Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
There will be a day, I promise you, when fantasy will become reality. When great creatures, with thousands of towering legs, graze gracefully on the tops of the tallest trees. When the oceans of the Earth are teeming with translucent, tentacled beasts, so tangled and entwined with one another that they live as one being. The blackest depths of the deepest cave will writhe, as gargantuan plants send their roots to explore, delving into the underbelly of the crust. All of this, and so, so much more will come to pass. And it will pass without humanity.
It is true, mankind will never cease to exist. Unlike most species, humanity possesses a will to live so strong, that it surpasses consciousness, choice, and fate itself. Humanity is doomed to last forever. But, at some point, among the millennia, and the strife, and the peace, it will all come down to one. One being, one man, who doesn’t have a choice whether or not he wants to exist, because he is the last. The very last human being, alone in his world, far, far from Earth, and any other tie to sanity as you and I know it.
He will inhabit this world for as long as he has to. Most likely, he is already there. Every time he awakens, he stares into a dark sky, where no sun will ever rise. He leaves a small hole in the roof of his hut, just in case, but… The sun will never come. He opens the small, wooden door, and ventures once again into the black world that is his hell. He walks, walks, and walks, eyes half lidded, uninterested. Seeing, cautious, but uncaring. Souless. Hopeless. He dodges through trees, over hills, across rivers, all shrouded in an inky darkness. Finally, he comes to a body, lying face down in the mud. Arrows protrude gruesomely, stuck into its back, legs, neck. But it had not died right away. The being had crawled desperately for a long while, before bleeding out, and coming to a final halt. The man surveys the scene, the look of sadness on his face so profound that the trees around him seem to bow in sympathy.
He rolls the poor wretch over, and examines its final, pained expression. He knows the thoughts that led to this ghastly semblance. He knows the pain, the agony that was felt before a fading blackness. He knows that face. It is his own. For this is his curse. Immortality. He can die. Oh, how he can die, and how he has. But he will always awake again, in his bed, in his hut, in this accursed black world.
The body had already begun to shrivel, and as he watches, its decomposition quickens, until nothing is left of the body but the clothes it had been wearing and the pack on it’s back. The clothes were now worthless, bloodied and torn, so he only takes the pack. As he stands, the forest suddenly abandons its mourning silence, now filling the air with the terrible sound of bone on bone, and the growling moan of the devourers. He draws a crude sword from the pack, but only as a precaution. He turns, and begins the swift trek back to the hut. For this is another curse, bestowed upon the unfortunate being. He is not alone.
Things stalk in the dark around him, creeping, skittering, lumbering. They are monsters, for lack of a better word, monsters of the night. They are savage, hungry killers, punishing any mistake on his part with often painful death. But, he holds no ill will towards them. He treats them as respected enemies, knowing that they follow only their own nature, in a search for food and survival, just the same as himself. He has been with them for so long, and killed so many that they have become brothers. Brothers of the night.
But the others. They are the ones that make this a true hell. They aren’t simply creatures, controlled by instinct. They manipulate, lie, and punish, all vying against one another for control over him. They call themselves gods.
Their whispers and screams torment his every moment, their demands nonsensical and often fatal, driving him off the brink of sanity over and over again. Even as he lies in his bed, staring up at his shoddy ceiling, he hears them.
Prove yourself to me. They whisper. Sacrifice to me! Each one with a different ritual to perform, a different foe to kill, a different altar to deface. His walls, covered in etchings and scratchings, mirroring the torment from within.
The horror, as I realize that they won’t ever go away. Ever.
Hope taunts me in many forms.
The moon calls them. It will never end.
Surrounded, desensitized by death.
THEY MADE ME WHAT I AM!
i give up
He lost hope, centuries ago, but that doesn’t matter. For one hundred years, he lay, uneating, drinking, moving. He died countless times, simply laying on his old body until it shriveled away. Finally, he realized that it was no good. He would have to push on. But… towards what? All that exists here is survival. What was his goal? How could he end this eternity? So, he gave himself into the gods, wholeheartedly striving for them, killing, dying, and building in their name. He treks through his endless world, eyes half open, searching for what he knows not. So it is, and so it will be, until he realizes his true goal.
So what, you ask, is his goal? How can there be any hope for humanity, if there is only one?
The world he is abandoned on is ancient, ancient beyond belief. Even the tiniest remnants of dust, the smallest microbes of life that have ever existed on that world are powerful, powerful enough to call themselves gods. And they do. But they are nothing, nothing compared to the beings that lived on this world originally. The masters of the universe, they created and destroyed, and flourished on such a level that the stars themselves couldn’t comprehend its magnitude. They were the Creators. They held every piece of knowledge available, from every time and space imaginable. And then they slept. And still they sleep, on this world, where a single sentient body roams, trying to find the Creators, even though he doesn’t know it. He will end their slumber, and in a vast awakening that can only be described as an explosion of transcosmic size, they will recognize him, and all that he has done. They will recognize his body from an archaic design, one that came from a time even before themselves. And they will give him a blueprint, and tell him that he has one more trial, before he can truly die. He must continue the legacy, create the next humans. He must make it so that he is not the last. And he will. He will make them, name them, and then, finally, with the beginnings of a smile on his face, he will die.
So, when they awake, and awake they shall, I promise you, humanity will continue. They will proceed, as they always do, to master their world, and then the next, and the next. But, until then, it will come to pass as I said. Great winged things with no eyes will hunt other winged things, spiralling through gaseous worlds in dances of hunger. Diamond planets will converse with one another through pings and gongs of their magnetic cores. Gigantic space faring organisms will open their cavernous maws, sending their roars across galaxies to greet their brethren. All of this will come to pass. Meanwhile, a single man will be struggling on a single world, dying again and again until his species is returned to the universe once more.
Credit To – TheFifthClockWacther