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Gospel for the Fallen Ones Pt5: Swan Song


By A. Devia

Video Version:


Swan Song


"The best part of killing someone is the look on their face. It's that look. Not when they're threatened. Not when you hurt 'em. Not even when the they see the knife. It's just when they feel the knife go in."  - Face of Death by Suicide Commando

On the door was a simple metal sign that read Akashic Library and displayed a symbol that looked like a cross that was falling over.  I'd seen that symbol before, it meant truth. But what was it doing here?


Next to it was a small pink post-it note that said "Will Be Back" followed by an infinity sign. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but since the door was open and Ragar had told me to enter, I snuck quietly inside. The floor was dusty and hard, the dark grey walls flat and smooth. There seemed to be writing on the walls, but I couldn't make it out in the gloom. I walked down the hall finding door after door.  The first one I came to had a sign that said broom closet.  I don't know why, but I tried to open it. The knob just rattled in my hand, locked.  I moved on, but none of the doors, all unmarked, in the long hall would open. I neared the end of the hall and saw a light dancing on the walls.

Trying not to draw attention to myself in that unknown place, I peered around a corner and was met with a most curious sight, high above me, rather than a stone ceiling, I saw a black night sky dotted with small grey clouds and an impossible number of stars.  Yup, a sky. The fuck if I know how a sky got inside a pyramid! Looking back down, there were thin cracks in the greyish black stone floor that glowed a pinkish red color. My eyes followed the cracks a distance away, and discovered an undulating plume of fuchsia that looked oddly like spewing lava. Circling the plume and getting denser beyond it, something grew up out of the ground, but they didn't look like any trees I'd ever seen. They were very tall and a variety of shapes and colors. I approached one that had a tall white stalk and was topped by a rusty red disk. I stopped and stared for a moment thinking the shape was oddly familiar. Then I realized I was looking at a gigantic red cap mushroom. Turning, I looked some more and realized that all the things rising from the ground were every imaginable type of fungi. Just beyond the red cap, draped in blue twinkle lights was another strange looking mushroom.  As I walked by, it exuded a smoky vapor that smelled of citrus fruit and buttered popcorn. I was a tiny speck in a fungi forest.

My surroundings suddenly fell silent. It was only the lack of sound that made realize that the fungi forest had been live with the small sounds of insects and frogs and such. What I heard next, gave me the chills.

"It gives me the chills too!" squeaked Ophelia from her perch on my shoulder, hiding her head under the hood on my hoodie.

"How do you know? You weren't even there?"

She peaked out her head and said, "I…I just know…it's Damial isn't it? Don't tell it."

"I have to Ophelia. I have to tell it all," I responded. Ophelia threw her hands over her eyes.

Skilled Killer


A crack of thunder rent the air and in the distance I could hear rain and the sounds of a much larger much scarier animal than a frog. It wasn't raining where I stood, but I could hear the storm and on the air, deep rumbling, disembodied voices chanted:

They call me when
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Hourglass crack
Drowning in sands of infinity
Staring down time
Hogtied and beaten, sanguinity
Smile and lie
My masochistic divinity
There is no peace
Blinded by envy, greed, Trinity

They call me when
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Track your movements
Calm, patient, infinite I will wait
Blindly you trust
Intelligent deception my bait
Still and silent
I hunger for pain, my thirst you sate
Stalking lion
So close I can taste your blood, your fate

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Cries for mercy
From a mortal, a babe, sent reeling
Bargain and plead
Your soft spot, your weakness, revealing
You are an ant
The behemoth of time is kneeling
Nonexistent
Can't hear you, can't see you, Unfeeling

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Outside the in
Darkness my friend, In chaos I dwell
Forged in fire
Raging inferno hardened my shell
You are nothing
Eternal longing, my pain, my hell
Bleeding you plead
Conquered your life, your family fell

They call me when
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Standing alone
Trembling pillar amid the gore
Your fight or flight
Choose fast, in the ruins, where's the door
Hiding, don't bother,
Shadows are mine, I'll settle this score
You smell like shit
Reek of foul deeds and things I abhor

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Flesh is softer
Than sharpened steal, the silent crier
Your time is up
Blood running down, the blade, the wire
Desire, loss
The look in your eyes, divine scrier
I can see all
Your future, my fate, then soot and fire

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Despite the creepy chanting, I crept forward, toward the fuchsia lava eruption. I found a very large man sitting with his legs crossed. He seemed to be meditating. His lips were moving slightly as if he were chanting.  My best guess was that, should he stand up, he'd easily reach a height of 15 feet tall.  He wore the grey shadow clothing that was popular among dark elves, but most certainly was not an elf! Pushed back from his shoulders was what appeared to be a heavy, black traveling cloak.  Marked here and there with symbols that I could not decipher, his skin was tan and tough. His long, black hair was secured away from his face as was common among warriors.  His eyes caught the light, glowing an eerie yellowish color.  Three vertical scars crossed his left eye socket, and a diagonal one cut from his temple toward his nose, just under his eye. On the ground next to him appeared to rest not just one but two large swords. I wondered if there were other weapons hidden on him? Knowing what I know now, probably. 

