United States

I'm 17
I like to dream

Maybe a fool

and classical guitarist

Let us barter

Mountain girl
I like burl

River otter
Viking daughter

Wolfdog owner
Forest roamer

I'm no fighter
But I am a writer

Shattered Sky, a short story

June 4, 2018


    The seams of the world had begun to rip. This could be blamed on several variables. These variables, that some could call X, Y, and Z, had started out completely unrelated. X, whose identity is the complex Time/Entropy sequence, was the first to push the seams. Time/Entropy started to rub his fingers over the edges of the fraying world. He was like water through a canyon: slowly but surely making his way deeper in by bringing a bit of chaos upon his surroundings.

    The Y variable was less subtle. Indeed, this  variable was the cataclysm. You see, Y was the restlessness of Life. She had begun to vibrate. She was having difficulty staying inside her relative shells, her billions upon billions of shells. As one knows from experience, when something vibrates, the things around the source of the vibration tend to shake. When they shake, they stumble and (accidentally or purposefully) impact other things. The friction upon impact is usually negative, and thus, conflict began to boil. Life shifted through the world and shook, pounding down onto reality and fighting with herself, overcoming conflicts only to find new ones.

    Most interesting, and the most unexpected, was the Z variable Death. Death, as one well knows, is predictable. He remains the same. He is the most reliable thing in existence. Though his mood is wild and random, his professionalism is not. Suffice to say, he kept his word no matter what, and therefore was the most trusted businessman--if he were Man (who, as a general rule, has proven to be wholly unpredictable in just about everything). He had done something that hadn't been done in previous memory: which is that he had done something. Furthermore, he had intervened. With what? With whom, you ask? Listen close for a moment, because it was really quite peculiar.

    I suppose you've heard of the Yin and Yang balance. There can't be black without white, good without evil, order without chaos, and of course, Life without Death. I know when I first heard it, I thought it was a rule. I couldn't imagine that, in fact it is simply a measure of relativism. How can one know what white is if all they've seen is black? They certainly wouldn't call it "black". They had no concept of "black" because they had no contrast. It was out of their world. They were fish in water. Not until they were introduced to this place above did they understand they were living in water and that there is such a thing as air.

    I digress. So, you understand this concept? Good, because I won't pointlessly explain it again.

    So, you see, Life had her job and Death had his. That isn't to say they were particularly good at it at every moment--how could Life so foolishly allowed herself to grow restless?--but it was their job and no one else had it. 

    It was, perhaps, the sudden increase of dead versus living that caught Death's attention. The numbers were staggering. Life, by being so restless, was effectively killing the world. Her vibrations pushed at the fabric of reality, running it thin. It seemed that she had no intention of slowing down.

    Death attempted to warn Life. She didn't listen or cared. After a few fruitless attempts, Death moved on to edges of reality.

    I couldn't tell you the precise reason why he was trying to save the world from Life's wild frenzy. I could wager a few guesses. Maybe he cared about the people dying. Maybe he didn't want to hold the world in his realm for the rest of Time's existence. Or maybe he simply couldn't keep up with the numbers and would be pulled into the ocean of millions who were dead if he didn't do something.

    What did he do? Well, he started refusing to bring in souls. He stood at the frayed seams of the world and pointed back to where Life stood. Go back, he'd say. There are too many of you. Go home.

    Not everyone was pleased with his declaration, but they had no choice but to return. They wandered their world, and soon, pushed at the edges. The edges, worn thin by Time's fingers and Life's vibrations, began to rip. The world was bursting with souls meant to be dead but weren't. So, the first hole was created and thus, the first escape created.

    As I said, not everyone was pleased with Death's declaration. They wanted to move on. The stubborn ones had continued trying to find a way to the Other Side. It didn't really matter to them what was on the Other Side--so long as they got there and were free of the visage that trapped them inside their own home.

    Death attempted to keep the souls inside, but he has no power over such things. They escaped, slipping through the seams, through the stitches and the weaves.

    Helpless, Death finally gave up and stepped back to allow the souls through. Everyone, from the long-dead in his domain and those trapped in their world, pushed up against those rips and slipped through to the Other Side.

    It was when the final soul filed past him that he realized that Life was gone. So was everyone in this world. It was empty, barren. It was very close to being Nothing. But it did have something, three somethings in fact: those wispy curtains of reality, Time, and himself. Time would abandon the world as soon as Death did, leaving only the curtains. So, yes. It was nearly a place of Nothing.

    Wearily, Death faced the curtains. Followed by Time, he stepped through the curtains to see what lay on the Other Side.

    The Other Side was large. It was new. It was something, rather than the Nothing he'd expected. It was a world.

    Fascinated, he explored the new world, accompanied by the ever-silent, ever-present Time. There were rocks and trees, mountains and oceans. It had Life. But where was she?

    It wasn't until he reached the edges of the world that he found her. She gave him a broad smile and pointed upward. You and I shattered the sky, she said. Now we're someone new.

    Death shook his head. No, we aren't new, just the place.

    She only smiled. Oh? I think not. I think Time would agree. Look around you. This is Life, but it isn't me. Our time has past. The souls have been renewed into this place. I am inclined to believe that we will, one day, join them. But maybe we have one more cycle to flow through.

Death was confused. What cycle?

    The creature once known as Life bent and plucked up a flower. It died in her hands. She gave another smile. I do believe that the role of Life has been passed on to someone else. You.

    The creature once known as Death looked around. It was his domain. His place. And it was alive. Maybe you're right. But what does that make you?

    Foolish of you. What do you think I am? She stretched. I am now, Death. In the end, my old friend, it wasn't I who made the decision that tore apart our old reality. It was you. You shattered it and have now created something new while I destroyed the Life I once was. How does it feel to be a creator?

    The new Life gazed at his surroundings. New, peaceful. It would change. It would grow. It would die. He smiled. I quite like it.
Is it began or begun?

Login or Signup to provide a comment.