“Draw me in, speak to me of secret understandings, lost hopes and shattered dreams laid down upon the broken feet of priests who claimed knowledge over ignorance and intelligence over reckless stupidity. Tell me about the days when the animals ran about in the dark and hid behind the trees, within the bushes, under rocks, anywhere to survive, anything to live, reasons would come later, so much later.
Sweet darling of mine, tell me what I already know, but oft forget for my mind it torments me so with visions of the long-dead past, of details not a soul would resonate with, tell me this so that I may know I am not the only one.”
The creature held her bound hands tight, fangs dripping with the silver of the moonlake and spoke with a voice that reverberated the earth underneath.
She trembled against the touch, barely human, but enough to fear and she turned her sights onto the waters where she knew her escape lingered in the shrouded depths.
“I cannot,” her voice trembled like a silver bell blown by the chill mist of worldly air, “I do not know, I cannot speak for all ignorance is mine and what else would I say, but lies and fabrications of a world that does not exist?
I could speak of history, of legends and tales that are debated frequently. With my tongue, I could fashion a story that would have you reeling with emotions, but the truth of the matter? It does not exist as you wish it to, as you think it does.”
“It does, foolish human, it does, it does,” It demanded acknowledgment, “I have seen truth and stared into its being until I became truth and nothing else existed. Do not tell me what I wish does not exist, for I know that it does.”
The bindings fell from her wrists and legs, neck and head, trailing in ribbons to her feet. A freeing sensation let her stretch and rise, “Then, what am I to speak to you of? If you know it all, what is there to gain in hearing it from me?”
As she twirled and danced against the light, the creature sunk into the flames that warmed it, kept it from being extinguished by the human’s spirit, “What is there to lose in telling me?”
Laughter peeled the worldside, avalanching through the populations, over the fields and through the oceans, into volcanos and out through the magma as she jittered with amusement that was uncharacteristic and surprising to her, “I do not know.” She admitted her ignorance willingly.
“No, you do,” the creature seethed in the fires, “Do not dismiss because of your fear, you do know, now tell me for we cannot spend past eternity here.” Cubes of flame rolled from the base, constructing towers and miniature fiery representations of the world, “Tell me the oldest thing you remember, the most ancient thought you can possibly have.”
She slunk to the lake, her light trailing after her as she reached the calm waters. Slipping over the surface, ripples rose upwards into the sky and vaporized into a mist that energized her as she sunk towards the depths.
“Do not believe you can escape,” the flames roared, rising until she found herself stuck halfway in the depths and halfway on the surface. Harsh golden light reflected against her skin and she hissed at the searing sensation. “Tell me!”
Drawing in water, she resigned herself and searched the thoughts that flickered and spun around in her etheric mind, “Darkness,” she began, “Complete, absolute darkness. But within that darkness, something can be seen, it is… It is me, and it is shimmering and brilliant. It moves from side to side, but what is this, I have no eyes to see, so how is this possible? If it is me, how can it be outside of me? How can I perceive it? No, now it is gone and I am in darkness again. I do not know what this darkness is though, beyond… it is not the shimmering light.
I reach out, I drive myself towards the light when I see the glimmers next. I catapult and land in an explosion of light, so bright, so blinding that I think, how come I do not call light darkness for I cannot see anything, but it. Is darkness not a different kind of light?
Oh, but I misunderstand. It is difficult, if I could go deeper in, further to the pool, I would comprehend this, but I am stuck on the surface where you wish to know because you have forgotten.”
“I have not forgotten!” The flames roared tall, lashing out and destroying the elements around it in a furious whirlwind, “I have not! You lie!”
“You have, but your arrogance keeps you from admitting it.” She sighed, “It is understandable.”
“I do not need your understanding, I need you to tell me more. What do you remember next?”
“More than I can speak in this line of temporality. If I could show you, my dear, come here.”
“You attempt to trick.”
“I do not.”
The fire simmered and the creature stepped out from the sanctity of the flames, lumbering to the silver pool. Black claws clicked against the edge, tapping against the stones in rhythmic beats which danced across the water, causing ripples to spread around her.
“Come closer,” she ushered, holding a static hand despite her fluxing shape, “Come to me.”
The creature hesitated, the warmth of the fire far behind. The eternal light was rising on the horizon, their time was up. Reaching out, his claws clicked against her shimmering hand.
Lurching, they sunk in a violent twisting whirlpool, deep, deep, deeper still into the pool until the water extinguished his flames. The earthly lights disappeared beneath the silver waves, unable to pierce the soma.
Nothing stopped them, though many tried, grabbing from the adjacent waters, attempting to find any prey that was capable of being grabbed. She kept them going, drilling down through the depths until they reached the bottom floor. Here, she let go of the creature that had shrunk into the size of a marble and squeaked with terror at being on the other side.
“You have been on the surface for much too long,” she spoke gently, picking the creature up in the palm of her hand, “You have absorbed too much terror, too much pain, you have shed these, but if you attempt to return, they will return to your skin.”
Curling into a ball, the creature sniffed, “I do not want to be here. It is so lonely.”
“There are others though,” she assured him, “Have you not met any?”
“I have, but they are lonely as well.”
She smiled, “Then we shall create a grove.” Stepping carefully, she crossed the rumbling floor and found a tiny hill where she set the marble-sized creature on the top.
With a fingertip, she grew tall stones and then with the remaining nine tips, she created trees, lakes, flowers, animals, houses, a tiny light to act as sun, a smaller yet light to act as moon, a travelship, and most importantly, she drew up a monument to point the way upwards back to the surface for those who would want to make the journey.
Collecting other marble-sized entities, she littered them upon the hill, then smiled at the creature, “There, now, don’t be so lonely anymore.”
The creature shambled next to the monument, running a hand along it and eyeing the other creatures with suspicion, “Do not leave.”
“You will be well.” She smiled, standing and constricting her energy, she shaped into a larger scale of the monument and sprung from her spot up through the depths and crashing out through the lake, back into her body that lie beside the smoldering fire, half covered in dirt.
Gasping, her throat was dried and filled with chalk, her tongue felt as if it was burning and she hurried to the silver waters and drank from it. She drank until she forgot why she was drinking and stood as human, still in her ignorance as the memories faded to the depths of the pool, left behind with the creature that she could not recall.
Eternity rose, filling the land with light and she smiled as the haze of time misted it from sight.