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The Man on the Hill

A short story presented by Ultrabear

When I was young there was a man on the hill.
The man on the hill was loved by the village people
He was there all the time, telling us of his travels
He brought gifts from various places he had traveled to

Sometimes he would disappear for a while and then come back with more stories of travels and goodies, he always came back
One time he came back and brought a sweet candy, the candy was very nice, everyone loved the candy
We ate all the candy in the next few days

When he left again we hoped he would come back with the candy again

He did
This time it only lasted a day before being eaten by all the village people, because more came to eat it after hearing how good it was last time
I began to dislike the villagers that came after the first time, they weren't here in the first place and now the candy was gone sooner
Being a good kid I kept it to myself, it was rude to say something like that

The man came with candy a third time, it was gone in mere hours, but that's because this time there was less of it
We asked the man on the hill why there was less this time, he told us it was hard to get
The next time he came there was even less
And the next time

My parents decided it was time to get it ourselves because there wasn't enough to go around anymore
We went out at night, when everyone else was sleeping

We searched for days, weeks, months, and never found any candy
We decided to go back when we realized we couldn't find the candy
The village didn’t let us in, we were traitors for betraying the man on the hill
Did it exist in the first place?
We were starved of the candy, we craved it so badly.

Eventually, we stopped craving it, after months of agony it was finally over
We saw clearly for the first time in months, maybe years
We decided to make our own candy, one that wouldn't leave us craving it, one that you could stop eating any time

Years passed

The candy was created
We tried it, it was sweet, but it was better, and it didn’t leave us craving it
We decided to go back to the village again, if we gave them this candy they would be less reliant on the man on the hill
They could be like us, they could be normal again
But they didn’t accept the candy, they turned us away, their cravings for the original candy didn’t stop when they tried ours
They would need months, but they wouldn’t accept that, they wanted their candy, and hearing we couldn’t find it left them relying on the man on the hill even more

We decided to spread our candy, the recipes, the materials, over the entire continent, if the man on the hill was going to take over our village then at least we could keep him from taking over the rest of the villages and towns

We only discovered we were too late when we realized where the man on the hill went when he left our village.
The entire continent
Maybe more

They were all addicted to the candy
It wasn’t a candy
It was a drug.
And they were hooked.

The man on the hill controlled them
There was no free will
It was all done for the twisted candy he created

We never went near the continent again
We fled to elsewhere where he wasn’t
We spread our safe candy to whoever we could
We would never go near the man on bliss hill again

-- Ultrabear