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Flash Fiction: The Arrogant Fool Confesses

Mark is a former therapist who turned writer when he moved to California. He writes poetry and stories with a satirical twist.

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The Accusation

An everyday person had enough of the arrogant fool, approached him and pleaded with him to change:

"Come on, man. Get your head out of your bum and talk to me in plain, simple language, none of that flowery B.S. If you stop acting like you're a literary king, you might get somewhere. But I know you're not going to do that. You're too afraid of humility; it might threaten your pride.

"Please wake up, and quit behaving like you are all that; accept your flaws, and stop trying to write that holier-than-thou prose--it's too vague, too cryptic for anyone to understand. Instead, come right out and say what you feel--don't enlighten us with your wisdom or call yourself a literary genius. That does more harm than good.

"I wouldn't mind listening to you read poetry if it came from your heart. Humility is attractive because we're no better or worse than anyone else. We are all in the same boat; we bleed red blood and get buried or burned when we die. You're not going to rise to heaven like a savior. Instead, you'll sleep next to me in the grave of equals."


The Arrogant Fool's Initial Response

Rigid and defensive, the arrogant fool responds to the common man's accusations:

"People misunderstand me. My intentions are genuinely divine and glorious. It's just that some people see me as preposterous.

"To those people, I have much sympathy. You are misguided. I am not an orphan but raised by the Gods, the God of the sea, the earth, and the sky. I was born out of beauty, untouched and pure; chosen to channel the messages from the grand sage supreme.

"If I am arrogant, it is for a good reason. As a poet, I only pen noble ideas. I only read the great poets like Kipling and Wordsworth. I live in the spirit and follow wise men who believe that the cream always rises to the top.

"Those who suffer; those who are poor and oppressed are because they have failed to heed the message. If you had listened to my sacred words, you, too, would be able to live a superior life. You would have walked the hallowed halls with the intelligentsia—no more wallowing in the muck with the commoners, no more avarice and greed.

"Why am I so enlightened? Because I carry a laminated Mensa card on a chain around my neck. I write only elegant prose, revered by the literary elitists, plucked from the purity of heavenly gurus.

"Follow me, the young, vulnerable, and ignorant. Follow me to greater heights--put down your vulgar ways, and I will show you the Way."

The Arrogant Fool's Confession

The arrogant fool turns to this writer and confesses. He only trusts me because I agreed not to reveal his identity:

"A therapist I saw several years ago diagnosed me with a narcissistic personality disorder. My father was also one. I feel so insecure that I have to feed my ego by demeaning others. It is unbearable to feel weak or vulnerable--it makes me angry at myself. So I have to live a lie, a pretentious and arrogant life.

"When I tell the world how wonderful I am, they believe it because they are fools. They are gullible, always wanting to think someone has all the answers. Because then they don't have to think for themselves or search for their own truths.

"Inside this grand coverup lives a scared child. My secret is safe as long as no one exposes me. So, I only associate with those who build up my ego and confirm my greatness. These people are easy to find. I need only to write a few flowery verses, and they come running.

"I have fooled others for so long that I believe my lies."

The Arrogant Fool's Favorite Song

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