Guilt Trip Gilbert

Gilbert had a gift. He’d discovered early in his life that if he fully concentrated on a person and then touched them, that they would sink into a morass of guilt over past actions. The touch worked particularly well around the holiday season.

Gil’s family had long disowned him and he had never learned the knack of making friends, so Gil had to console himself with sharing his gift with complete strangers. He would often walk around the town and pick out random people on the street, sneak up on them, and lay his touch on them before they knew he was even there. At that point, the stranger would become a quivering mass of guilt and confess everything to Gilbert.

After hearing their tragic tale, Gil would absolve them. And if he did, the guilt evaporated. But sometimes he wouldn’t. Usually, those people didn’t last long till they did something drastic, either to themselves or others.

The power worked best on one individual at a time. But once in a while, Gil would pick out a paired-up couple. Guilt often turned into a fight with a couple under his spell. That was pretty entertaining. If he could affect a group, it was even better. But the more people he guilted at a time, the more risk he was taking on.

Astonishingly, Gilbert himself was incapable of feeling guilt. He could only push it onto others. This caused in him the feeling that he really was granting people a gift, since it was something that he could never experience for himself.

Christmas Eve found him strolling through the park as night fell. Ahead, he saw the figure of a woman sitting on a bench, her back to him. Gil focussed on her as he approached. With his power built up, he reached her side without her knowing and laid his hand on her shoulder. The woman gasped in shock and turned to look at him. Gilbert sat next to her and gazed in her eyes as the guilt flowed through her, seeking a hold in her memories.

She bowed her head and tears flowed from her eyes. The feeling of surprise still lit her features along with the waves of guilt. Her small frame shook as the feelings wracked her. It seemed especially deep with this one; Gil’s own feelings were moved as he watched her, which didn’t often happen. Usually, he was able to remain quite calm as he watched the tremendous effects of his talent run through a person.

Soon, the woman looked up at Gil. She had gained control of the trip and stared at him with understanding.

“Do you want to talk about anything?” Gilbert asked.

She smiled a little through the tears, then shook her head.

“I need to show you something,” she said.

With that, she took Gil’s hand. His body shook immediately, much like hers had, as an unfamiliar tempest of feeling ran through him. As it went on, memories came up: he thought of roads untaken, things he’d been too scared to try, people he’d disappointed in his life. Strangely, the sad memories slowly became manageable and he gained control of his body. When he looked back at the woman on the bench, he was weeping with a gentle melancholy that held a certain sweetness.

“What was that?” he asked her.

“I made you feel regret,” she explained. “For the first time, probably.”

Gilbert nodded with acknowledgement. She was still crying with him, holding onto his hand.

“And I gave you guilt,” he said.

“Yes. A true gift. I’m Rachel,” she said.


“I think we were supposed to find each other,” Rachel said. “It’s like we complete each other.”

“Fill each other’s empty spaces.”

“It seems meant to be.”

“Would you like to go get something to eat and talk?” Gil offered.

“Yes, I would,” said Rachel.

The couple stood and began to walk together. As they moved on, hand-in-hand, Rachel tried in vain to suppress the guilt she was already feeling about having to kill Gilbert. But she would be fine once he was gone. And all of her prior murders would cease to trouble her once again.

Gilbert merely stole glances at Rachel and regretted that she wasn’t prettier.

The End

{So there’s my story for the day, once again taken from the Daily Prompt. I take the general idea and see where it goes as a freewrite. My intention isn’t to literally take direction from the prompt, but just to use it as a launch. I don’t follow rules very well. Hope you like the tale. Is it how I view relationships? Is it psychologically illuminating? Or just psycho? You be the judge! Me, I don’t know where the freewrite will end up. I wouldn’t read much into it, but whatever.

Tomorrow is Christmas! I was born Catholic, but am now not religious. But I still call it Christmas….I hope everyone is enjoying the season, and loving the holiday of their choice. Or even none at all, if that’s your thing. EvDaDaDec is wrapping up in a week. It’s been a blast and I might extend it. EvDaDaJan, anyone?}

8 thoughts on “Guilt Trip Gilbert

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: The Guilt that haunts me | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. Just as you mentioned the murders in this story, I heard several gunshots. Seriously. Hopefully they were just celebrations …

    Good story!

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