He was a god.
As he sat at the kitchen table looking out at the tree branch scratching the window frame in the breeze, he just knew it.
He wasn’t the God, but he must have been a god.
There were just too many coincidences for it to be anything else.
A cool swig of orange juice calmed him a little, and he glanced again at the newspaper headline.
Was he psychic? Clairvoyant? Prescient maybe? It was more than that. He could feel it.
History had become a parallel – a coarse, cynical parable for his life.
Prehistory had been all savage innocence.
Ancient history was adolescent rage and confusion alloyed with primal lust driven by insatiable appetites.
Adulthood was rife with battles and wars, conquests and defeats, and more recently it seemed historical events were finally catching up to him.
The Great War was the devastating marriage to his first wife, the casualties appalling, the old order slipping away.
The Second World War correlated as his disastrous second marriage, the scars almost too much to bear but the aftermath confusingly brighter.
It wasn’t until his dalliance with the contradictory and seductive red-haired woman that he realised his Cold War parallel was coming true, their romance sharp and bright, devastating promise but somewhat muddled by a perplexing conclusion.
Work problems, more relationship problems and then … her.
She had everything he wanted. She made him feel wonderful. Her irresistible siren call drew him into a whirlwind of exotic spice-laden marvels and once again he fell under the spell.
It was at that point he realised he had reached the modern day.
Still, they danced, laughing and twirling into night and day, his fervour melding with her scented promise, sensibilities surrendering to a cascade of carnality.
From afar, the red-haired woman gazed upon their tumultuous affair with scorn in her heart, but he did not care. The raven-haired beauty before him proved the sweetest deliverance of passion and paradise.
Only too late did he recognise he seemed to take too much from her. His prurient lasciviousness demanded too much, awakening within her a tempestuous vengeance overshadowing all before.
The fallout was dire, expense beyond reckoning.
He toyed with his glass of orange juice. The tree-branch scratches sending chills down his spine.
He had taken too much, given too little, and the price lay before him, its bold white letters on black a condemnation from on high.
She would take everything, including his soul.
He finished off his orange juice.
He wondered how he could have changed events otherwise.
A lot of people were about to die, and it was all because of him.
He was a god, and he had let them down.
There was a knock at the door. He scanned the shabby hotel room. It was tidy enough.
She stood at the doorway, her raven hair flowing in the gentle breeze, scent intoxicating.
Maybe the newspaper’s announcement of war wasn’t inevitable after all.
Perhaps even gods can get away with being naughty once in a while.