“I feel like it’s all my fault, sometimes,” said Ernie. “I know that’s silly. Irrational. But I feel culpable. Like I’m the one to blame for all my troubles.”
The dark man, his drinking companion of chance this night, sighed. “Do you want to know a secret?”
“Mnuh?” Ernie raised his eyebrows behind his pint.
“You are. You’re the one to blame. Not just for your pathetic failure of a life, either. All the misery of the world, all the sadness and death and pain and loss: your fault. Just by existing.” The man had a gun. “We call your kind a ‘locus.’ I am here to save humanity.”
“Oh, God,” said Ernie. He wondered if his lack of reaction was because he was too drunk to feel surprise, but deep down, he knew he was only recognizing the truth. He hung his head. “Just make it quick.”
The dark man smiled. “Typical.” He leaned in close. “There’s another secret. For it to work, for the scapegoat’s sacrifice to temporarily dispel the locus, the goat has to agree. Congratulations, Ernie. It really is all your fault.”
Ernie had enough time to blink before the dark man saved the world.