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The Other Essence…

It seemed as though there was no light in the entire world. Through the blackness, he stretched out one hand, but his questing fingers only grasped the very essence of the emptiness; there was nothing to hold on to, no matter what direction he turned. After awhile, his attempts deemed helpless, he sat very calmly in one place, pondering, his hands returned to his lap. The silence was too heavy to be suffocating. Instinctively he knew that he was in an open area, dark as it was, and surely if he had the power, he might be able to see the overhanging stars in the endless heavens, but the dense liquid blackness made it utterly impossible to tell whether it was day, or night… it was equally impossible to determine if what he saw was in fact, the hidden world, or simply the back of his eyelids.
Then, from the corner of his mind, or perhaps the dawn of the beginning, the tiniest ray of light glistened across the blank earth. Instantly noticeable, it seemed to devour the dark world and fling scattered particles of its spirit across the sky to streak the now-visible clouds with grey and gold. In a sudden matter of seconds, the world was there. What before might have been mistaken for perhaps a lifeless dream was suddenly real, with startling intensity. Slowly, shadows danced across the dull landscape where bits of the dark had fled. Slowly, the weak light in the sky was growing steadily brighter, first dim but patiently gathering strength, flinging out hot fingers of energy to lick at the earth like the hungry flame of a lit candle. And, just as slowly, with the dull pulse of a long-awaited movement, and cleansed innocence of first knowledge, Bane the All-Powerful opened his new eyes, and became awake.

There were words inside his head. Lines and lines of unintelligible writing, scripture that he could see but could not read. It curved across his forehead and circled his brain, spiraling down his spine like a maddening band of literature, threatening to burst his mind with its dizzying speech. He was not a particularly bright creature, he knew, and little excited him.. the writing at first had not intrigued him neither, but to see such a strange sight behind his eyeballs day after day had eventually sparked a fierce curiosity that could not be contained… Though the question of how it was there had never actually echoed within him as much as the why.
It didn’t matter to him if the stone was black. He was only interested in knowing why it was not white.
Bane could not read what it said, but if you had tried to teach some sort of reading aptitude to him, he would not have listened at all, or forgotten it in a matter of seconds, or, worse, reacted with violence to the treatment. He made it perfectly clear that he did not give a damn if he could read or not… he only wanted translation for the mess of scribbles tattooed within his skull, not silly education. Never did he even once consider that one could not come without the other.
It was too much trouble, he had long past decided, to mess around with petty rules and regulations, such as the act of being taught to read… like the great Kings of Egypt, he thought himself above the mortal ability to learn. Kings thought that once they turned their backs on their people, any obvious problems would simply disappear, and that power intoxicated them. It was as though they considered themselves Gods, as did Bane. The only difference from Bane and the long-dead Kings of Egypt were that Bane’s problems were permanently carved against his mind, and no matter how hard he told himself it was not real, unlike the fated people of Egypt they remained visible even when he, the King, closed his eyes.

The world, his freedom, his home, was dead. At first he had not known it, but now, with the light spreading steadily across the parched earth and the shapes beginning to form at last, Bane could see there was no life left in the world. How had things gone so quickly? How many centuries had passed him by as he sat like one dead?
He reached one shaking hand across his eyes as though trying to erase the lines that were there, not truly believing that it would but merely out of habit. It had been a long time since he had been able to see the words again. He had been trapped in the darkness for enough time to go by so that he felt like an old man again, not a God. The familiar but alien writing across his brain was a constant reminder of such. But now…forget the language, forget everything! The world he had waited eons to see was gone, gone! He was alone on a desolate plain, open and still.
For a moment, a flash of memory flitted across the words inside his head, and ceased to exist. Wasn’t there something he was supposed to say now, something fitting for the final parting from his home? A tribute to what was won and lost? A word of prayer for a dead planet? A moment of silent suffering for him, Bane, the last orphan of one of the last fertile gateways?
“The dark was welcome,” he said aloud. The sound of his own grating voice—a noise unheard of for decades—startled him into instant silence once more, and he mulled over his unexpected words like a dog wondering in which end of the yard he had buried his bone. He had not realized the truth of the matter until he had unconsciously voiced it, and now, harsh as it was, he considered it completely appropriate. He glared menacing at the writing within his head, and if anyone had been there to see, it would have seemed like he was staring furiously at an invisible ghost in the distance.
“I could have lived through the dark,” he said accusingly to his ghost, his voice as hollow as an echo as it rolled between the shadows.
“I’ve always lived through the dark.”
And that, he decided, was all he had to say. It was not the most grand of exit speeches he had ever made for a world, and it was rather an absurd one at that for any ears but his, but it would have to do. He had stayed too long already.
The last sound that the dying planet ever helped create to fall upon living ears was the popping sounds that Bane’s sudden Warp made, and the last remnants of his final parting words as they flowed over the distant craggy mountain peaks and faded away into the depths of the gathering light.


The following comments are for "The Five Worlds...Part Three"
by EternalAlice

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