Tag Archives: Fiction

Life, Death, and How They Came to Be 


When Life was just a child, she tugged on Death’s sleeve and asked, “Brother, why is the sky so dim?” Death turned his gaze towards the universe and looked into the dark abyss. Devoid of breath and being, it was filled with naught save for a faint light far in the distance. He turned to his young sister, still millions of years younger than he, and replied, “Sit down, and let me tell you the story of our creators.”Always eager and curious for knowledge, Life rushed to sit beside her brother. She buzzed with energy and excitement while Death, ever solemn, recounted the tale of the universe.

In the early years, there lived three beings: Light, Darkness, and Eternity. They were fierce companions with good wills between them. They traversed across the universe creating and planning with no reserve. Light would shape planets and galaxies with colors so vibrant that all three would stop for periods of their journey to admire the spectrum. But Light was so radiant that without the aid of Darkness, such colors were indiscernible in her bright glow. As for Eternity, he sustained the beings that Light birthed. So astounded by her creations, he made sure they flourished without end and for a while, the universe brimmed with vibrance. In their wake, the three left behind solar systems, asteroid belts, galaxies, and even black holes.


One day, while Light and Eternity walked ahead, Darkness looked upon Light and came to a realization. He found that he no longer followed behind her just to enjoy the view of her colors, but to experience the infinite joy he wrought by simply being in herproximity. So magnificent and so necessary was she to him that Darkness soon fell in love. Now, Darkness was no fool. He knew that in order for Light to thrive, he had to give parts of himself each time. But he did so without cease, and without fail.


Light, too, took pleasure in Darkness. In moments reserved for rest, they danced between the galaxies she created and chased each other around the planets. They played without end. She marveled at his power, both equal and opposite to hers and knew in the core of her being that they were two parts of a whole. So easy and natural was their friendship that their bond gradually blossomed into a mutual love. So dedicated was she to him, that Light gave Darkness a piece of herself which he planted into the very center of his being. And not long after, from their love came their first child. Death.


Eternity was delighted by this change at first. He was thrilled his two friends had found happiness and now had a family. But as young lovers are wont to do, Light and Darkness often abandoned Eternity and focused most of their attentions on their offspring and on one another. They began creating without Eternity, and his joy turned to ire– their exclusions turning him bitter. Angered by Darkness and Light’s desertion, he grew an envious heart. No longer in bright spirits, he walked away from the family and encased himself in an empty corner of the universe. Darkness took notice of Eternity’s grim mood and spoke to Light.


‘There is hatred brewing in our friend and I worry that he will not overcome it.’
To this, Light replied, “Perhaps he is lonely and wishes for a family of his own.’
Darkness thought for a moment, then answered, ‘Then let us find him someone to cure his sorrow.’


Thus, began their millennia long search. Eventually, Light and Darkness met Time. They introduced her to Eternity and were overjoyed to see that the pair were settling into an strong companionship. For a while, all was well. Time and Eternity shared an intense affair. She gave meaning to Eternity and he gave Time stability and permanence. But Time was a fickle lover and grew bored with Eternity. He, too, became tired of her impatience and constantly changing nature. Unsatisfied with forever and unwilling to share a family, Time left Eternity and he spiraled into another fit of anger and bitterness. Unaware of this sudden occurance, Light and Darkness paid a visit to their old friend to inform him of their second child. A child whom they named Life. Eternity, already in a untempered state of hatred, lashed out at the two and forced them away.


Feeling the stings of rejection and betrayal, Eternity thought to himself, ‘Why should they have love and not I? What gives Light and Darkness the right to a family, to happiness, while I have naught but this empty corner of the universe?’Hatred consumed him and he turned his hands towards Light’s creations and took away his gift. No longer wishing to sustain them, he watched them crumble one piece at a time. Stars burned out, planets collided into one another, and inch by inch, the universe rapidly wound itself into chaos.
Distraught by the end of her creations, Light confronted Eternity. When she saw that her pleading for compassion was in vain, she assailed him with all her strength. Angered by her audacity and still awash with pain, he fought back even harder. They fought with all the strength in their beings until Light grew so tired that Eternity, in a fit of impulsivity, consumed her and soon she was no more. Beside himself with regret and melancholy, Eternity fled and hid himself in a place no one would find him. As for Darkness, forlorn and overcome with a terrible grief, he settled into a great depression that no other being could rouse him from. All that was left of Light was the miniscule and imoveable particle of her being that darkness held inside. No longer able to care for himself nor his children, he fell into a deep sleep he wished to stay forever in.

