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The Hate Triangle

November 24, 2014

I’ve had an odd little idea for a story bouncing around in my head for a while now, most commonly at about half two in the morning, which was a bit annoying.  In the end I decided it wasn’t going away and so I had a go at committing it to electro-paper in order to get the monkey off my back – the result is the following flash fiction piece.  I don’t really have any use for it or anywhere I could submit it to, so I decided to stick it on here so that it didn’t go to waste.  It’s a bit half baked and probably doesn’t make a lick of sense if you’re not familiar with a certain song by They Might Be Giants… but then if you’re not familiar with that song you haven’t really lived, so not understanding a short story is the least of your worries.



The Hate Triangle

By Ben Stewart

I just wanted to be a hero, you know? I grew up reading comic books, watching cartoons… it filled my head with all these ideas about how the good guy in the cape got to save the world, get the girl, wave to the adoring crowds and all that…but those were just stories, right? I had a pretty mundane life for the first twenty or so years- average education, boring job, and so on. Nothing like those dreams of being a superhero I had when I grew up. I suppose every other kid in the world dreamed exactly the same thing. But then those kids didn’t have an alien artefact land in their back yard, did they? They didn’t find the Talisman of Nodens, did they? I did.

Imbued with the power of a thousand alien warriors who had battled unspeakable elder Gods from beyond space for countless epochs. Lost in the great war with Azathoth itself millions of years before humans walked the earth, the Talisman had been sent tumbling through the void, travelling across unimaginable gulfs – and it just so happened to crash down on to our planet and it just so happened to do so in my back garden. Before that happened I was a car salesman, and a bad one at that. But once I found the Talisman and it whispered it’s storied history into my ear and explained to me it’s awesome power… then I knew things we going to change. But I needed a name, didn’t I? Every hero needs a name. A secret identity to go with the cool-looking costume. But hey, I’m no writer, I’m no creative genius. If I was, and if I could have thought of a better name, then maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess. But as it was, I could only think of one name. The Talisman was a triangle. So that decided it – I’d be Triangle Man, the hero the world was crying out for.

Of course I hadn’t heard the bloody song. I’d never even heard of the daft indie band that sang it – I was always more into stuff like Def Leppard, you know? But it felt like everyone else in the world had had heard it, or at least they ended up hearing it once I’d been on the scene for a while. It didn’t matter what I did, people would just not stop referencing that stupid song. When I defeated Doctor Koloss at Düsseldorf and rescued that bus full of hostages from his Earthquake Labyrinth one of them said ‘hey Triangle Man, what have you got against Particle Man?’ as I carried the bus to safety. When the newspapers caught on it spread like a bloody virus, even to places where the song hadn’t been popular before. Last year I fought my way on to that Nazarkan battle cruiser that had kidnapped the Indian Prime Minister, and even he made a crack about me leaving Person Man alone. When I stopped Mako-Ra after his destructive rampage across the West Coast of America, I didn’t hear cheers from the crowd. No one shouted out ‘Well done Triangle Man, thanks for stopping the giant bipedal shark that just ate half of San Francisco’ – they actually started singing the song at me! And some wit pointed to the dead monster lying a few hundred yards away and said something like ‘now we now there’s definitely giants!’ As if it was all some kind of joke! Can you believe it?

Actually you probably can. If anyone can understand what it’s like, it would be you. You’re like me in a lot of ways… you just want to help people and make the world a better place, and what do you get? Smart arse comedians taking the piss out of every little mistake you make, right? Cartoons in the papers that make you the fool? You’re the most powerful man in the world – well, except for me but you don’t have the Talisman of Nodens – and people think they can just mock you without consequences. Some people might say that’s the kind of thing you should have expected when you ran for president, but I don’t agree. People like me and you – we’re trying to make the world a better place, and what do we get? Ungrateful bastards making fun of us. Ungrateful bastards who live worthless, pointless little lives. Unlike me and you, the guys who are trying to save the world.

That’s what created another triangle, even more powerful than the Talisman of Nodens in it’s own way. It’s what I like to call Triangle Man’s Triangle of Hate. You know like the fire triangle they taught you at school, the three things you need to start a fire? Fuel, Heat and Oxygen, if I remember. Remove one of those elements and you don’t get the fire. The hate triangle is made up of my superpowers, my good intentions and the ridicule from ungrateful bastards that take me for granted and mock me rather than thanking me for everything I’ve done. Remove one of the three parts of the hate triangle you wouldn’t get the pure, incandescent loathing that burns inside me right now for those smug bastards that keep on singing that fucking song.

It’s not personal, you understand? It’s the only way I can think of to change things. It seems I can’t be a hero, since no-one takes me seriously because one stupid mistake when I picked a name. But they won’t laugh at me after I kill you. I’d like to see them sing that fucking song at me after I vaporise the President of the USA. And that’s just the beginning. Once I’ve annihilated all the tanks and soldiers that have surrounded this place in the vain hope of rescuing you they’ll really get the message, I think. And if they don’t then I’ll just carry on… the city, the state, the country…

Fuck Particle Man. Fuck Person Man. Now Triangle Man hates Everybody.

And don’t forget what the song says… we have a fight, Triangle wins.


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One Comment
  1. Nice story-telling. And the hero turns out to be some sort of dude with psychological problems who just happened to have gotten superpowers.

    Well, I’ve heard of the tile but haven’t really done research on the lyrics, but I understood the story perfectly 🙂

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