Absolution: a short story.
Author's note: This is a small short story I wrote some time back. It's strange...I'm actually just posting it on a whim. Anyway, if you read, I hope you enjoy.
Once, eons ago, before the formation of everything as we know it, there lay at the center of existence a world epitomized by a single word; perfection. This world was known, to all of the inhabitants living there (who encompassed all of existence at the time), only as Absolute.
Everything in Absolute was infinite in both supply and quality. People would never need or want for anything too greatly, for innumerable quantities of all possessions were readily available, and would always progressively improve in quality, by themselves, with no harsh action or strenuous work required. Everything was free, with neither currency nor bartering required, and as such, this world had never heard of conflict. All people were endowed with eternal life, and billions upon billions lived there, endlessly populating Absolute, which grew ever larger boundaries and ever more prosperous within them. It seemed that these two factors, as well, would be infinite. No one cared far beyond the choice spectrum which they carved out eagerly for themselves, for there was always another who would attend to the tasks not performed by the individuals themselves. This was the Promised Land, a holy city of the highest calling and form of existence: perfect health, lives, perfect society. Perfect.
One day. Brilliantly bright and shining as all others in Absolute, however, a certain man woke drowsily from a slumber. A slumber which reflected not the perfection around him, but the imperfection lurking within the man himself. This man, upon inspecting his luxurious mansion (as most people lived in, within Absolute.), his countless precious treasures, and every cherished friend and family member he could remember (a feat which could be quite difficult for in citizens of Absolute) he found himself experiencing a certain emotion, one which he knew, without hesitation, not a single living being in the entirety of existence could sympathize with; the feeling of desire. Though he could have whatever he wanted in infinite supply, he found that infinite, endlessness in itself, was not enough. The man, in both sleep and a brief contemplation upon a modest (for an Absolution's) breakfast, decided that he wanted everything.
The dream which had charted his course had been simple enough. He saw before him a map of Absolute's boundaries as they had been at the present time. Countless objects, and even people, lay across the entirety of the map, kneeling before him, proffered, and awaiting his every whim. The prospect before the man wasn't just that everything he wanted could be supplied, but another; that he held everything he desired because he controlled it. In terms, he desired not only the infiniteness of the world around him, but the dominion of infinity itself.
And so the man set out to accomplish his desired, stalwart goal. Being considered very intelligent, even for someone in this community in which every ounce of information in existence was readily available at the wave of a hand and a bisque shake of the fingers, he set his brain towards inventing something which could bring all he saw around him under his direct control. Thus, within a few days time, the man became the creator of the first objects within Absolute made to intentionally harm others, and called these objects "weapons". He created steel which held the ability to slash and to sever, which could cut through anything you jabbed and swung them upon, and created many variations of those. He concocted powders and barrels of wood and metal into launchers which rained fire and pain upon those they were aimed at. He discovered an endless amount of mechanisms which did nothing but cause harm, and was left with only one final task before committing to his plan; testing his weapons.
The man's brother, twin, in fact, was of equal prestige of the man himself, and the two were invariably close. One especially dark, moonless night, the man invited his brother over for a dinner and fraternal gathering, to which the brother jovially consented. The night was long and joyous, as the two ate, drank, danced, and sang the night away in merriment, a better night hardly able to be imagined by either of them. Eventually, the brother lulled off into sleep, smiling serenely on a comfortable leather chair, enjoying the wonders locked within his dreams. Seeing a prime opportunity, and not knowing what to expect, the man quickly brought in one of his favored weapons, a compound he simply called "fire" and quickly set it to the long, black cloak his brother had been wearing throughout the night. Instantaneously catching light, the blaze spread onto the brother's body, devouring his flesh and melting his body. He woke shortly, incredibly startled at first, and then commenced shrieking in a wild, unknowing terror. The man simply watched, commenting on the destructive nature of his fire, and observing the reaction his brother had to it. Upon finish, the brother, little more than ebony bones, looked down in shock. "What..." the brother asked, not able to see anything, his eyes having been scorched from his skull, "...have you done?" The horror was deeply palpable in the skeleton brother's voice, as though his eternal life had kept his spirit here, he was invariably no longer in possession of his existence. Almost without thinking, the man quotes a philosophy thought to have been absurd speculation in Absolute, his voice cold and calculating; "You are dead, dear brother." And so the man did prove the theory known as death.
The brother begins to attempt to weep, only to find that without eyes he may not do that either. Sobbing, while uncommon due to the lack of sorrow in Absolute, was possible during times of immense joy with those who were weak willed. After a moment, the man caresses his deceased brother. "Worry not, dearest relative, for you still have a purpose," the man spoke, in a commanding tone, displaying a sage wisdom coupled with staunch authority. "You will gather the spirit from the bones and corpses of those who would suffer your fate of 'death', and ferry them to a place in which they will collectively rest, away from the pain you feel now, and so thus save them from the torture. This task, you must realize in your position, is essential. Do you understand?" The brother, ceasing his forlorn wails for a moment, ponders this, and finally done considering, nods his head in consent. The man nods in respect, giving his brother yet another cloak, black, like the one he had worn earlier, and hands him a tool he had created earlier to accomplish the set task; a long, wooden handle with a curved iron blade on the end, which the man called a "scythe", similar to a farming tool of antiquity which the man had seen previously in a museum. The man realizes, given both the example of tools and his brother, that not only has he proven the idea of death, but he has single handedly created the concept in a practical fashion. This idea, which had terrified his brother so much at the outset, would deliver him his goal.
