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End, a short story about the end of the universe




This is something that I wrote a while back. I dug it out while reformatting my laptop. I decided to post it here, to see what you think. You can also check it out in Writer's Kingdom if you want to.




Once there was a garden, with hedges growing towards the sky, and flora abundant in a rich tapestry of life, intersecting and interacting as life must. Now, it is a desert, the only trace of its former existence being the man who walks in it.


Once, there was a maze, with multidirectional paths that led to everywhere yet nowhere, to many places, and to one place. Now, the maze has long dissolved to memory, and there is only a road, whose destination cannot be clearer.


Once, long ago, before gardens and mazes and paths, Destiny of the Endless took his book, and his wise hands brushed the cover, felt the smooth texture, feeling the pages in his fingers, running them through as time will. Destiny then opened the cover, and began to read, and walk his garden, stopping and going as the book commanded. The book was the universe, and in its pages, Destiny held your life like a character in a fiction, feeling what you felt, experiencing what you experienced. Destiny was the book’s keeper, his purpose tied only to find the end of it. There were those who already knew what the end would be, but it was not their place to tell Destiny what would happen in the book. So Destiny read, and walked, and the universe passed by with the same speed as the eye, and the same sound as peeling paper.


Now, there was only one page left. The book was nearly finished; his work almost complete. All that remained was to reach the end of the single path the book had long ago branched in to, and say his last farewells.


The temptation to turn the page backwards was crushing, even for him. But he knew it would be futile. Time lost could not be regained, merely changed. And nothing could change what was happening now.


Destiny turned the page, facing the last blocks of text, the last remnants of this universe. He could see it now, the very space that composed the vacuum collapsing into itself as its creator uncreated it. Then there was nothing, now there would be nothing. Only a few planes, like his own, would remain untouched until the end. Even his fellow Endless had faded into the nothingness, leaving him to witness the end of all things.


He could count now, the paragraphs, the words, till the end. One final page remained. Destiny turned it.


It was completely blank.


“Hey, big brother,†came the voice from the end of the path, “I was starting to think you wouldn’t make it.â€


Destiny raised his head from the book, and met the gaze of his sister, Death. She wore a smile, even if the book had told him it was a lie. She was tired, it said, so very tired. The Death of a Universe was no easy task to oversee. But she had done it quite well, Destiny admitted. There was nothing left, and the book was empty. Destiny closed it. It was finished now. Everything was finished. Death had only one task left.


“Greetings, my sister,†said Destiny quietly, “It is here, with you, that all paths must meet.†“It’s so quiet here,†lamented Death, strolling amongst the slowly dissolving weeds and shrubs, the only plants left in Destiny’s realm. “I always thought, you know, we’d all go out, in like a huge bang, kinda like the way we went in. But, there’s nothing.â€


“This is for you, my sister.†Destiny reached out his hand, and presented the book to her. The chain had vanished, for it was no longer his.


“Oh yeah, your book. Did you like it?†asked Death. “It cannot be liked, merely experienced,†explained Destiny. “Well, did you at least like the ending?â€


Destiny smiled, and turned his blind eyes toward his sister, gazing directly into her. It was the first time Destiny had ever smiled.


“It doesn’t end, sister. I see it now, it doesn’t end.â€


Death smiled in return, and gave her brother a final kiss on the cheek. “Take my hand, Destiny.â€


A flapping of wings tore the silence of the garden, and echoed throughout the oblivion.


Death wiped the tears from her eyes. “Good-Bye, brother.†She took the book from the ground, for now it was light enough to lift. She disappeared.


Death’s realm is a nice suburban home, complete with a lawn and a fish pond. Waiting for her was a strongly built man, with a green cloak and pale skin.


“Hey, it’s done,†called Death to him. He smiled softly. “The book,†he said, “give it to me.†Death handed him the book, and he quickly leafed his fingers through the pages, feeling the time slip through his grasp. He turned to the empty page.


“It isn’t done. All stories must have an ending.†“My brother would agree. You two would probably get along.†The stranger looked at her, and then gave a chuckle.


“Yes, perhaps we might,†he returned the book to her. “You must write it. Since all endings are with you, who more appropriate?â€


Death seemed reluctant. “What do I write?†she asked. “Anything,†replied the Specter. “Well, what about, ‘And they all lived happily ever after’â€


“A good ending. A fitting ending.†Death wrote it on the blank page, and returned the book. “One last thing,†she said. Death ran to her home, secured the windows, fed the fish, and turned off the lights. Then, she took the symbol around her neck, her sigil, and locked the realm of Death.


“Okay, let’s go now,†Death leaned in and kissed the Specter on the lips. “You know, this is usually the part where I tell them to take my hand.â€


“No, this time, take my hand.â€


She grasped it, and together, hand in hand, they strolled down the sidewalk, and into the blackness.



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