Everyone Wants to be a Villain

The shadowy figure sat dejectedly in the elegantly carved and gilded chair at the head of a long, equally well-adorned table. Three candelabras sat spaced well apart along the length of the table, but their dim reddish flames were more for creepy atmosphere than illumination. The walls and ceiling of this room were barely visible in the gloom that hung eerily like a fog over a coastal bayou. The shadowy figure sighed heavily, slumping in the chair with his hands clasped across his stomach.

There were other shadows in the room, and they seemed to be attuned to the dismal spirit of the figure seated at the table. They whispered almost inaudibly as they shifted and moved as if they were cast by the flickering candles. The wraiths eased closer to the seated figure, and as if of one voice they hoarsely hissed, “What vexes you, master?”

Another sigh emanated from the dreary form as he replied with a tone of antagonized irritation, “This world is filled to overflowing with ambitious souls that seek to ruin everything in a hurry. All that I have built is being threatened by the very minions that swore to see it to fruition. And now one of them has had the nerve to threaten the source of all that is dark and enjoyable.” He waved his hand impatiently and the shadows reflexively moved away as though they had been pushed by the breeze such a gesture generated. “Yes, I am vexed. The insufferable ego of the ascending god is a grave annoyance to me.”

The watered-down mutterings continued among the shadows as the figure resumed their agonized ponderings. Truth be told, it wasn’t so much the ascending god that was frustrating the shadowy form. Much about what had transpired over the last few months had settled badly upon them. There were more issues than the wraith-like shape cared to list, and yet they swirled about in their mind all the same. The shadows in the room knew of their master’s discomfort and took care to steer well clear of making it worse by provoking their lord.

All of this was nothing but pure theater, of course. The shadowy figure had but to snap their fingers and everything would be set right. They might not even have to work as hard as that. But that wasn’t how things worked around here. The boss liked to wallow in foul moods. It was a big part of being a villain that not everyone had the ability to embrace. Oh, it was easy to come up with a dreadful and wicked scheme, because everyone wanted to be a villain. But few had the moxie to mope the way that the role demanded and savor the dreariness that evil always created.