Life stared at her brother, enraptured. “Where is Eternity now, brother?” She asked.
“Alas, that is a question I have no answer to,” Death said.
“What about the beings that Eternity did not destroy?”
“With absence of Light, the few remaining planets have frozen and stopped. The universe is at a stand still and Darkness consumes all.”
She sat up straighter. “So they are still present?”
“Yes, but they are frozen. Useless and enshrouded by Darkness. Even I cannot see them.”
Life’s brows furrowed. “Why is that when there is light far out into the distance?” She pointed to the tiny speck up ahead of them. “Is that not Light herself?”
Her brother sighed. “No, my young one. That is merely a tiny piece of Light that Darkness keeps within himself. A part of herself that was freely given. It is too meager to be useful. It would hardly warm the palm of your hand.”


Life jumped up, restless and unbounded by the pessimism that shadowed Death. “How can you be so sure? Yes, it is just a speck, but so much is started by a simple spark.”
Death sighed. “You are still too naive and your hope is a character of your youth.” He kissed the tip of Life’s nose and smiled down at her. “I am both gladdened and saddened by it. But enough of this. We can resume your infinite queries another time.”


But Life could not stop thinking about Light, Darkness, and Eternity. Hours after Death left her, she laid down staring at the faint light and pondering the lost lives frozen by Eternity. Unwilling to stay still and give up, she gathered her bravery and traversed across the universe. She traveled high and low, not stopping until she stood before the only light that glistened within the darkness. Up close, it was even smaller than she imagined, barely the size of a fist. But it was bright and when she touched it she felt a part of her come alive.


Enraptured by the tiny ball, she grasped it in her hand, turning it this way and that. In her core, she felt a small turning, as if the glowing ball were speaking to her, but so light was the tug that she almost missed it. Life thought deeply about the ways she could use such a modest specimen to enliven the movements of the universe, but nothing she came up with seemed adequate enough.


“Maybe Death was right,” she sighed. “How can I bring breath and vibrancy with something so infinitesimal?”
As if he has been awaiting her, Darkness awoke from his slumber and answered his child, “What is it you have come here for, Life?”
She answered without hesitation, “I wish to give back what was taken. To renew the hands of Light.”
“And do you know the cost of such a deed? Overtime, the meager specimens burrowing in the rocks will evolve. They will increase in size and intelligence– in love and hate. You will be responsible for all creation– for all their growth, their failures, successes, and actions.”
“If that is all it takes, I am willing.”
Darkness scoffed at her audacity, but reveled in her likeness to Light. “You are willing to leave the comfortable dwelling of your home and live in places you’ve never been? You are young. There is much in this universe that will terrify you. Much that you cannot see now, but once awakened instill fear even in me.”
“If there is fear, then there is something worth achieving.”


“Is that so? You may not know, but even when Light, Eternity, and I brought forth out creations, there were things even we could not control. Evil and terrifying beings.”
Seeing that she was undaunted, Darkness then asked her, “What of your beloved brother? He will be out here in vast expanse of space while you will be confined by the planets, asteroids,  the moons and their coming civilizations. You will not see him again.”
At this, Life paused. To give up the only being she knew and loved was like losing an integral part of herself. Was she willing to give up her teacher, her friend, her sole family? Death would grieve surely, if she said yes. But if she refused all that Light created would never again flourish.


Growing impatient by her silence, Darkness answered for her. “It is evident that you are not willing to give Death up. Thus, I am unwilling to give you the sole light in this universe.” Though his tone was deep and sure, disappointment was hidden beneath its depths.


Life, discouraged by Darkness’s refusal, bowed her head in sorrow.
“Ah. There is an answer you have not yet introduced to her, Darkness.” The voice came from behind her and Time revealed herself.
Darkness averted his gaze to her and replied, “What might that be, old friend?”
“There is one thing I am willing to offer Life and that is myself. In this universe, should there be a limit to the life she creates, there must be a collector for when they grow old, decrept and useless to the universe. For when their energies long to be recycled and transformed anew.”
Darkness then asked, “And what has brought you to this conclusion?
Time responded, “I grow tired of this darkness. With no movement of this universe there is no purpose for me.”
“And what of Eternity”
“Alas, he has left into some far and distant corner that we would do well never to visit. There, he houses beings craving their end. Poor creatues who can no longer sustain themselves but must go on living with their suffering.”
“And what have you to offer to my daughter? To life?
Time answered without pause. “Meaning.”
Life turned to Time and said, “What does this mean of Death?”


