The corrupt whale song echoes above the ground. He sits in the dim light thrown off by a single candle, scrawling on the very last notebook he has. For all he knows, it could be the very last notebook in the world.
…It calls to me. It sings Its terrible repertoire of whale songs from dusk until dawn while it tramples the earth above, never leaving me; knowing I am here. I hear it by day and by night…Although I doubt I could tell the two apart anymore. I know I will never again feel the rays of the warming sun against my skin. All that I know now is the darkness. This knowledge is horrifying, but…I am aware of something far worse. I have become a rat, trapped in its den with all exits sealed; no hope of escape – a creature of the darkness. I am lower than vermin now. I know this to be true because vermin will survive – go on – and may someday once again flourish as they have for eons. The only solace my fragile human constitution can find now is writing in these pages, as I have for weeks…It calls to me. I dreamt again last night, an indescribable world filled my vision as soon as the blackness took me. I opened my eyes to a world, the likes of which no man ever before has seen! Spires-
His head snaps up, cocking to the left. There is a vacant expression on his face as he listens to the call of the behemoth. If someone else saw the look, they would say it was the face of a man who has entered a day dream from which he may never return. His eyes focus on nothing, for the moment, only emptiness resides there.
Another note in the behemoth’s song bellows across the unseen landscape forty feet above him, calling to every living thing. The song is indifferent. It will ensnare all beings in its path eventually (a fact he would appreciate). He finally comes to what little senses he has left. He turns to the black wall he is sitting against. He places his left hand on the metallic barrier, sliding it back and forth. Feeling the near frictionless surface and the cold which inhabits it, he thinks to himself it is the last manmade thing he will ever see or feel in his life, and in a peculiar twist, this thought conjures no emotion. He picks up his pencil and continues his futile scribbling in the last notebook.
-Where was I? Ah, yes. The spires!! Stalagmites, which jutted out of the ground. They crept toward the sky, reaching for it, squid-like tendrils trying to choke the clouds above. These rock formations would have been unthinkable on earth, twisting and turning at impossible angles, defying gravity, a feat of magnificent physics – or engineering – beyond that of human comprehension could accomplish. The clouds which the spires fought in their endless eternity assumed a pattern which is unseen on our planet…yes. This was no longer a dream. It was reality. The quality of the place moved from distant and ethereal to close and corporeal…The song which this godlike being emits does something to those who hear it, or maybe it is being in close proximity to the entity? I do not have the answer. I firmly believe that if humanity had the rest of infinity to try and decipher the puzzle of what is happening to me – to the world – it would never scratch the surface-
He sits up from writing, keenly aware of the fatigue which is beginning to permeate his body. The walls around him, and the candle light in front of him, begin to swim. He shakes his head forcefully to try and prevent his eyes from closing, to push away the drowsiness. Terror wells up within him; forces which threaten to go to war and sack his mind, stealing his sanity. He places his pencil back to the last notebook, the only action which keeps him grounded in his physical reality.
-To the future beneficiaries of this sad world, heed this argument well. I believe fear is the most primordial and deepest emotion that we, as human beings, possess…in total honesty, I would say this “emotion” is beyond the title. How can fear be lumped in with happiness, jealousy, sadness, disappointment, or even anxiety? I have felt all-encompassing bliss, and complete and chronic anxiety throughout my insignificant life. These pale in comparison to living in a perpetual state of fear, which I have become accustomed to the past 8 months. 8 months? The highs and lows of this perpetual state compared to bliss is comparing the ecstasy of orgasm to the terrifying atrocities of the biblical apocalypse, which do you believe would propel and motivate you more? Without both, our species would never have survived, but which really saved us from becoming another extinct species, lost to the annals of infinity?
Another burst of noise echoes above, batting the dying flame and rattling his skull. He grits his teeth and grabs his hair. The song abates once more, but he feels the tugging. The power of the call is undeniable. What does the world look like up there? He puts the pencil to paper once more.
It calls to me…When I was in this place – the place which was both a dream and reality – I began to walk forward through the endless field of disturbing, brobdingnagian pylons. The strangest thing happened on this journey. I lost the ability to turn around or to walk backward. I could never turn my gaze – or my body – past ninety degrees to my left or right, or move my body backwards in any way. I was propelled forward. After I journeyed further onward (unsure of the time that passed since it seemed to be dilated beyond all recognition), I began to feel an ominous and malevolent presence stalking me, however, it never made a move to assault me. Upon reflection, I now feel blessed I was unable to turn beyond the angle I had seemed to be allotted. Horror bloomed in my chest. I sensed that if I had turned to stare at the presence which had trailed me, my psyche would have instantly dissolved out of protection.
He looks up from his furious writing, and stares into the flame of the ever shrinking candle by his side. He can’t help but feel a kinship with this last candle, this last flame. He then turns his attention forward, into the ever encroaching darkness. Beads of cold sweat begin to form on his forehead, while he breaks out in gooseflesh. These are minor occurrences. At least they were when he had been struggling to survive in the world above his current shelter. The coldness of this sweat is different though, as is the clammy feeling his skin has taken on. It is different for two reasons. The first is that once he is plunged into the oncoming darkness, he will most likely never leave its final embrace. The second is he knows there is more to this darkness than sight alone can reveal. He has been in that other place, felt the weight of the air, sensed the all-consuming malevolence of something not for this universe. The power that malevolence contains, the unspeakable possibilities it invites. The darkness throbs with this difference. He can feel the pulse in his neck, the deep beating of his heart, the increase in speed, how his breathing becomes shallower. He snaps back once more to the last notebook, in the vain attempt to remove his mind from the fate he knows lies ahead of him.
