Eons before mankind hung men who claimed to be gods on trees. Millennia before gods made games of men, stealing their land and women, birthing beasts and demi gods. Ages before gods stood amongst men and raised cities in their image. There was an era rumoured to have existed and formed the foundations for man’s persistent belief in aeons.
Written only on parchments of dried animal skin and epochs later, inscribed on the ruins of once great temples; this was a tale that ears prickled when they heard. During this period, with longer nights than days, a certain race of people with skin obsidian and of tall sinewy builds begun to worship the night; like humanity would eventually begin to worship the sun. Night was heralded as the creator of beauty, the harbinger of growth. Nothing grew that night did not permit and so all reverence was due to this beautiful blackness, now misunderstood.
With this idolization of the night rose the birth of a mysterious aeon said to be lord of the night. A force for both the bizarre and the most beneficent of actions, keeper of the balance; he was lord of all that existed, for he was that which existed first. Oceans have since begun to cover the lands, lands have drifted apart, people have been scattered like chaff in the wind, their memories eroded by the grand wave of time. Now, no one remembers. Men have worshipped faeries, idolized deities even given their souls to men who claim to be spiritual beings and dazzle with tricks, and forgotten. They have forgotten that before their idols and false gods, before graven images and false prophets; there was… Anshar.
Change is, ironically, the only constant thing.
No matter how many times I see the sun rise from beneath the horizon, I never grow tired of it. The effortlessness of its presence. It does not, when it is rising steadily above the clouds, seem encumbered about ridiculous things like gravity. I can see now why people have endeared themselves to the sun, to the brightness it lights the earth with. How it chases the people’s fear and makes them feel, for lack of a better word, alive. They even have a day named after it; Sunday. They have holidays to worship the Pagan god of the sun and make grand festivities out of it even though I fear that these people have become too material and lost sight of a beautiful end. The sun was not always the centre of attention. Change.
Memories last only as long as the people who own them.
Once, I was the centre of attention. I was what was, what was proclaimed to always be. I have long since been cast aside to the great desert that is time. What is will not always be. My people have all been laid waste by the one that comes for us all; death. Immortality is a gift; people believe is granted to the gods. It is a curse and, in it, most likely the greatest hoodwink of the world. People believe because they are searching for something. For some, it is the wisdom that a long seemingly endless life offers. For others, it is the knowledge of nature, its limits and the miracles performed. The beauty of life is in its limits, which we are not afforded. To know that you have a short time to enjoy the air you breathe, the person you love makes the experience, each second of it, tremendously worthwhile. Forever is a really long time. So once death came for them, perhaps he took me as well.
Footprints made on the sands of time are still just footprints made on sand.
Temples have risen. Temples will fall. There is no other way. I have watched great edifices to legends levelled to make spaces for small cottages, institutions called schools, banks. Peradventure, this is also my curse. I have watched those who swore to keep watch, grow weary and let the memories of great men turn to but whispers in large noisy Coliseums. Perchance, there is no other way. For how do you remain, even after you are gone? I am not gone but already, I am gone; from their hearts, their minds.
Curses. They will forget me not.
The sun has vacated the sky. I halt my movement. My time has come. I may not be what I once was but I still am the night. I call to the darkness and watch it heed my call, albeit slower than when I had worshippers who fed my flame. It wraps itself around my obsidian skin, engulfing me up to my long black locks of hair. Movement is easier now. I follow the current of the night, never forcing my will but cajoling it gently so that it does not usurp me. For indeed, the night itself is a greater force than myself.
I can see the fires burning brightly a distance ahead of me. The wind brings me their laughter, their music and the smell of their meals. With these, I can tell their history as they dance and celebrate the union of their friends. They are on a retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I follow the night where it leads me, feeling a tinge of sadness for what it is to come. I do not however feel remorse. I will not be forgotten. In the passing of time since I was abandoned, one thing is certain. There is only thing that will engrave me in the hearts of all who come, in the hearts of those yet born. Fear.
I send the night ahead of me and watch it snuff their fires. I can taste the fear that emanates from the collective group. I can feel their confusion and strangely, it excites me. I am not the monster I am about to become but this is necessary. I fear I may not have enough time left. They gather together in a huddle towards the long since extinguished fire and wait. There is a strange smell in the air now; it reminds of urine. I do not believe that they can perceive the new smell. A lady’s voice rises in the cold of the night as she begins to chant a prayer to a young female acknowledged to have birthed a god. This angers me. I was once the one they called to for help. I could not turn back now.
I locate her voice with the darkness and send it to her moving lips. I can see her lift her hands to her neck in an attempt to relieve the pressure. She has no chance. You cannot fight what you do not see or understand. I leave her to her fate while I attend to the man beside her. He hears her attempt to take in air and moves away from her. Forging a blade of the purest night, I slit his throat from ear to ear. I watched as the red substance of life pours from his open neck and falls to the ground. I am staring at his empty eyes while hearing the young lady still fighting with herself. The others are now trying to run away but alas, it is all in vain. The night has them where I need them to be.
I send the night again, this time stained with the blood of the young man, to the other two members of the group. The night slithers like the snake from the fabled fallacy of creation and begin to enter all their orifices. I am still draining the man of his life before me so I let the night continuously build within the other two. When I am done, I whisper softly to the night and watch as it does my bidding. The two beings are torn open from the inside. Blood begins to rain down over the land which they gathered for the night. I watched as their blood stains all that is in that space. The lady, still alive, feels the blood raining on her and I can feel her feeble attempt to scream. I do not afford her that luxury.
I move towards the young lady and crouch in my ephemeral form besides her writhing body. I see the tears flowing freely from her eyes. I am not moved. I run my hands gently across her face and through her long braids, watching her try to jerk away from my cold touch. It is time to end this. I plunge my fingers into her mouth and relieve her of her tongue. Only then do I disperse the darkness that laid claim to her. I can feel her sobbing and what remains of her sounds. Driving my fingers through her eyes and into her brain, I end her life. It is over.
I rise slowly from my crouch and exhale. With a whisper, I command a thin film of darkness to preserve this site. The rains shall not wash away the stains of my sadness. The creatures of rot shall feast on the bodies that I have laid waste. This place shall remain inviolate. It shall remain even when the last of humanity is gone and only gods remain waiting to join the nothingness that exists for those created from nothing but worship.
They will still forget.
As I feel my consciousness begin to fade, my memories begin to swiftly dissipate from my being, the nagging thought itches my soul. How can they forget? What then must be done? To leave a lasting mark on a people bound by their nature to forget. If good deeds cannot and evil will not, then just what will? The nothingness is before me. I should not be forgotten.