Prologue- Expired

I want to start this off by apologizing. I didn’t do enough to help. Who knew that the immortal could be so blind? Though, I guess, it wasn’t always like this. I mean, who knows when they’re born mortal and raised mortal that they would eventually be given the power to stop a world from ending? God only knows…then again, I guess I’m the only god left around here these days.

(There’s still hope. They’ll still be back. Don’t lose yourself again…)

I’ve technically been around for over four million years, but I’ve been alone for the past thousand. After the humans passed from existence-all but the select few of us who were foolish enough to become immortal-I sat and watched the tides for a hundred years. Hunger and thirst had no real meaning to me, though it ached to do neither.

(Seriously, this is insane, don’t do it. You’re better than this)

I don’t know how many years actually have passed though…my watch stopped working long ago, it could only be thousands. Though I was immortal I was not invulnerable to pain or suffering, nor ill effects of the mind. If I didn’t eat it hurt. So I starved myself just to feel something. If I didn’t sleep I hallucinated and that helped me pretend I wasn’t alone for quite some time. But in the end, if I didn’t weep I wouldn’t be human anymore.

(You don’t have to cry. They’ll be back. Just wait)

I mean, it could be that long. All the other gods left long ago, or were killed in the war. Then again…that was after all the humans were gone, so maybe they just went crazy. Strange to think I used to consider myself human.

(You are human, stop trying to deny it)

But I can’t anymore. I’m too far gone now. They’re too far gone now, lost in the past like so many grains of sand. Here I sit through the ages, listening to the oceans and the trees. The moon was still here…though changed by the events of the past. The sun had grown a little more orange over time. Still, though, it was here.

(They haven’t changed that much. Stop imagining things. You’ll see them again)

I could hear the birds chirp and what used to be frogs croak. But not a single voice was to be heard.

(I’m talking to you. Listen to me!)

I talked to myself from time to time to stop myself from going crazy, but then I asked myself, “Isn’t talking to yourself crazy?” But if there’s nobody there but you, what defines you as crazy?

(Crazy is when other voices than yourself starts to talk to you)

I went on like this. Hours upon days. Well, maybe months. I’m not entirely sure, I’m losing my notion of what time is. All I know is that it’s getting colder. I sometimes went and talked to my friend at Chernobyl. You know, the one who caused all the ruckus back in the day.

(He’s not gone. We’re all still here. We’ll all be back)

He had slowly become less and less radioactive over time, but he was still kept chained to the block of lead to stop him from moving about the world. Still, he was interesting to talk to. Again, the keyword is was.

(He never left)

All that’s left of him now is a corpse.

(That’s what you think)

An immortal’s corpse is a funny thing. It either retains life after death and slowly decays, clinging to the world like a vine still clings to a tree after its roots are cut. But sometimes they just drift into dust, relieved to finally be rid of their existence, glad to move on.

(What’s the point of moving on?)

Move on to what?

(Nothing you need worry about)

What happens when an immortal dies?

(You’re not going to. Stop thinking about it)

So I would talk to him. “Hey Jerm. How’s it going? See any more of those foxes lately?  Was hoping they might have a litter! Well, anyway, what should I eat for dinner? Mushrooms again? REALLY? Fine.”

(Why not just eat a juicy deer steak?)

I would see his eyes shine in response. A cold wind would sometimes breathe a whisper into my ear, or some sort of deformed creature would crawl out of the depths of his decay and stare at me before burrowing in again. I knew he was still there and so I could stretch another hour of existence out. But there was always one other way.

(That’s not the way)

Every once in a while I danced. The sharp whistle of the katana as it flew through the air, the crackle and snap of the other as it burned away in my other hand. I danced and wove through my invisible fights. So many dead enemies…if only I could bring back just one, one to have a conversation with. It didn’t matter who anymore. There was no reason to live, so why would there be reason for hate anymore?

(The reason for hate is the same as for love. You remember love right?)

“Of course I do!” I screamed, but there was no-one there to hear it. I was still alone.

(Of course there’s someone here. We’re always with you)

Muttering and upset, I felt the wind pick up, and I swirled around with it. I was laughing as it breezed about my ankles and lifted me. Spinning, I let out a yell and fire lashed the sky, the earth crumbled below, and rain blew about me, never touching.

(You’ll destroy again. You know you can’t handle that!)

I span, and roared and thundered, raising havoc, lightning shooting and rain turning to snow, to ice, to hail, to steam. Meanwhile the earth shot up and lava burst forth. I screamed and flew, whirling, dancing, alive. And then I stop and everything freezes in place.

(Look at what you’ve done. Look at what you always do)

Looking around all I see is the destruction, the emptiness of this place. This massacred ground and forest. The sky cloudy with ash and soot, and trees all around split and on fire. Where only moments before was life, I had wrought destruction, for my grief fueled my powers. My loneliness slipped up and took away everything from that which was around me, making me one with the elements, but otherwise destroying a small part of this now alien world.

(It’s not alien, open your eyes, you’re the one who’s changing it)

I fell to the cooling ground and started to cry, the skin on my fists and legs melting and reconstituting over and over as I punched the world. It was the world’s fault. It failed me. It didn’t keep the human’s safe.