Behind the trio, came the gentle rustling of movement. As if summoned form the shadows, death appeared. “It means that just as you sow, I will reap,” came her brother’s reply. Knowing that she would be unable to deny her curiosity and would pursue the path of the light, Death had followed close behind Life on her journey. “If this is the path you have chosen for yourself, then I too will choose one for my own.”


Darkness smiled in the abyss and asked of Life, “Though your brother will be confined to the planets, moons, and all where civilization lies as well, know that you still will not be together. Where there is life, there cannot be death. I shall ask you once more. Are you willing to sacrifice for a world you do not know?”


Life gazed upon Death, who nodded slowly. Though his countenance was solem, his eyes reassured her. She turned to Darkness and said, “Yes.”
“Then take the light, my child and warm it within yourself. From your essence you hold all that is essential to this universe.

So Life did.

And from her grew a radiance so bright than even Darkness happily gave himself to bathe in its warmth. From her breath, all that once was frozen thawed and gave way to movement. Plants resurrected from the earth, amphibians then mammals began their evolutions. Humans took their shape and the various wonders of Life gave the universe a reason to dance once more.She would breath life into her creations and together with Time, they would watch as her beings lived then passed on into the hands of her brother.
Though she never saw Death again, she knew he was there. For each time she gifted her creations to him, he would weave their energies into stars so radiant that the entire world would look up in awe. And when the stars would burst or collide into one another, Life would take bits and pieces of their chaos and transform their energy into new beings– a flower, a bird circling the trees, or a conception in the womb. In the darkness, Life would join Time and together, they would sit around life and gaze up into the universe knowing the stars were made especially for her.

 

Writer’s Block

“I can’t write.”

Her soft hand landed on my shoulder, the tendrils of comfort drifting from the warmth of her palm glided over my skin in vain. I was cold.

“Try,” came her whisper.

“You make it sound so easy.”

I clutched my pen with pleading fingers, willing my whitened knuckles to tighten their hold— as if the strength of my grip would bring forth the words I knew were buried deep. 

I closed my eyes, as if it would negate the blinded vision I had fostered in my mind.

“Think,” she said.

“Of what?” I grew angry now. How could I think when I could barely comprehend what I was after. I had no idea what I was looking for, no grasp of what I wanted— needed— to do, to write, to become.

I willed myself to stand up, to go and give up what was a fruitless attempt to mean something, to be someone, but I stayed glued to my seat. As if someone had stitched the very bottom of my soul in the dark confines of the space I occupied— forever reminding me I had no escape.

I clutched at my hair, wondering how many strands I could pull free before I was blinded by the blood that seeped from my tired mind.

I pulled— harder.

Harder even.

Harder even than that.

“Write.”

I thrashed, yelled, and screamed.

Let is stop. Let it stop. Let it stop.

The mantra of an idle soul. Desperation and hatred, hopelessness and defeat– all diseases crawling through the very veins that once flowed so languidly with imagination. I laughed now, hysterical at the hand I was too lost to deal. Who am I kidding?

“Think.”

Of what? Dammit, what!

The hand, gentle on my shoulder, glided upwards, clasping the nape of my neck. My chills became shudders then. I was trapped, immobile, in a world I could not even create. Tied to the bones of my broken dreams and aspirations. Their mocking skulls set in a cruel countenance, disappointed and accusing.

How could you, their hollow eyes screeched at me. Demanding to know how I could let them drift away, from the palm of my once firm hands into the brittle graveyard of where all dreams go when their owners abandon them.

I saw their ghosts trail from the room, their bright light dimming as they traveled farther into the darkness— screaming, begging, pleading for me to run after them. To save them from the abyss billions of other dreams had traveled to only to be forgotten.

“Go,” she said. Her voice laced with earnest this time.

I fought against the grip of the hand holding me down yet telling me to go. I pulled with all my strength, trying to unravel the stitches that had so firmly held me captive. I fought until I could no longer separate one breath from another, one heartbeat from the next. I tore at the edges of my seat, hoping to cut the stitches with my bleeding, frantic fingertips.

But to no avail.

“Go.”

“How!” I screamed.
I raised my hand to my neck, ready to rip the grip so tight on me, but came across air.

Nothing.

Whirling around I found only darkness, a vast empty space. The only sound came from my heavy breaths and erratic heart.

