…

  • Jack Gator
    February 23, 2023 at 11:40 am

    And then they saw the brief contrail of the drone as it dove. There was an old Russian T40 parked outside the auditorium that was now the target and theo made a quick course correction. Swerving down the alley it seemed for a moment the drone was out of sight and engage with the old tank. They abandoned the car and cautiously, on their knees, looked around the corner at the battle………

  • February 23, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    What a unique perspective. I love the hero turned villain story as it gives depth. One of the best backstories I have ever read. Well Done!

  • February 23, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    I like your sense of setting and character development. Strong writing!

  • February 23, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    An epic tale, told with an astonishing understanding of the value of brevity in writing! Well done, Sir!!!

  • February 23, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    This story rings so true and is inspirational. Theo is a true hero, taking on the established powers but finding how entrenched they are. It is a story rooted in our times and is written by someone in touch who knows how to tell a story. This may just be your best.

  • February 23, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    Isn’t it scary how easily the powers that be can win a battle. Living proof that the real enemy is the chaos of ignorance. I feel that in chaos the one that creates it has the greatest level of control. Governments know that and ignorance to the true source of their power is what keeps them alive.

  • March 2, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    Sorry, but can’t share on wordpress, nor Facebook and don’t use “twitters”
    Happy writing, Sebastian
    Best wishes

  • March 7, 2023 at 9:05 am

    I see myself going through similiar phases in life, which at times seems like a rebellian against my own system “feeling inadequate” and then a fight against the larger economic system “not giving me what I wish to be given” but then also finding pleasure and fortune in it, which is that it provides me with safety and opportunity too. Seems like a never ending dance and the question of how much to adopt and how much not to adopt.

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    Author's Note
    The Andes' highlands served as a source of inspiration for this short story. I hope you'll find the same beauty and wonder in its words that I did while crafting it.
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