Squinting, I tried to understand what I saw behind him under the canopy of mushrooms. It seemed, that running along the ground, between the stalks were row upon row of shelving overflowing with books. People, many wearing hats, moved here and there among the rows, or at least I think they were people, in the dim light they were nothing more than shadows to me.

One of the Shadows approached the man. Even within the ring of light from the fire, it remained nothing more substantial than a Shadow Person.  The chanting faded to a faint background hum as I stopped just outside the clearing, not sure what I was supposed to do next. The giant opened his eyes, he left one leg folded on the ground in front of him, and raised the other, bent at the knee, to support his upper body.  He moved with a smooth fluidity that reminded me of masters of martial arts, deliberate, calculated. I don't know how to explain this in any way that would make sense, but it seemed that the shadows around him moved with him, like a smoky liquid. He turned toward the Shadow Person who seemed to be eye level with him as he sat. It said to him, "Sir, if you're not busy, we could use some assistance in the deep sea section."

"I'm dealing with an impeding shit storm. I'll let you know how it turns out when it's over." With arms resting on his knee, he turned toward me, seemingly dismissing the Shadow Person, and said in a louder voice, "Come Devia, there is much to discuss."

Why did everyone keep calling me Devia? I couldn't seem to remember what my name should be, but I was pretty sure it wasn't Devia. I approached the fire and sat quietly, cautiously until he spoke again. I recognized this man, and felt fear.

I heard his voice, clearly but his lips did not move. With an eerie calmness, even kindness, his disembodied voice said, "Be not afraid, wanderer. I summoned you here."

Despite his re-assurance, I trembled. "Y..You…You're," I stammered, "You're Damial, the God of the Apocalypse, the End of Everything, some even say you're evil."

"Yes, I've been called all of that and more." He sounded irritated. His eerie disembodied voice continued in a low chant that seemed to echo and move about the Pyramid. I could still hear the rumble of thunder and other sounds in the distance, but it sounded like they were a little closer than before.

"Pear?" Damial asked, lips moving, as if the creepy chanting wasn't continuing to echo, ever more quietly, around us.

My confusion must have shown on my face; he held up a fist sized fruit and tossed it over the fire.  Catching the succulent fruit, I just stared at it. I cocked my head and said, "Are you going to kill me?"

Damial laughed a hearty laugh. "You passed through the dead lands to get here. What would killing you accomplish?"

I shivered when he said the word kill. Was there a gleam in his eye, or was I just being paranoid. I pulled myself together and challenged him, perhaps with a bit of attitude and bravado that was faked, "Where exactly are we?"

"Eat up, I find fruit to be a path to enlightenment, and an excellent breakfast upon waking," Damial said cheerfully, taking a bite out of his own pear. "We are in the Akashic Library."

"And where is that?"

"In the darkest shadows, loftiest heights, secret places, windblown plateaus and perhaps most importantly, the hearts, minds and souls of all."

"Ah…right. Ok," I replied, resigning myself to more vagary. Maybe it's just the way with divine beings.

"Not happy with that answer huh? How about my prison? You like that one?" He responded, barely trying to disguise his bitterness.

"Then why am I here?"

"You know, everyone assumes Lilatheen is a sweet, silly little girl and assume I am all doom and gloom, anger and rage. Sure, I have my moments, but who doesn't? I prefer to be happy and enjoy the pleasures in life. Would you like to meet my Rage? I keep it here," he said with a cheerful madness as he looked down and pointed at a puzzle box that suddenly appeared next him. "One of the most destructive forces in the universe is rage, it is wanton and reckless. It cares not for the safety of others or itself." He stared directly at me then. I wish he hadn't. Inside his irises, violet energy tinged with red flared and in that moment I experienced true fear, pure unrestrained terror coursed through my entire being. He blinked and his eyes returned to their foreign, but comparatively reassuring yellow state.  Those blazing eyes only held mine for a micro second, but it lasted for an eternity.  Every particle in my being was shivering.

With a shudder, I asked, "Is rage really a thing that can be contained?"

The box flashed and a long spindly arm sprang forth.

"Let's find out."