I was alone— abandoned by the very presence that I had so loathed. The being of hope. Myself. 

My panic surged and my lungs gave out. As if pebbles were being forced down my throat, blocking air and life from my drained body. It sent me to a frenzy.

I grasped for sanity, but only found its counterpart.

The vapor of madness seeped into my pores filling the hollows of my very soul.

Urgency rode me and the Insanity clamped its diamond hold on me.

I did the only thing I knew how to do.

I wrote. With no agenda, no plot, no plan. Just wrote the overwhelming thoughts and words and actions that rushed through my mind. None of them making sense, but none of them having to. 

I struggled to keep them close, close enough to record their very meanings, my hand writing furiously on my paper and before my very eyes, the dark expanse that so clouded my vision gave way to green, rolling hills. People of all shapes and sizes, life as I had only imagined and not seen with my naked eye.

She appeared again. This time, not gentle. But strong, fierce. The same ferocity of waves crashing against the rocks or a storm’s heavy breath blowing away the leaves attached to a branch. Her warmth didn’t envelope me. It drowned me. She is ready.

I am ready.

For the very first time in my life, I realized I was not confined, I was merely stagnant. Stuck on a seat I thought held me captive when all along it was merely a device ready to transport me to any realm or world or wish. I sat there, laughing like mad. Not sure if I was happy or just crazy. Maybe I was both. But for the longest time I felt it. I saw it. I knew it. It was laid in front of me, clear as day. It was a world I was ready to write.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a short explanation on this piece:
When I wrote this, I was taking a class in Creative Writing. We were tasked with creating a short story in fiction, and as the story usually goes, I had no idea what to write about. I had no inspiration, no motivation, no freaking clue what type of story I even wanted to write.
I was at the highest level of frustration.
So, as all writers are wont to do, I used words as a catharsis. The more pretentious and intense, the better. Because the more dramatic and emotional we are on paper, the more sarcastic and seemingly withdrawn we can be in real life.
This is the product.

And you know what? It worked. The more I wrote, even if it wasn’t for the specific assignment, the more inspiration and motivation I fostered.

So moral of the story: If you don’t know what to write. Write anything. Even if it’s nonsensical.

Life and Death (Excerpt from a novel I might never write)

I am inevitable. They tell others this all the time. I have no soul, they cry. I’m heartless, they yell. Then they beg for me to undo what has already been done. To give back to them what I cannot. Will not.

I am usually hated for this. That’s quite fine. I’ve grown accustomed to it. No longer do I take it to heart. I used to. I used to spread my anger through the fingers of drought. Show my displeasure by plagues. But that was when I was younger and more foolish. When I so easily tired of ignorance and lacked the patience to understand that humankind does not always see why it must be so.

Take. This is all I do and it will never be any different. No, it cannot be.

Otherwise, the hands of humanity would twist in chaos. Moments would become meaningless.

I am death.

I take because it is a cycle. It is the way life must carry on and disappear into the dirt before becoming renewed once more.

Never have I not taken a soul when it is their time.

Not until today.

I stared into the dark eyes of my counterpart, my sole friend in this realm. The breeze traveled through her colorless tresses, tangling the strands in knots. Her pale skin almost translucent.

Together we stood undetected in a park bench, watching a passersby run in circles and another walk her dog. They paid us no mind. Us, the odd couple. One draped in a black coat, skin as dark as coal and paper white eyes, while the other was pale as snow, lacking any color yet her irises were as dark as night. Most people would stare– if they could see us.

“Lucien, please. The girl we speak of– do not take her,” Zora pleaded. “It is not yet her time. I feel it.”

I sighed. “Zora, you of all people should know that I cannot. Her name burns in my mind and it will not leave until her soul has been taken.”

She grasped my hand then. Tiny fingers clasping around mine. “No, you don’t understand. It would be wrong to take her. I cannot explain it, Lucien but I feel this deep in my soul.”

I looked away at her and scoffed. “What soul?”

She gasped, letting go of my hand. I knew I had hurt her. She hated being reminded that we had no souls– no ticket into another realm. We were stuck here in a constant cycle.

Turning back to her, I caged her heart shaped face in the large expanse of my palms. “You are Life. You give time to mankind. And I am Death. I take them once their years have been filled. These beings are merely visitors of this realm. We know this. You know this. Why fight what has been since the dawn of creation? Of the centuries we’ve been here, when we were first assigned this task you’ve never once protested my duty. Why now, Zora? Why her?”