Atop the highest hilltop of scorched plains of Hell, where the sky is shrouded by roiling flame and the dirt is dyed with the blood of sinners, stands a single man. He carries with him a shattered blade and a cloak to hide his bare frame. His eyes are gaunt, staring ahead with a ragged resolution towards the twisted gates, beyond which lies the privilege of life.
From below the cosmos, heaven, and hell, the Devil observes, reclining back into his throne of skulls. Tar-black souls ooze from the infernal jail he presides under and pour into the eye sockets of his seat. He dispassionately watches the man swaying on the hill with a coldness that is known only to the most superlative of evils. Here is a man who has lost everything, who has sustained enough destitution to pique the interest of even the Devil. And he has nothing to show for it; indeed, he has lost everything. Love, he has not -- goodness, gone. His heart was stripped away thread by thread, and he is left with only the remains: fear, and dull despair, and the survival imperative. For five millenium seconds, from upon his chair, the Devil roves his lightless eyes over and into his cloaked figure. He lifts an iron finger. Then his attention rolls back to the blue-and-green world of the living.
And upon that careless command, the whole of Hell shifts. There is a monstrous rumbling and the knocking of bones and the stench of flesh, stretched and torn. Hell has risen, the unwilling dead are willed to animation, all for the purpose of bringing down the only man standing in the entirety of the underworld. Feeling through his boots the rousing of the damned, he begins his ultimate charge.
It is a strange thing, the human will to live. Even when all that awaits him is loneliness, and even if life becomes only the momentary dearth of death, a man will battle the armies of Satan to be once more alive. Between the bliss of the void and the torment of consciousness, he would settle with the latter in the hopes that one day his eyes might open to a blue sky. And so it is that he finds himself hurtling down the ashen hills, towards a horde that fills even the horizon.
For an eternity, there is nothing but the roaring of the clouds, the cracking sky, the lake of fire above and the lake of fire below; the gnashing of teeth, and the stench of corruption, oppressive and dark, the hands of the animus and re-animated dragging down with the force to rip the wings from an angel, the mighty whisper of the demon, black wind whirling with grime-coated musk, the hot air so thick that one waded rather than walked through it; the very world shuddering and trembling and rocking and shaking, and the fire behind their tide pool eyes, eyes that could no longer see and could only devour.
The keening fills his body and suffuses his air, each step one slash and two punches and three drops of blood, the opening of the gates of Hell looming far, always far, never closer.
For what do we fight? Between the rising and the falling, what do we take? What do we give? Looking up to the starsplashed sky, would we notice were we to fall? Looking, always thinking, never feeling, never paying recompense, never to flip the mirror. Tucked into ourselves, peeking out from within our fourfolded heart, gently breathing, we watch the world, and why? Feet sunken into the sand, air aggressively arid, clouds sailing silk and stately, and underneath, the dunes, rolling like a desiccated ocean. Every breath is that of death. The Earth threatens to envelop us, to cleave wide its maw, chasm yawning and foreboding, black from horizon to horizon. We plummet to the heart of hearts, the center of the concentric world, where the stars revolve in droves to the tune of the magma smoke. In the heart beyond the fourfolded heart, in the ultimate globe of the universe, it is there we find the abyss. Oh, to look; to search for the end of the endless! To stare up into it, in that bloody cave of caustic magma and fragmented time and the nebulae whirling in murmuration, and to quiver from head to toe, eyeball to soul -- Oh! Was there anything more beautiful, more visceral?
And suddenly, the oasis. The supple trunk, bowing ever so slightly into the sky. The brushstroke leaves. And the water, bursting fully from the sand dune waves, crashing from horizon to horizon like freshly squeezed sapphire, the seagulls a miniscule "V" in the heavenly dome.
He feels roaring within him the will to live, a violent impetus -- the only impetus -- by which to move his limbs. The desire to survive is a perpetual conflagration. But now there is a new flame, burning fiercely and vividly. Tears that seem to him hotter than hell burn angrily down his face. More than to survive, he wants to live. Suddenly, his blood quickens and he faces the immutable legion, staring past the sea of the dead and out of the Gates of Hell and towards the grass, innumerable and emerald; the phantasmagoria ocean, shifting and infinite; the pluming trees. And the clouds, silk and stately, sailing diaphanously atop the celestial sea, even as Satan's sons bear down upon him.
< Message edited by LordDarkex -- 8/16/2014 6:12:37 >