THAT WHICH MAY ETERNAL LOVE

An ode to Valentine’s Day, Cosmic Horror Style. Hope you enjoy it, Action Force.

 

They sing my praises. Oh, how they sing. Their words drift from the cliffs overlooking the angry sea, swallowed up by the crashing waves, sinking to the unexplored depths, where the sleeping city waits. Where I wait, mostly forgotten, but never completely. There will always be those who remember, those I touch in their dreams, those who can hear my whispers.

They think they love me, but the truth is that they have no choice but to adore me, those that find me. It is in their nature, and while I pity them for it, I find no love in it. At the bottom of the sea, in the cold darkness, I hear their cries of worship. And I only feel more alone.

It is a terrible loneliness I carry across eternity. I cannot die, so I sleep to bear that burden. They say it is the stars that keep me below. They say it is only a matter of time before I rise again. But the truth is that I would never rise if I had a choice. It is only their voices that wake me, and only my dreaming that spurs on the voices. An inescapable cycle, which is why when the noise becomes too much to ignore, when the endless echoing clamor of their praise becomes inescapable, that I rise and kill most of them.

I don’t want to destroy them. As bothersome as they are, they keep me company. Their presence is a constant reminder of my emptiness, but I don’t know if it would be worse without them. I always leave some behind because I fear that emptiness, even knowing that these little things will mistake a psychic signal I can’t suppress for a deliberate call and wake me again.

Tonight, I hear the voices of a louder group of them. Having stumbled upon forbidden knowledge and ancient relics and possessing enough will and, in their own misbegotten way, faith, they call me irresistibly from the darkness.

I rise.

The oceans churn at my waking. Exiled lesser godlings of the seas retreat into blackened corners lest my baleful gaze fall upon them as I trod the depths, pulled onward. Above, storms rage and continents quake. And the sun itself hides from my presence. Most will tremble in fear. But some will celebrate the end of days, thinking they will somehow benefit from extinction.

I rise.

On the water’s surface, I pass a fishing boat. I bear it no malice. If it was in my way, I’d crush it without stopping. But I continue on, and the crew aboard the little ship will have a story to tell if they survive the tidal waves in my wake. Perhaps some will be driven to madness by the encounter. It is the madness of knowing the truth, something they were never meant to know.

I rise.

The shore looms into view. On the horizon, I see them shrieking and cavorting and singing with wild glee. They have awoken me, and they think this pleases me. As my shadow falls over them, as their great god of the sea from the sleeping city studies them, they cease. Their voices fall away. Their whirlwind of worship dies.

The seas quiets.

The clouds quiet.

A cold rain falls lightly on our heads, and I study these things that have managed to wake me. They look into my sunken eyes reflecting eternity. I wonder if they can see my loneliness? If they can feel it as I feel it? But their fragile motes of a sanity would disintegrate beneath that weight if they could.

The creatures shout at me, as if I could understand their words. I raise a hand to crush them, to end their calls before returning to my slumber, but I hesitate. Is it sympathy that stirs within me? Is it pity? Is it a sudden understanding that they call to me because they too feel a need to connect with something? I don’t know.

I turn away, trundling back toward the depths.

The clouds part. An awful light flares in the night sky. The meteorite burns, plummeting toward the earth. The little creatures scream for me to save them. That much at least I understand. The meteorite crushes them, unleashing untold destructive force, obliterating most of the coast, destroying cities with its aftershocks, sending plumes of debris into the atmosphere, enshrouding the world in darkness. I sense the psychic screams of millions of little things. It is all so much chatter, to be ignored.

Curiosity compels me forward. It would be appropriate if that which destroys this world was nothing more than a cosmic accident, but I sense something else at work here. This isn’t an accident, but neither is it malignant.

From the crater, something rises before me. Something ancient and powerful and eternal. It raises its head and gazes at me with its thousand eyes, and it whispers.

It whispers to me. It is a whisper of a vast, cold universe, of emptiness, of terrible loneliness. Of travels that have taken it across the cosmos, across countless worlds in search of something else. Something like itself. Something like me.

It reaches out to me, and I take its hand. And I feel something I have never felt before.

In this burning crater that is the end of this world, we sing.

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