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Fantasy Fiction Speculative

In the beginning, there was only me and darkness. And in the end, there will be only darkness and me. The oldest of friends. Hand in hand we age eternally. Time is so lonely, or don’t you know. And we can all use a lifelong friend. For I will outlive even nothingness itself. I was not born from life nor will I die with death. I don’t know if I will ever die. Don’t know if I’m alive to begin with. But I suspect that I am ever so old. Older than technology, than humanity, than sin. I am as old as time itself. Perhaps even older. I have seen empires rise and fall, seen the first bird fly and fish swim. I watched as a beetle got its leg stuck in sticky sap, sickly sweet. I watched as a woman bought an amber pendant with a peculiar creature trapped inside. I watched the first human to stand on two legs, to sharpen rocks into weapons and screams into words. Watched as they aged over moon cycles they called years. I have seen the first sunrise and sunset, and the world before there was a sun. I took the first breath and in the end I will take the last. 

Some may call me a god, or God with a capital G, as if that will change the meaning. As if their names mean anything to me. They will cry with pointed fingers and pulled back teeth that I am a demon, or an angel, or a witch, or a ghost, or a monster, or a hero, or something, anything that they can understand. Something they can name, and control. They think that if they name me fate, they can bend me to their will. They believe that if they call me life, I will grant them a happy one. They hope that if they whisper my name over and over again in the dark, that I will come to them in a prayer. They wish that I was coming to save them. That I am theirs. But I am none of those things. I escape their understanding as easily as water evaporates beneath the scorching sun. All they may hope to know is that I am unknowable. I am certainly not human. 

And because I am not human, I do not need to have a name to answer to. I won’t come when you call, so call me anything you like. I’ll even let you choose. I go by many names. The humans have tried to name me; calling me Mother, Goddess, Creator, and many more. But their attempts at understanding me are as futile as counting grains of sand on the beach. I would know—I’ve counted every last one. I have felt every pain, shed every tear, experienced every joy as if they were my own. Every thought that flits through your mind runs through my head; every breath that you inhale breathes through my lungs. I am everyone and no one, I am everywhere and somewhere and nowhere all at once. I am the killer and the killed, the sinner and the saint. I am the rich and the poor, the predator and the prey, the innocent and the guilty and the bystander to witness it all. Judge, jury, and executioner, I existed long before justice could twist itself into selfish rulers and apathetic citizens. I existed before people drew up borders and states; carving out the land and charting the seas, as if they wouldn’t get swallowed whole by it all. As if they weren’t just clinging to the surface of the earth by their fingertips. Desperately grasping at something, anything, to tether them to the world. I watched as they tried to find a name for every star in the sky, finding patterns where there was only chaos, and telling themselves stories to help them fall asleep at night. I wonder if it comforted them, knowing I was watching them sleep. I wonder if they would like what I see. For I do see. I see it all. I see your hidden secrets and little white lies; your good deeds and unselfish acts. I see you when you think no one is watching. I am the only one who truly knows you. The only one who can see you for what you really are. I see and I watch and I observe. 

I am everything and anything and nothing in between. I am the stars in the sky and the grass on the fields. I am the snow-capped mountains and bone-dry deserts and self-watering rainforests. I am the young and the old and the living and the dying. I am the hungry lion and nimble gazelle and the poacher crouched waiting in the bushes. I am the fire in the hearth keeping you warm, and the wildfire raging through your home. I am the water in the ocean and the rivers and the tears in your eyes. I have seen the future and the past passing by in the present, and I will do nothing to stop it from unfolding. I do not hit play or press pause, nor do I know how it will all end. Everything anyone ever does is of their own volition. Everything anyone does not do is also their own choice. Because despite what you might hope to believe, you all have a choice. I am not a puppet master pulling at your strings. I am not weaving a tapestry in which everyone will find their place. I am merely a spectator, watching as you dance across the stage on your own. I can not control the uncontrollable, nor will I try. I simply oversee time unfolding. I am not biased nor am I fair; and I have never claimed to be either. I am neither kind nor cruel, I simply am. I am not a saviour. I am not a holy being for you to worship or curse. My name is not yours to pass through your tongue in bitter rage or grateful utterance. I am not anything for you. I do not exist for humanity. I do not exist for anything but myself. I’m merely here to keep you company. I am so lonely, after all. But there will come a time, when even I don’t exist. And then it will be you who is left all alone in the dark.

June 21, 2022 23:57

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1 comment

Scott Dutkus
18:28 Jul 03, 2022

Maddi, I was offered your story through the critique circle and I am thankful your story was matched. This is a very deep and thoughtful story with mind-altering ideas and thoughts. I loved the juxtapositions throughout the story and the indifference for humankind from the main character. My one critique is this: at the beginning of the story, you said the main character and darkness would be together in the end, alone. Then, at the end of the story, you said the main character would not exist and it would be "you who is left all alone i...


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