Chapter 4:

Video-to-Radio

ONE SHOT


Another morning, a new day.

It's morning already?
Have you eaten breakfast?
Got yourself dressed?
Brushed your teeth?
Not leaving anything important behind, are you?

Good. Then there's only one thing left to do: start your car and turn on the radio. Once you've tuned in to your desired station and adjusted the volume appropriately to your liking, you are greeted with a familiar voice.

"Good morning, everyone! Looks like today is going be another sunny day with clear skies and temperatures in the low to mid 80's. But watch out for afternoon showers. Make sure to bring an umbrella with you if you're going out. Take care of yourselves!"

Whether he actually has a conventional name or not, he is most commonly known as "Radio." For decades, he has been the host of an ongoing radio show covering a wide variety of topics. However, Radio is more than just a Radio show host.

No. You see Radio holds much greater importance.

In this world there are personifications, or rather, deities known as the Gods of Common Things. They can range from anything. From breakfast gods to delivery gods, you name it. Humans may not fully grasp this concept, but indeed these gods do exist. Our dear Radio just so happens to be the eponymous radio god of a bygone era.

During your drive on the highway, you shift your head to your right where you catch a glimpse of an interview with another celebrity being broadcast on a jumbotron. You instantly recognized him as Video, a popular talk show host. Like Radio, Video has been on the air for generations. Likewise, Video is the video god. He reigns over anything that has a screen capable of video playback. You didn't mind watching Video's show in your spare time, but sometimes you couldn't shake the feeling that Video has stolen Radio's spotlight.

~
Radio wasn't an incredibly special individual. Radio was born with blue oval-shaped eyes. He was short, no taller than 5'2'', and wore a plain orange parka that matched the color of his short, shaggy hair. Radio was just average.

Radio's morning show had just concluded. He was wrapping up and preparing to leave the studio. His next mission: run the daily errands. Radio was nearing the main exit when he was suddenly met with a shocking surprise. Radiating with confidence, an old friend's voice was booming as it called out to him.

"Hey there, Radio! Long time no see, yeah?"

Radio paused for a moment, but the initial shock finally wore off.

"Oh. Hi there, Video! It sure has been ages! What brings you here?" Radio replied with a chipper tone.

Video was the opposite of Radio. Video had black round eyes and was taller than Radio by 6 inches, but the most obvious observation was how well dressed Video was compared to Radio. Instead of looking like some boring teenager, Video rocked a black suit and tie. To top it all off, his silky blonde hair was far better groomed than Radio's.

Video was a confident person most of the time. However, the flow of his words awkwardly escaped his mouth when he spoke to Radio.

"Listen, I thought maybe you and I... could hang out sometime. We can even do it today, if you like. Want to stop for coffee, or dine at a restaurant? You know, something like that? It's all up to you, really."

"Huh? You mean it?" Radio gleamed.

"Well, sure I'd love to go hang out with you! Coffee sounds good, but I have errands to run right now. Can we meet up later in the evening?"

Video grimaced.

"What's the point of getting coffee then? Don't ever drink coffee before bed."

"Oh, sorry. How about we go see a movie instead?"

"Sure. That works." Video replied as his smile returned.

"Okay! I'll call you when I'm all done with my errands. We can set up an exact time then."

"Great."

"Okay! Bye, Video! I'll see you soon! I can't wait!"

Radio turned one last time to look at Video.

"After all, that's what friends do. Right?"

Video didn't answer and Radio only smiled back at him before taking his leave.

Video tsked. He hasn't changed at all. After all these years, how can Radio even stand to call Video his friend. After all the belittling and betrayal. Radio did nothing but smile and carry on like nothing was wrong, forgiving all of Video's mistakes. Video absolutely hated that. It ticked him off.

~
Let's rewind to the late 50's to early 60's. Radio was the star of the show until Video came along. Video brought forth the age of television which revolutionized modern technology. In the beginning, Radio and Video were on good terms until the television boom. As more and more switched over to television, Video's influence was growing both in power and fame. At this point, Video became a widely known celebrity across the globe. However, the cost of achieving this great feat was his friendship with Radio. Basically, Video trampled over Radio's entire career and discarded their friendship in his rise to success. Naturally, this dealt massive blows to their relationship and it hasn't quite been the same between them ever since.

