THE ABYSS ALSO DECLARES

"Daring?"

Scorn drips from the voice of the UnderStud. "So little you know what you challenge, mortal..."

He drifts up to the Speaker's stand. As a wispy being of constantly shifting, coalescing black smoke, drifting is his only mode of locomotion. (Except on windy days, when they are more diffuse.)

"Let me tell you about daring... Izthisthingon?Icangeddon? Good."

"Listen:"

"Speak not, to me, of hope:
'Tis a sentiment I favour,
Adds to the meat such flavour,
Oh! Succulent emotion!
The mindless devotion
To the Light, of those I devour.

­A strand of guiding rope?
You use wool to guide a kitten,
In their foolishness, so smitten
Entangled, and hoping
Pretending they're coping
Not even aware that they're beaten.

You want the straight dope?
Listen. In ages before time,
Man fell to the First Crime,
Of despair enamoured
Enchanted, englamoured
By darkness - and darkness was ever mine.

I taught Man to brood, to mope:
I laughed as the armies of Light,
Sought ever to vanquish the Night,
Sanctimonious, Oblivious
Ever blind to the obvious,
I hid in the plainest of sight.

So little they understand my scope!
Defeat my shadow & claim I am overthrown,
In arrogance claim to cast down my throne,
Night may need Day,
I am older far than they.
I am Darkness. Darkness was never gone.

Light springs, joyous, like an antelope:
Assured of victory & rebirth,
I witness, and chortle with mirth -
Hope springs eternal
I drink my bloated fill
Of its sweetness, for there is no dearth.

Know despair. Struggle in vain. Scrabble. Grope."

Clouds blot out the sun. The audience cheer their new favourite:
"Who da stud?
You da stud.
UnderStud!"

Wispy arms of smoke acknowledge the applause. The apparition drifts away, leaving a sudden, expectant void.

Who knows if the Light can fill this yawning gap?

The End

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