Friday, September 18, 2009

The End of All Things

"Oh, I've had many names."

Her voice came to him from far away — though it seemed to him far in time rather than distance.

"Yes," he said, "but that hardly tells me who you are, or what I'm doing here." He looked around. "Wherever 'here' is."

He looked across the small, round table but had trouble focusing on the figure seated at the other side.

"No matter," she said. Her voice a soft caress.

Her hand, honey-colored, patted his. Her skin was warm, her fingers long, the nails filed to points.

"I've been called Trickster. There were some who said I drove men mad."

He sat, mesmerized by the sound of her voice.

"Of course, I think they — you — were mad to begin with." Her voice took on a sharper edge.

He shook himself, pulling his hand back away from her. He frowned at a nagging sense of dread picking away at the back of his mind.

"There's...there's something I should be doing."

She laughed, and his ear was captivated by the sound.

"There were others who spoke of men being turned to stone." She clucked her tongue in distain. "It was hardly I. Your hearts have long been stone. Your heads, no less hard."

He shook himself again, struggling to focus.

"Why am I here? I can't be here."

She leaned across the table. "You're here because you set your feet on this road. This is where your road ends."

"No, no. I can't be here." He looked around, his voice rising. "There's something I should be doing. An answer, yes, that's it. I have to give them an answer."

He made to stand up. Her hand closed over his. Her flesh was cold now, a cold as deep as death.

"Those who awaited your answer," her voice colder than her flesh, "they're beyond hearing you now."

He struggled against her grip.

"Don't worry," the voice continued, "you will be joining them."

He pulled away from her, strips of flesh tearing from the back of his hand. He stood.

"No. I have to stop it. There must be time to stop it." His voice rose to a shout. "We can reach agreement again. We have to."

"You named me, all of you, all down the river of time. You named me well. I am your nightmares made flesh. I am the darkness you made."

"Go now, but hear my one, last name."

The ground lurched under him and he fell to the floor of the hardened command bunker. He stared at the images playing on a wall of screens. In city after city, all across the planet, the heart of a sun was unleashed, dissolving all before it.

Her voice sounded again in his head.

"I am the Destroyer of Worlds."

17 comments:

  1. Uh oh, we're back to the dark side! Brutal Kevin.

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  2. What can I say, Rosa? Celtic melancholy, I guess.

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  3. Wow. Frightening. Who is she? I hope that's not a stupid question.

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  4. Once again, we seem to call upon and embrace that which we cannot understand or control. Melancholy, indeed. Powerful story, Kevin. Thank you.

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  5. Oh, I looked out my window to make sure that even though the sun is up, it's not doing bad things here. So far, so good!
    I really liked your story. Scary, but good scary. I especially liked this: You're here because you set your feet on this road. This is where your road ends.
    Yes, people must be careful where they want to walk!
    Well done...

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  6. Whoops.
    Once you put your feet upon some roads, there's nothing to do but walk them to the end.
    This is lyrical and gritty at the same time. Nicely done!

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  7. Thought provoking - lots of different things swimming around my head after reading this piece. Well done!

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  8. What was the question???? How did he come to be in the grip of this Destroyer of Worlds chick? Inquiry minds want to know...:-) Okay, nice writing even though it left me with a sense of wanting to come knock on your door for more of the story! dark is good.

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  9. Intriguing. There should be more.

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  10. @Kayanna Who is she? Possibly, as she said, just the personification of all fears. Possibly also really the Trickster, who held this guy long enough so disaster could not be avoided.
    @Laura Yes, there is the tendency to summon that which cannot be controlled (not always a bad thing)
    @Marisa Yes, scary is good (often)
    @netta "lyrical and gritty" - thank you. I am pleased you think so
    @CJ "Thought provoking" - I love when something I read does that. I love it even more if I manage to write something that might cause it. Thank you
    @Shannon I'm barring the door! :) And I love "Destroyer of Worlds chick". Glad you like the writing
    @annie This character has lived in my brain in a few incarnations. I'll have to let her out to play a little (though the consequences....)

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  11. Your "Celtic melancholy" yields terrifically spooky tales. Another fine story. ~chris

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  12. Scary stuff, Kevin. I love how you weave old world myth and legend into the modern world here. Nice.
    ~jon

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  13. Very good - I certainly got a feeling of despair, which heightened as the tale went on

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  14. This story brings to mind two proverbs--one from the scriptures, the other from pop-culture:
    "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
    "With great power comes great responsibility."
    I loved the line about her name being Trickster. With the ground shaking beneath him, and the images played out on the screens, my guess is your MC will have plenty of time alone to contemplate her name and the path he has chosen. That is, if it doesn't drive him completely mad first. Powerful story, Kevin.

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  15. I keep thinking of that song "It's the end of the world as we know it".
    Very cool, Kevin. Our own darkness eventually slays us one way or another. Your writing is as good as your haiku - which is excellent.

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  16. Once again, your dialogue proves a real strength in your story telling. Love the bit about men's minds and hearts already being stone. A ringside seat for the end of the world.

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  17. Sorry to see you had blog hosting problems, Kevin. You are so right, technology is tiresome. I have a few issues with my platform as well, and dread the idea of trying to transfer all my postings to another medium. But fear not, I'll follow your blog no matter where it ends up.
    ~jon

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