I Can See Only Darkness

A demon monster stands over a deep glowing cavern, surrounded by other, bandaged monsters. A boy is in front of them and does not see them.

From: r/promptoftheday

Image Credit: Anton Semenov

I have traveled far. My journey has been neither relaxing nor pleasant but it has happened and that I cannot change. It has led me here, to this place, to the cavern at the end of the world, and now I must go down and meet him.

It is deep, this cavern, but it is not wide. It is dark but it is not unpleasant. It is a safe sort of darkness, the kind of darkness that curls up next to you when you bury your face in your mother’s arm and close your eyes. It is not a suffocating darkness, but a calming darkness, a filling darkness. This darkness, you can eat. Which is good. I am hungry.

I stare at the gaping hole in the earth and wonder how long I will fall.

I can feel breath on my neck. I know they are there, know they are waiting and watching but I don’t want to turn around, don’t want to see their emaciated faces, the life waning from their eyes, their desperate hunger.

I have traveled so long.

I don’t even know how long, now. It’s been ages. Eons. I stopped counting millenia ago. And for all that time my anger has sustained me. For all that time I have eaten hatred, devoured enmity, and it has kept me full and nourished. But fury does not provide much sustenance, and I have grown tired, and I have grown hungry, but now I am here.

I wonder if he thinks I have forgotten.

I wonder if he thought he could raise up an army to steal my children and eat them in front of me and behead my wife and eat her in front of me and take my throne and banish me to the outer reaches of another galaxy and that I would just forget. Perhaps he thinks I have made a new way for myself, taken up residence in some other kingdom, usurped some other’s throne.

I have not.

I have been coming.

And in however many thousands or millions of years it has been since he cast me out of my own domain, stole my family and my home, I have made more children. Oh yes. I have children again. And they have been raised from infancy on stories of The Evil, Apollyon, that he is a Liar and a Thief and must be Destroyed.

I lean over the cavern and stare into the blackness, take it deep breath, let darkness fill my lungs, that comforting dark that welcomes me back home. I wonder if he knows I am coming for him, if he knows I am coming to murder his children and eat them in front of him and murder his wives and eat them in front of them. I cannot murder him, for we are Infinite and Infinite cannot murder Infinite, but I also will not banish him. No. I will keep him. I will chain him and beat him and watch him every moment of every day for the next million million years and he will starve, just as I have, and grow gaunt, just as I have, and he will work and toil and slave, just as I have, but he will not make new children, and he will not take new wives. He will starve, and since he cannot die, will continue to starve for eternity.

I smell something.

I look up.

A human has wandered into the cave.

I lick my lips. I could use a snack.

I am so hungry.

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