Decades passed and Video began to regret all his wrongdoings. For some time now, Video has been brainstorming how he should apologize to Radio. He's been reviewing the phrasing of his apology, the timing of when it should be said (although it's never too soon for an apology) and the location of where he should tell Radio. But in the end, all of Video's scenarios never came together the way he wanted them to. Instead, he thought it would be better to put Radio in charge. Video wanted everything to be centered around Radio, so he decided Radio should be the one to choose where they should go. Perhaps it would feel more natural this way.

Video's phone began to vibrate in his pocket. He pulled it out to answer the call. It was Radio, of course.

"Hi, Video! I'm ready to go to the movies now!"

"Cool. What movie did you want to see?" Video asked.

"Oh, you know. The one starring you!"

Radio didn't refer to the movie by title, but Video instantly knew what he wanted to see. It was a new action flick, the latest installment in a long-running film series.

"Radio, it's just a cameo. I'm not the star this time. Plus my lines don't even contribute to the plot of the movie."

"I don't care." Radio refuted.

"Look, the next showing starts at six o'clock. I'll meet you at the theater soon."

"Radio, wait–"

Video was a universally known icon whereas Radio was just a voice behind a radio show that was exclusive to the region he lived in. Radio was more likely to go out and show his face in public than Video. To avoid this, Video was going to suggest a private showing at his home instead, but knowing Radio, he didn't care anymore. Everything he was doing this evening was for Radio's sake, so whatever Radio says goes. Well, almost. In the end, Video could still arrange for the two of them to be placed in a private screening room once they get to the theater. He is famous, after all.

"Oh, never mind. I'll see you there."

Video hung up the call. Video still couldn't believe how chipper Radio could be while speaking to him.

"Of all people, why me?" Video thought.

~
Radio and Video were now forty five minutes into the movie when Video's cameo scene began. It really wasn't anything special, just a recreation of a typical episode of his daytime talk show. Only this time Video was interviewing one of the movie's fictional celebrities.

"Why couldn't he have just chosen another movie?" Video quietly muttered to himself.

If Video were in Radio's shoes, he wouldn't want to have anything to do with him. In fact, if Video were in Radio's position, he would feel quite offended if he had to watch a movie featuring the person who ruined his life. Even if it was just a cameo appearance. Video always had to wonder why Radio did the things he did.

"Radio, why did you want to see this movie? Why did you... want to see me on the big screen, I mean?" Video asked.

"Because I support you, Video." Radio replied, not taking his eyes off the screen.

"Right..."


Another forty five minutes passed and the movie had finally reached its end. An opportunity had presented itself for Video to begin an apology speech however, he hesitated.

The two gods exited the movie theater. Radio was rather pleased with everything he just viewed on the movie screen.

"So, did you have fun Radio?"

"Yeah totally! And what made it even better is that I got to enjoy it with you, Video."

There he goes again. Video let out an exasperated sigh.

"Radio... You really gotta stop doing that."

"Doing what?" Radio asked.

Radio was completely dumbfounded by Video's request. But Radio's confusion would be cut short when he suddenly began coughing.

"Hey, Radio! You okay?"

The coughing persisted until blood fell into the palm of his hand. Afterward, Radio was breathing heavily until he helplessly collapsed.

"Radio!" Video screamed.

Video picked up his friend and contemplated going to a hospital. But Video had to do better than that. He and Radio both were Gods of Common Things which meant they would need even greater care than they would receive at a standard hospital. Time was of the essence and Video had to get Radio some help fast.


~
Radio woke up in an unfamiliar bed. When he came to, Radio was greeted by Video and a stranger beside him.

"Radio, you're okay!" Video exclaimed.

"Don't scare me like that! Geez."

"Oh. Sorry."

Radio turned to look at the unfamiliar man perched above him, still confused as to who he was and why he was here. He was taller than both Video and Radio. He was at least six feet tall. The man had short, brown hair, and he sported a white dress shirt and black slacks. Seeing the man and Video together led Radio to believe they shared a similar style. Radio shifted his head to Video once more.

"Um, who is this?" Radio asked.

"My name is PC. I'm the god of the internet."

Radio stared PC down as if it were impossible for him to exist.

"And computers, of course." PC continued.

"Personal computer?"

"Yes. That is what PC stands for."

Now that Radio was awake, PC wanted to ask Radio some questions.

"Radio, how has your health been lately?"

"Uhh... Well, to tell you the truth, I have been a little sick recently."

"A little?" Radio sneered.

"Have you been coughing up blood often?"

"Er..."

Radio didn't want anyone to worry, but he knew he couldn't dodge the question.

