First draft of my most recent project. Unfinished, and will be updated regularly. Note: I am not editing this work until it is finished, then I may rewrite or edit depending on how I feel about it.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you,”
They say love is the most powerful force in the universe, able to tear down whole nations, cause stars to explode, and shatter the very foundations of the Earth. It is not simply a human emotion, nor is it a figment of the imagination trapped in a chemical concoction created by the mind. Love is made of fearful kisses exchanged in the dark, of fingers interlocking in the cold. It is not always reciprocated, but it is almost always felt by both individuals in some form or another.
Now, in this moment, two creatures stand in a realm far removed from that which you are familiar with. An ancient tree sways and moans above them, showering them with delicate red and peach colored petals. Eyes stare into each other, an endless infinity of reflections mirroring the events which have already unfolded. The petals swirl around a woman, kissing her skin as they spiral down to the ground at her feet. They shield her from the view of the other creature, protecting her from the inevitable realization of her identity. She casts her eyes downward and feels something stir in her chest, as if a thousand tiny hatchlings are clawing their way up her throat, wings fluttering against the inside of her esophagus. She is unfamiliar with this sensation, reaching up to scratch at the divot in her neck only to find her fingers enclosing around a pendant nestled above her breasts. The woman swallows painfully, her eyes sliding shut.
The gentle rain of red and pink slows, each petal finding its place on the ground creating a carpet beneath them. She looks up at the creature once more, finding that her companion has stepped closer to her, eyes the color of the sea gazing back. Words tumble from the woman’s lips but they are lost in the roaring sound of her blood crashing in her ears. There is an ocean trapped in her mind, every thought dashed to pieces against the rocks before they can be uttered. This is what it is like to betray the one you love. The woman had filled their head with lies and falsehood, convincing them that she was something she was not.
A pain greater than any battle wound she had ever known tore her chest apart, laying bear her heart. An apology fluttered from the beating organ, drifting quietly across to the gorgeous creature before her. Each heartbeat became slower and slower, until at last, the woman held her breath, quite certain it had stopped altogether.
A murmur floated from the lips of the creature and arms embraced the woman. The woman knew little of the language of her love, but she knew that what had been said was an acceptance of their apology. She sobbed openly, face pressed against the fabric of their shirt. They smelled of sweat, filth and blood, the aftermath of the battle still fresh on their skin and clothes. Soothing sounds and words calmed the woman as the creature held her close. She pressed her ear as best she could against their chest, listening to their heart throbbing deep within their body, and their voice reverberating through them as they spoke.
She had been longing for this moment for months. Her heart swelled over with every unspoken word. The woman had been waiting far too long to speak with her love; however, now that she finally could, she found that actions screamed much louder than any spoken word ever could. It had been a long and painful journey up to now.
Love is a fragile and strange thing, shrouded in mystery and magic. It can be a kind word to a stranger, or a mother’s gaze upon her newborn child. It takes many forms and can be expressed in many ways. Love is more than just an emotion; it is a tangible force, palpable only to those with open hearts. The world our heroes come from is not built upon love. It is a barren waste land ravaged by fear and loathing. A light shines through the darkness, hope glittering somewhere on the horizon. It is punctuated by mouths meeting in a garden, lips pressed against one another, a desperate aching turning into words of love and compassion.
This is how the world ended.