Six months to Halloween. Let’s get creepy:
Our trumpets blow unceasingly to keep the Eternal at bay.
It has been a million millennia. More. The records are wasted now, burned long ago to fuel the forges for our Instruments. Always our Instruments.
Yet I will take this luxury here, secretly, to write with valuable resources my thoughts. Even mindfulness is a crime for the energetic glucose it consumes. I would choose to burn it for my own peace rather than in the embers of our legacy.
The constellations have been going dark. We’ve mined the worlds, conscripted their populations, drained our suns. A darkness unlike anything before creeps in at the edges of the universe. It is not just a physical shroud over creation, but also a shadow to the pits of our minds. So long as the sound from the Instruments trumpet through the void, all is as it must be.
At least the light is strong in our young, artificially birthed sun, but that is it. When machines harvest the last energy of this last star, all existence will be cast into the black. We continue to play. Nothing else is left to us, the few huddled now in the final system whose bellows bring forth song from the Instruments.
Philosophers of myth wrote on the outcome of these end times, the apocalypse revealed sometime when the universe was naive, ignorant to the nothingness that awaits all at the end of the Divine Dream. If only we’d never known why the Instruments were needed, or at least had lacked the cleverness to construct such things, our foreparents might have died long ago, sparing us now our toil.
No-one can really know what will become of us. As the last horns blow no more, the god that forsook us will toss all that has been to oblivion.
Many have taken the Way Out. Their bodies lie forgotten in dead spirals that once were galaxies. We’ve brought uncounted burial sites close to cater to this existential ritual, though their corpses aren’t enough for the forges, for the Instruments to sound. Only so much ash anymore.
The dead may have been right, to choose their own end, rather than be cast to the fires in their trillions to play the Instruments. Always we must service the Instruments. Even death will be denied us, the living. Either we are alive and labor, or we become part of the fire and the Instruments. Thus is all our need for fuel.
Now, we persist. Our awareness damns us. Still, the Choir races here in this place of ending don’t stop. An old, obsolete word from ages past, “hope”, wouldn’t fit a description of our efforts. For as long as we can, we will play. There is nowhere to go. There is nothing to do otherwise. Only few like I who have read the stories as their pages were shoveled into the fires understand there has ever been anything else.
Solutions have been calculated, dreamed, prophesied, and all ultimately failed. “Hope” has eluded the most titanic means available of the brightest minds over eons of unknowable work. There is no person nor thing deigned to survive the flames. Not the remnants of our best, not even their histories. Not the least this author.
We keep the god-thing asleep in its Divine Dream. The Instruments either play and we continue, or they are silent, and we cease. Until quiet finally wakes the Eternal, we will all be used to keep up the charade of this dreamscape. Forever and ever it shall be.
My writing time ends. How many seconds has it cost the universe in fuel? Time lost for us to wonder moments more at it all? These questions must go unanswered. This note and I travel to the forges.
Here’s the prompt that sparked this little piece:
“The universe is just God dreaming. When he wakes the universe vanishes. Every species in the universe has united to forestall the inevitable.”
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