The hand slammed down on the ground and all around where it touched burst into flame. Another arm sprang forth and braced as the creature pulled itself out. Long, spindly, gaunt, and angry, it eyed me with a ferocity that I could sense was a desire to destroy me.  It took a single step in my direction. I took a single step back. It took every fiber in my being to hold my ground rather than turn and run screaming. Sometimes I think I should have run, looking back, there is more than once I wish I would have run, but in the moment, something inside me stirred. An overwhelming desire to live bloomed in the core of my being, the likes of which I had never experienced before. I had to stay. I had to see this through. I had to know more, and I just knew, if didn't prove my bravery to Damial, all the other trials I'd been through would have been for nothing. The rage beast seemed to hit a barrier emanating from the box.  I hoped it would hold.

"This is the thing that almost destroyed my current incarnation," he said.

"Your incarnation?"

"Yes, there is a piece of me out there that is mortal. Most divine beings will appear to mortals from time to time, even disguise themselves as mortals. Sometimes, they will be born into a mortal body and live an entire life."

I eyed the rage creature as it fought against its invisible barrier. A shiver racked my whole body. Steeling myself to keep from running, I willfully turned my eyes from the terrifying creatures and said,  "So you have a mortal body, somewhere out there in the human world? A god incarnate?"

"Ah, Yaidalize, but yes."

"You're Yaidalize too?" Damial's cape shuddered and moved. Then, I realized, it wasn't a cape at all, but huge dragon-like webbed grey wings.

"I am the first Yaidalize," he said. Like an after-thought, he included sadly, "and I'll be the last."

"So you really do live in the mortal world, like me? I could just meet a god or a yaidalize on the street?" I asked wondering if I might be able to find these incarnations and meet them.

"Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't," he said vaguely.

"But I thought you said this was your prison."

"One of them." Damial put his hand on top of the head of the rage demon and pushed it back into the box.  The box then disappeared.

I stood there in terrified silence absent mindedly eating my pear, trying to pull my thoughts together.

"Why don't you sit. And finish eating that whole pear, it's important," continued Damial as if he hadn't done anything strange or frightening. I sat slowly, not taking my eye off him or the spot where the rage demon box had been. "Oh, it would probably be wise to eat an apple too," he said and suddenly an apple fell into my lap from a tree branch hidden somewhere high above me. I must have jumped a mile.

"Oh, stop looking so terrified; I already told you it would be pointless to kill you. Besides, killing you wouldn't do me any good. I'm not all bad you know. I am the eventual end of all things, true, yet I am also a beginning. Most don't see me as a beginning, just an end, and sometimes they think the end doesn't justify the means. I am a cruel reminder of the truth. Destruction and death are parts of the cycle of things, but a part, generally, no one enjoys, not even I." He hung his head. I could tell these thoughts pained him.

"You don't enjoy the destruction?" I asked tentatively.  I didn't wish to offend him or cause my own death, but I needed to understand.

"I thought you were already dead," interrupted Ophelia.

"Shhh…I'm busy here. No, I wasn't dead, yet."

"But, you were in the deadlands weren't you?" whispered Ophelia, "The living can't go there."

"Shhh…."

Worms

"Gabriel stands and confirms, I've created my own prison" -My Own Prison, Creed

"You don't enjoy the destruction?" I asked tentatively.  I didn't wish to offend him or cause my own death, but I needed to understand.

"I have explored the deepest darkest places of existence and the deepest darkest places within myself. Those aren't places most living things enjoy," he said enigmatically.

"Do you enjoy those places?"

"Would you think less of me if I did? Would you think less of me if you truly understood how dark and depraved those places are?"

"I have bipolar. I've been to dark places that I don't like to admit exist, let alone admit that they exist inside me. And I understand the strange magnetic attraction that can draw us toward our own destruction. I've heard the demon inside my head that tells me I'm not worth anything and I've watched myself agree and pick up the shovel to dig the hole deeper, as if I were watching a movie with a tub of popcorn." I said.

Worms

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

First get a shovel
Second dig a deep hole
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

Sleeping like a log
In a hole, in a bog
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

Never will I wake
My vile soul, Gods will take
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

Worms, worms, worms, worms
Worms, worms, worms, worms

"Do you think less of me?" I asked.

"Never."

"Then I won't think less of you either," I said. Then, on a whim, with a spark of sympathy for the creature in front of me who suddenly seemed more sad than frightening, "Walk with me in the dark and I'll walk with you."


He smirked. "I expected you to run. I expected you to scream. The rare creature that stumbles in here always does. Most Gods and Goddesses, Yaidalize are helpful and valued in the eyes of most beings, while I am like the bastardized patron saint of sadists and madmen. Everyone calls on me when they want to destroy something, but somehow, it seems, I'm never good enough for anything more, not smart enough, strong enough, I don't know, just never enough. I like love; I detest being alone.  Thank you wanderer. Maybe there is something more to you."

