Beginnings And Endings
Elissa blinked a few times, uncertain if she’d heard him correctly. “Destroyed Creation?”
“Aye,” Dark answered in his dry, emotionless voice, “That’s what I said, wasn’t it?”
“But..” Elissa’s mind reeled, trying to make sense of what he was claiming. Was it a lie? A metaphor? A riddle of some sort? “I don’t understand,” she finally admitted, completely at a loss.
Dark tilted back his head and laughed wildly once again, “Kakakakakakakaka!” Once he was finally finished, he slowly began to rock back and forth in his chair, once again staring unblinkingly ahead at nothing. “Would you like to hear the truth of The Beginning, child? I suppose you’ve earned that much here, at least.”
“I… I would,” Elissa answered, not fully certain if she did.
“In the beginning, there was,” Dark started cryptically and then fell into silence.
Finally, Elissa had to ask, “There was what?”
“It simply was,” Dark finally continued. “Tales, stories, and religions tried to explain how came to be, but all had different theories. All I know is that when I was born, Creation simply was. Stars and suns. Planets and moons. Life and death. Gods and demons. They all were already in existence when I was born, much as they were already here when you opened your eyes and first saw whatever it is you saw.
“Do you know how this all came to be?” Dark asked, slowly turning his black whirlpool eyes to stare at her face.
Elissa thought for a few moments and then shook her head silently from side to side. Wizards had one theory, priests a different one. No one seemed to have indisputable proof and each major movement seemed to have their own theory.
“So, for you, what is here now simply was.” Dark nodded to himself slowly, as if content that he’d explained something good enough for his own satisfaction. “When I was born, the world was,” Dark continued on after a long moments pause. “I had a mother. A father. I grew up, much as I imagine you grew up, with very few friends or allies. I was stronger, smarter, and different from all others and as such I was isolated and grew in solitude. For years, I attended our schools and academies, seeking the power to fill the dark emptiness that was inside myself. I learned the art of magic. I studied alchemy, religion, sciences, and followed the craziest of theories.
“I came from a race similar to what is now the elves of the land, and I was quite long lived,” Dark explained, his voice fading to a rough whisper as he stared off into nothingness once more. “After countless years, and countless forbidden rituals and experiments, I had become a truly powerful and feared wizard. The gods declared me a heretic for my studies and the kingdoms raised their armies against me.
“I was considered the darkest blight of my people’s history and I was exiled, with my name stricken from their records. The whole of existence declared me its enemy, and tried to destroy me.” Slowly, Dark’s voice faded off into silence and Elissa simply sat and stared wordlessly, using the opportunity to take it all in.
“In the end,” Dark finally continued, several long minutes later, “I had grown too strong for even the gods to destroy. I tied my essence to the shadows, stealing energy from the plane of darkness. I consumed souls – even angels and demons – to heal and grow my power during our battles. As the gods fell, I consumed their power, their essence, and I made it all mine.
“It was a battle that last eons, but when it was all finished and I finally looked around, I was the last one standing.” Dark paused again for a moment and then slowly shook his head to correct himself. “I was the only one standing. The gods had fallen, but before they fell they used all their strength, their angels, and their peoples to try and destroy me. As I consumed them, the fire left the world. The waters faded. The earth disappeared. The air winked out of existence.
“However Creation had come to be, I don’t know,” Dark muttered, mournfully shaking his head from side to side, “but I know how it came to end. I destroyed it all.”
“When all was said and done,” Dark muttered, almost too low to be heard, “I’d destroyed everything. Surrounded by nothingness, only I remained.”
“That’s…” Elissa slowly shook her head from side to side, not having a clue what to say. Dark simply shrugged, as if knowing her internal conflict to find the words. “It simply was,” he finally supplied for her, sounding almost rueful.
“In time, and in arrogance, I thought I could use my power to remake that which was destroyed,” Dark finally continued, “and that is when I realized that for all I had learned, all I had known, I knew nothing. Why does mana flow like blood throughout the nothingness? Why does a dragon breath fire? Why do things fall down instead of up? Some things I had learned the answer to, but countless others I had not.
“This world is not my world,” Dark muttered, draping his head lowly. “The rules and reasons are not the same. The races are not the same, nor the gods, peoples, or histories. Though the elves are similar to what my people were, they are not my people. No matter how much I tried to guide them, shape them, mold them, they always went their own way.
For long moments, Dark sat without speaking or moving, seemingly a statue in his chair. “Or else they went the way of the mindless, soulless drones, only obeying the rules I set for them,” he finally whispered quietly. “Free will, or no will. Those are the only choices I could give them and free will meant they could never be my people, while no will simply made them puppet mockeries of my people.
“Those that I longed most to see – my father, my mother, my ancestors, and even those few whom I had grown to call my friends over my lifetime – they were gone. I could recreate them as I remembered them, but that was just a pale shadow of who they were. And, as endless time and endless attempts failed, I came to realize that even my memories of them were growing dim and fading.
“I could create this new existence, but what use was it to do so,” Dark asked, slowly lifting his head to stare at Elissa. “Several times, I erased it all to start over and try and correct where I thought I’d went wrong. Every time, it was less and less of what it used to be – or of what my unreliable memories tell me it used to be.
“I cannot replace that which is gone,” Dark muttered lowly, “and I do not enjoy the nothingness which is left when this is gone. There is no place for me here,” Dark grumbled, sounding moody for the first time. “With a thought, I can alter, change, or destroy anything around me. I stand above this creation, not a part of this creation, and I am unwanted. Unneeded.”
“I am alone,” he finally muttered, slowly lowering his head once again.
Reeling, Elissa said nothing and simply sat, trying to take it all in.