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For the first time since the planet Earth had been birthed from the womb of Creation’s chaos, since the first unicellular living thing had begun to wiggle in a tiny pool of primordial ooze, for the first time since its absolute dominion had been usurped, the Darkness knew true freedom. Its awareness spread out, becoming a part of the things that were planet Earth’s: all life, all substances, all energies. Even though the hole which had been opened was no more than a pinprick in relation to the totality of the world, still the Darkness exulted, rejoiced. It reached out, feeling hundreds, thousands of individual living souls drowning in its presence. It filled them, and they began to destroy one another, each cessation of life feeding the ecstasy of the Darkness. Like tiny sparks being snuffed out, the Darkness swallowed them, meeting no resistance. No resistance at all.

The Darkness sensed another presence, an individual will already in thrall to it. A familiar presence. The Darkness sought this consciousness out.

“Little thing.” The Darkness spoke. “You have done well. I am pleased.”

Konrad Selivanov floated in a sea of absolute nothingness, the voice all around him, washing over him like the waves of an ocean.
“Thank You, Master.” Selivanov spoke with his thoughts.

“I accept your sacrifice, little thing,” the Darkness said. “Though a greater sacrifice I still require.”

“Of course,” Selivanov answered. “This is only the first, Master. Today I can give you only a taste, but soon I will offer you a feast the likes of which you have never received! I will deliver to you the entire world!”

“I hunger, little thing. I have waited long enough for this sacrifice.”

“I’m working as fast as I can, Master!” Selivanov said. “Soon, all the Engines of Discord will be fully operational. When I activate them all together, I’ll lay this world open to you like a cracked walnut!”

“Render unto me this service, little thing,” the Darkness said. “And your reward will likewise be great.”

“Yes, Master! Thank You, Master!”

The Darkness moved on, leaving its servant. It stretched out its awareness. Beyond the window opened to it by its minion, the being Selivanov, the Darkness encountered those same opposing forces that had plagued it since the great trespass, the Creation. Forces, energies that pained it, prevented its advance. In fury, the Darkness surged against this barrier, which recoiled somewhat but held. The walls of reality buffered the assault of the Darkness, despite the one point of weakness, the one breach which allowed the Darkness to force its snaking consciousness through.

Then the Darkness sensed another presence, also familiar, though distant and indistinct. It twinkled like a microscopic star, yet even such miniscule light as it cast provoked the Darkness to boiling hatred.

The Darkness recognized its enemy.

The frail creature yet lived. Hidden from the Darkness before by other enemies, those forces which masked the being from its sight now began to dissipate. The Darkness reached out, felt the protective energies weakening. With all its amassed might, the Darkness hurled itself against those energies, the hedge surrounding its prey giving way, the spells broken, falling like a sandcastle before a tsunami. At last, the Darkness knew the pathetic creature that had been chosen as its adversary. It sensed the being’s weakness and ignorance, tasted the sweetness of its fear. The Darkness even knew the name of its enemy: Brian Alderman. Defenseless now before the Darkness. Unprotected. Helpless. Alone. And weak. Pitiful and weak. “So there you are, little thing,” it said.

In triumph, the Darkness reached out for Brian Alderman.

TheCheezman • May 26, 2020

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