"There isn't anyone for you, you never had anyone?" I asked.  There was more to him than I had ever thought and maybe that was the problem with us all; we only saw what we wanted to see and never really bothered to look deeper.

He sighed, "Devia, there was or perhaps still is but she's well, let's just say, out of my reach right now."



"Is that my name? How could I forget?" I asked.

"Hmm…you humans digest so slowly. Ok, we'll do this the long way," Damial sighed. "You are the descendant of wisest sage to ever walk the realms, a demi-god of sorts. He traveled all the worlds settling disputes and giving out wisdom to commoners, dwarves, fae, Gods, Yaidalize, anyone.  You carry his blood. He was known by many names, in the many lands he traveled, and he lived a very, very long time. For simplicity, we will call him Kvasir. Here, we are outside time, but to serve us, as your ancestor served us, in your time, you need to undergo a transmutation," Damial explained.

"As in alchemy? You're going to turn me into gold?" I interrupted aghast at the idea of becoming a statue.

"Alchemy deals with the transmutation of the physical only. You are being reborn, mind, body and soul."

I jumped up and began pacing back and forth in front of Damial and the fire. "Oh my God! Oh my God! I'm dead? I'm in the deadlands. Of course I'm dead. Why am I dead!?!" I cried out, waving my arms.

"Devia, you're not quite dead," he said patiently, if with a tinge of suppressed humor.

"Mostly dead, not quite dead, either one is dead or not, there is no in between!" I exclaimed, simply beside myself, pacing and flapping my arms some more. I was not ready to die, let alone be born again, as if such a thing were even possible! Everyone knew that wasn't possible. Well, except maybe those crazy Vedics, but who listens to them anyway?  That's it. I'm in hell. Hell is real and this is my own personal one!  Defeated, I suddenly slumped back to the ground, head hanging in shame.

He chuckled, then said in a tone that brooked no argument, "Pull yourself together man! Dead is the new Alive and you have a job to do! Eat your apple."

I took a deep breath and looked up at him. "A job? You mean this isn't Hell?"

He laughed at me again. Not in a mean way, but in the way that someone laughs at someone else who is being dumb and blind to something that is obvious to the other person. "It might be my hell, but, no this isn't your Hell. You have been brought through the 231 gates, from all that is familiar into the unknown, including Tavshae the in-between, the no name woods to remove your old identity, Gar's gates between the living realms and the dead realms because to cross through those gates with Ragar while technically alive will leave a mark on your soul granting you further access without him, across the dead desert to gain the serenity of one beyond the fear of death, and finally through Truth to the Akashic Library." He concluded with a sweep of his hand. "Though, I'm not sure the serenity of one beyond death has sunk in yet, maybe it will come later."

"And the job?" I asked, still confused.

"If you survive, you will be the new keeper of the whisper of wisdom." Damial suddenly looked up at the sky where the ceiling should have been and said, "The time for the three has finally come. The truth will come out. You have to go; you must leave, right now. Time is nothing and even the Nowhere isn't safe anymore. You must write in the book."

Damial leapt to his feet. Jumping to mine as well, startled, I yelled, "What do you mean?"

"You have to go, it's not safe."  His magnificent, huge wings unfolded and he started to rise into the air. "You have to go," he said again, his voice harsh and pleading at the same time.  "Read it, Write it, Cite it, Seidr. The book. The whisper. The wisdom. The Kalakon," he called down to me as he disappeared above the fungi forest. "And one more thing," I heard his creepy disembodied voice once more, "release me from my prison."

Suddenly alone and frighten, I saw shadows fliting here and there among the rows of books. Then nothing.  What could disturb him so?  A scream rent the air as if something came up from the center of the planet with a mouth full of magma.  Looking up, I saw roiling black clouds and crimson lighting. Then everything went dark and I was alone.




"We will never know world peace until three people can simultaneously look each other straight in the eye." - Simultaneous by Puscifer

From the Darkness Comes the Light

"I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed. I'm your hell, I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between." - Bitch by Meredith Brooks

I found myself seated at the tea table with Lilatheen, a half-eaten cookie on the plate in front of me and the Kalakon next to the plate. "Do what the moment tells you too. And when the next thing calls to you, do that," she continued, as if we'd been having a nice friendly chat for the last 10 minutes. "A path is not made all at once.  It is made one step at a time until you can look back and see the whole.  Devia?"

I must have been staring at her with a strange look on my face. I know that's how I felt.  What just happened? Was I dreaming? Am I still dreaming? Am I dead? I'm going mad. "You. You killed me," I whispered.

"Devia?" said Lilatheen again, ignoring my comment, "You don't look well. I need to meet Ragar and a few other friends, let's continue this another time."

"God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening and there was morning - the first day. -Genesis 1:5, The Bible

"And second breakfast!" exclaimed Ophelia.

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