"Answer the question, Radio." Video growled.

"Yes."

Video wasn't trying to come off as annoyed with Radio but he was frustrated with him. He was frustrated that Radio was possibly ill and he didn't know anything about it.

"Are you experiencing any other problems?"

"......Sometimes my body feels weak, like I can't move. On some days it's hard for me just to get out of bed."

"I see." PC replied.

A moment of silence passed before PC spoke again.

"Video, can I speak to you in private for a moment?"

"Huh? Sure, I guess."

Video followed PC to a nearby room where Radio couldn't hear. Naturally, they were going to talk about his condition.

"Give it to me straight, PC. What's going on with Radio?"

"There's no better way to say it, Video. Radio is going to die."

PC put it bluntly. The delivery of PC's words stabbed Video to the heart.

"What!? No way! How can this be?" Video cried in disbelief.

"Video, we're Gods of Common Things. When our influence lessens on this world, we fade away into obscurity." PC explained.

"Yeah, okay. But what does this have to do with Radio? It's not like the concept of Radio itself is dead."

Video was truly ignorant of the situation at hand. He still hadn't grasped the reason behind his friend's hardship.

"Don't you get it? Yes, Radio is the god of Radio, but he embodies the Golden Age of Radio. Radio was at his prime until you came along and stole his thunder back in the late 50's."

Video froze.

"He's probably been stuck with his current condition ever since then."

This revelation shook Video to the very core. He finally realized that he was to blame for Radio's sickness.

"O-Oh..." Video stammered.

"So, what you're saying is that I'm a killer. That's how it is, right?"

"Video, that's not what I–"

Video was blaming himself for Radio's decline. On top of his guilt was his regret. Video still needed to share his apology with Radio. The thought of losing his old friend before he got the chance to express his regrets rattled his soul.

"Why do I have to be such a horrible person?" Video sulked.

"Video... It's not your fault."

"Yes, it is! Everything is my fault! It's all my fault! I mistreated him so badly and now he's going to..."

PC placed his hands on Video's shoulders in an effort to comfort him.

"Radio still has a chance. He isn't going to die so soon."

"What are you talking about!?"

"I'll support him from now on. I'll share some of my power with him." PC reassured.

"Huh? You can do that?"

"Of course! We gods can share power, or team up whenever we get weak. We do this whenever we drastically lose our influence in the world."

"But how does that work?"

"When gods share their power with each other, they'll have to stay in close proximity with each other. Radio won't be getting better any time soon, so he'll have to move in with me. I can share the energy that comes from internet radio. That should help stabilize Radio's condition."

"Oh, I see. I hope Radio's okay with that."

What other choice does he have?"

"PC, I'm going to talk to Radio now. I need to tell him something important."

Video exited the room and returned to Radio's bedside. Radio sat up in his bed once Video returned.

"Is everything okay, Video? I heard you shouting. What were you saying in there?"

Video suddenly grabbed Radio's hands and clenched them tightly.

"Listen to me, Radio! You're very sick, but that's okay!"

"Is it?"

"PC is going to take care of you now. He'll be your life support and you'll have to move in with him, so don't cause him any trouble!"

"So, it's that serious?" Radio replied.

"Is that all you have to say!? Radio, you're knocking on death's door!"

"Sorry."

Video was starting to become frustrated with Radio again, but he had to keep his cool.

"There's something else I need to tell you, Radio."

Now was a better time than ever. Finally, Video found his opening.

"I'm... I'm sorry, sorry for everything."

"Sorry for what?"

Video glared at Radio.

"Everything! Back then... I was awful. I stopped being friends with you. I belittled and picked on you like I was some bully. I even stole your girlfriend."

"She wasn't my girlfriend. I just liked her." Radio interjected.

"Will you just let me apologize to you properly!"

First, Radio doesn't take his illness seriously, then he interrupts Video's apology. Radio sure was pushing Video's buttons.

Radio lowered his head and grinned.

"Has it ever occured to you that I harbor no resentment towards you and that I've already forgiven you?" Radio asked.

Video gasped.

"But how!? I'm an unforgivable jerk! You should hate me!"

Radio's head rose up.

"But, you're still my friend, Video."

Radio proceeded to give Video a hug.

"We'll always be friends."

A tear trickled down Video's face. Video felt there was no way he deserved Radio's kindness, but he was grateful.

"Radio..."

Video returned the gesture as PC smiled, silently looking on from a distance.Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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