(That was your job, not the planet’s. Besides, we’re coming back soon. Look to the sky)

I had tried to save them. I travelled the dimensions looking for help, but all the powers that be would only shake their heads at me.

(Look up)

“Your powers were not those of growth, but that of destruction,” they said, “How can we trust that you’re telling the truth?”

(We said no such thing)

“For who else would know destruction like I?”

(Nobody)

And that sentence echoed through the ages, nobody ever truly hearing it…for it was a response I came up with after it was far too late. The dimensions had already started to disappear. Earth was losing vitality, and her people were sickly. Only the least complex beings were able to be supported, but the rest were burned. Not even the monkeys survived.

(They’ll be back. Just look up)

The whales had all disappeared, and dolphins had gone a long time ago. And the cataclysm had left the world devoid of a large area of land. Then because the mass shifted the different planes of existence started to shred little pieces of themselves away. The accursed half plane is the one that went first, but that was a good thing. That place was terrible and I wish it had gone long ago.

(Just look to the sky, things will get better. There’s something you should see)

But still, it had knocked the place out of whack, and everyone was dying now. There just wasn’t enough energy to keep the people alive. And now everyone was gone, and I was alone. Maybe in another time it wouldn’t be like this, maybe another time I could have had a normal life and died peacefully, going to the Unworld afterwards.

(That was never an option)

But I don’t even know if that place existed anymore. I hadn’t visited in a long time. Not since He had passed into the Void from that place. I would never set foot in that place again. I will never ever do that now.

(Just look up, you’ll see. It’ll all be better soon)

I looked at the melted Earth around me. I looked at the setting sun, and how the moon still shone full and bright, though it was definitely closer than it used to be. I looked over at Jerm…but he was gone. I had dusted him across the world, and now he was gone.

(LOOK UP! LOOK UP! LOOK UP!)

I looked up and the sun flashed up above sending a blue wave across the sky, rocketing Earthwards.

(See, I told you we were coming back)

I sighed a deep sigh. I knew it was time.

(At last we’ll be together again)

Wrapping the cloak around myself I twirled and twirled. I drew my swords, ever sharp, and raised them skyward. Wind kicking up again, this time a wind of solemn purpose rather than the ragged edge of wind I had called up before.

(Wait, what are you doing?)

The fire that shot out of my one sword was a cold blue fire, and the water that shot out of my other sword was a sharp elongation. Jumping skywards I was lifted by the will and wind I had called up, and then I twirled midair to point downwards.

(No, stop…STOP)

Spiraling point down, I split the Earth. I drilled, things getting hotter. This was what I was meant for, though I didn’t want to do it. I had purposely hoped it wouldn’t end like this, but I was to give the mercy blow to Mother Earth. And she would fight, but it was better than the lasting pain of her getting torn apart by the sun.

(I told you, we’re coming! I told you this wasn’t the way!)

I slashed down through diamond cliffs, melting my way through some points and cooling others to stop them from pushing down on me. Though it would be hard for me to get crushed to death, I would not be able to complete my mission. My final, and terrible mission. To destroy that which had bestowed my life, my curse, and my blessing upon me.

(You need to stop. This will never work. You will destroy all that we’ve worked upon!)

I cried as I came down to the middle of the planet and alit on the stage where once before I had stood. The place where time stopped and started, flowers grew from nothing, and tears could turn to joy. Anything was possible here, but nothing was predictable.

(Except the atrocity you’re about to commit)

But it was cracking. There was a rift in the middle of Mother’s face. Her eyes were welling with tears, and her mouth bled lava. Internally she was already on her way out. A silent plea in her eyes. I nodded. I was too late to save her pain, but I could still stop her suffering early. I just didn’t want to do this without knowing…without knowing that I couldn’t be saved. I didn’t want to die. That had always been the case…but I couldn’t tell you why…

(Because there’s always more)

I guess something was human after all…

(That’s what I’m trying to tell you)

So I plunged my swords into her face…and poured the grief of the ages into them, channeling everything I felt, everything I saw, all the horrors and happiness…everything that was gone. I had lost so much, and now I was losing even my sadness. I was losing everything that made me.

(And losing your chance to remake it all. You’re losing me again. How could you?)

But that was okay, because soon I too would be gone.

(As will I. How could you say goodbye to me? Do you not remember?)

The fissure in her face split wide open, and exploded outward. And with a hissing roar, the entire plane shifted, and I was tossed through different existences, different planes, chucked through the dying planet’s last breath.

(You’re killing me)

And then I was on a comet, made of her eye. The tear had surrounded it as she wept her last, and I was flung into space. So I write now of those last few days…how everything now is fading for me, how I find myself drifting into a different sort of sleep, a peaceful one. The scariest one I have ever slipped into. Someone needs to find this comet, and maybe they will. Hopefully this will be written across the skies for someone to read, sometime. Maybe etched into the Universe itself.

(I wish we had more time together.)

And though it sounds corny to say, it’s true. Your life does flash before your eyes before you become a part of the eternal Void. I accept that now…I’m ready to drift in the cosmos. Goodbye Kayla, thank you for being there all these years. I’m sorry for ignoring you so, but I did what needed to be done.

(I understand…Goodbye my love)

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A hot mess of writing