Why does It call to me? I could moan, cry, and detest the fact that this doesn’t seem fair, however, the age old adage, “life isn’t fair”, has taken on the most literal meaning possible. Life is back to the odds which befell us before man’s ancestors first learned to use tools. Indeed…the odds any human being faces now are worse than that. It would be foolish to think otherwise. I hope that if any others have been able to survive, they are able to find refuge far from any otherworldly being. I could think the entity that roams above me has specially picked me out of all living beings to witness the eternal universe It hails from, but that would surely be madness…however, It does call to me. I kept walking forward in that otherworld. Time seemed nonexistent there, this, or I couldn’t tell how slowly it struggled by. After I moved past the field of pylons (which seemed to take an eternity), I happened upon what I can only describe as a village.
Here, the air and ground almost vibrated with a strange energy that I was unable to comprehend. I could feel the hair on the nape of my neck stand tall, and the sweat which escaped my pores was evaporated instantaneously. There were buildings – buildings, which seemed to be homes – of every size one could think of, from those only big enough for a dog, to some which towered as high as the former pylons I had passed. They seemed cyclopean in nature, being held up in some impossible way by a set of physics no one from our world could ever hope to comprehend, same as the stalagmites. They cast shadows, which engulfed everything for miles. The only word that could be used to describe them is dread, for this is what filled me to the deepest pit of my soul when I saw them. I tried to imagine what beings could inhabit these buildings which spanned the breadth of every size imaginable. What kind of entities could coexist on such massively different scales to create a cohesive society? For that is what the area seemed to convey – a society – even if it had been completely abandoned. This was my first intuition, but instinct, which had been honed over millions of years of human evolution, told me otherwise.
Wax continues to slowly drip from the candlestick, which has less than two inches before the flame is extinguished. He stares up once again from the last notebook he is writing in. His pupils dilate further than should be physically possible. His pupils are separated from the whites of his eyes by the thinnest shred of color. The adrenaline is surging through his body at a rate which would be considered almost deadly. The fear penetrating his lizard brain is gripping. His wide eyes dart back and forth between the sides of the shadow which will engulf him in the course of minutes. Clear thoughts, in addition to sanity, begin to steadily break down.
He tries once more to turn his attention to the last notebook, the whale song lilting through the ground to him with its eerie penetration. It’s so beautiful, he thinks. In that song are promises of release, of never having to be afraid again – compassion – is what he thinks of. He jerks up right – a motion which tears a muscle in his undernourished abdomen – although he feels none of it in his horror. His hand returns to the notebook, with a noticeable lack of force.
The song! It is draining my willpower. Trying to make me complacent and leave me at ease! This is evil. No benevolent being would show me the horrors I have seen, then turn around and try to pacify my horror with impossible to deliver promises! After all, the land I have been shown is more comparable to the bowls of hell than the gates of heaven.
He picks up the pencil from the paper, and begins to lose focus from the things around him, which would have been an unimaginable feat (not to mention blissful relief) five minutes ago. He retreats into his mind – deep in thought – for what could very well be the last time a human being debates with himself for the rest of eternity. Focus returns to his eyes, and his pencil to the paper.
However, how am I not to know the being which compels me and plays with me is not God? After all, It causes me pain. I pray for relief, and It sings to me. I never see It, yet I know It is there. How do I know that the song I hear night after night is something I physically hear? I see visions bestowed upon me by this unknowable thing, would I not be a prophet given this great opportunity? I take all of this on faith alone-
He abruptly stops writing and puts his hands to his face, covering it in despair. Tears begin to form at the corners of his eyes, and sobs rack his body while the candle continues its impossible battle against gravity. Only a small sphere of light remains around him now – barely enough for him to read what he wrote only moments ago. His sobs taper off into hoarse moans, finally becoming quiet whimpers. He looks up, staring once more into the abysmal darkness which claws at his feet like a ravenous scavenger. He sees his toes actually disappear into the shadows, and he feels something physically tugging at his toes, squelching and sucking. He screeches – the sound of a dying animal – and pulls his knees to his chest. He realizes the scream should have continued to reverberate off of the metal walls. However, the sound is muffled, with the encroaching darkness being the best, illogical explanation. The hot tears streaming down his cheeks evaporate as his hand begins to work the pencil across the last notebook. His conscious mind doesn’t process it, focusing solely on the asymmetrically, encroaching shade. His writing approaches nearly illegible scribbles.
There is a God. Whatever the creature is that looms above; It is something that no mind can ever understand. With It came the end of all things. It is all four horsemen come at once. I know now the song It sings is one of homesickness. Soon our world and our universe will belong to It and any others like It! We were so arrogant to think we were better than anything the universe could throw at us! There are things we cannot understand, can never understand. We thought there could be other universes, but crossing between them? Unthinkable! Only theory made it plausible. Something has done it with ease, and now it is dragging us and the universe we’ve come to understand back with it.
The shadow finally reaches – and slowly climbs – his retracted legs. He continues to hug his legs to his chest, but now he can feel the air around him begin to grow heavy. It begins to beat in time with his pulse. The malevolence pouring from the darkness is palpitating, tangible. He thinks his heart is going to burst in his chest from fear of being sucked into that primordial realm, of returning there forever. Before the eternal darkness reaches his face to drag him to the ungodly dimension he has been haunted by, he has time for one last thought in his universe; life doesn’t go out with a bang, but a series of small whimpers across the eons of time.