And so the man began to kill. He displayed his weapons proudly before others, making examples of people he didn't exactly care for, extinguishing lives with the help of a fledgling army of his family and friends convinced their remarkably intelligent sibling and/or friend had a higher, beneficial motive in mind. Death? Evil? Personal Gain? What Absolution would be able to conceive thoughts such as these? Everything was perfect; any action taken by a citizen of Absolute must have been done in pursuit of higher perfection. And so even more flocked to his banners, killing whom the man singled out, which were, in general, people who would not surrender their belongings to him. The process was thus created; he would take the possessions of his soldiers, would kill anyone who refused and take their possessions anyway. When his own people became dissatisfied, he killed them. The weapons he created became more gargantuan, more destructive and complex, eventually, at the end, only allowing him to wield them. Blades, guns, bombs, he created all of them, and the land of Absolute, unseen and unconsidered, began, slowly but surely, to buckle under the fire and death the man rained upon the land and its' people, sliding deep into an abyss of terrible darkness.
The man only realized this upon the day the sun ceased to shine in the sky above; upon awakening, he was terrified to realize that the sun had been covered by a veil of smoke, originating from the smog created by his weapons and the factories he had built to control his weapons. He immediately barked for someone, anyone, to begin fixing the problem which he had no time for. No answer. He shouted louder, growing angry this time. Still no answer. He looked about in confusion, and upon seeing nothing but haunting white bones and dirty, charred corpses, realized that he had killed the entirety of his following. And not just them; everyone. He had killed everyone in existence, save for himself. The environment, the people, everything which had made Absolute infinite and grand beyond comprehension, now lay six feet under the earth, cold and unfeeling. And so the man wept at his mistakes, and fled the graveyard he had castrated his world into with his own hands.
The highest peak was the only place not filled by the black murk of smog. It was to this place the man retreated, carrying with him his greatest invention, one which he had never planned on utilizing; a device, which would reach to the suns above Absolute, and, causing a massive expansion of energy, destroy. He didn't know how much, or for how long, but, as he sealed the mountain top, sending it with his inventions to the farthestt reaches of the realms, he reflected that he had no choice. He called what occurred, viewing the vast explosions and burst of energy that followed, the Big Bang.
Everything was gone: the dark murk of the weapons, all the lands and workings of Absolute, the infinite stockpiles of everything, all eradicated at their sources. There was only, beside the man on his bare inch of mountaintop remaining to him, which he barely put far enough away in just a great enough protection, a hollow space of dark. Nothingness. Where once the powers of existence flourished, so were they now extinct. All was over, the man reflected, heart aching in a deep, seemingly endless sorrow. There was nothing left.
And then he saw the celestial lights. They appeared to be left over bursts of energy, he noted, which had stabilized and become beautiful beacons of heat and energy. Gazing in wonder, his heart leapt as he realized that parts of Absolute had formed into small, spherical spaces of earth, and that some even carried water. Some held gas formations which could protect people from the violent bursts of energy and the intense heat from the...stars! He would call the glowing beacons stars! And the balls of earth...people could live there! Earth...the name had a nice ring to it. He looked at his machines, than at his own flesh, and thought seriously for a moment. He had the technology...he could do it. He chose the best conditioned of all the planets (he would call the habitable spaces those, he decided) and named it thus...Earth. Using his machine, he began what was truly his greatest creation, copies of himself, living, breathing organisms that would inhabit his Earth...humans. He would call them humans. And, he thought vainly to himself, he couldn't just leave them all alone. He would give them guidelines, teach them how to live! Snapping his fingers, he quickly wrote a small book, practically a note, only a little over a hundred pages, and, jumping and laughing with glee, even gave himself a new name; God! He would call himself God, and from there they would see an old example of perfection, which his humans could strive for and set goals by! It was perfect...and it was good. The whole process took six days. On the seventh, he lay back on his small, isolated bit of space, and gave himself a quick pat on the back. He had done it; Creation had been achieved.
And so the people were guided, began to live out their lives; two at first. They even had a garden which was just like Absolute! But, even then, they didn't seem to listen. Even there, they started disobeying me. And there was where I had to realize that Absolute could never come back....
I punished them; they left the garden, and I was convinced they would soon perish, so that I could start over. They didn't. If anything, the land which I had placed outside the garden, the dangerous and horrific locale which lie outside Eden was terrifyingly similar to the world I had willingly eradicated. They thrived anyway. They populated, they spread, and built. They discovered my weapons much sooner than I had; they created fire, and iron, and these people were by no means immortal. My brother, whom I now regard only as Death, seems to have survived more prevalently than even I did. Even worse, they had a limited supply of resources; I couldn't, no matter how hard I tried, create the endless reservoirs of food, water, or other necessary materials which they desired. And so they desired more, and committed the same heinous acts which I had, so awfully, so long ago...
They have taken their own course now. I remember thinking when they at least used to thank me, worship me, and give regard to me. Now they don't even do that anymore. Most of them go by the name "god" nowadays, whether they mean to or not. Sometimes a bitter laugh escapes my throat, and I can't help but wonder if I wasn't an Absolution at all, but merely the first line of my own creation. They talk like I did, kill like I did, sin like I did, and they won't listen to my heartfelt shrieks of warning any longer. "Turn back! Therein lies destruction!" But I know not to bother, any more. I wouldn't have listened in their position either.
The only thing I regret...is everything.