Dispersed

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This post was originally published through Patreon on September 26, 2018.

She closes her eyes, then opens them again, just to be sure they’re telling her the truth. She beholds the sun above her head, clear and bright, and finally weeps.

When they imprisoned her, they said it was for good. “A menace to the world,” they warned. “She can never be free again.” So they bound her—in water and stone, in wind and earth, in fire and sky. They scattered her essence to the four corners of the world, confident that once she was dispersed, she would never be whole again.

But millennia passed, her captors long since dead, and like a thick and unctuous vapor, she started to condense. The vapor became drops. The drops became pools. The pools became an ocean. With every passing century, she became a little more whole, a little more complete. Now, at last, she can open her eyes to a clear blue sky and know for sure that she’s beaten them.

She’ll walk the Earth once more, and this time, there will be no one who can stop her.

In the past, she allowed humans some degree of autonomy. But she underestimated them, and when they came for her, they almost destroyed her. She won’t make the same mistake again.

She sits, feeling the Old Magic rekindle in her ancient veins, and plots her return.

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Why?

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This post was originally published through Patreon on September 19, 2018.

Not an ending, thought Samantha as she lay on the sidewalk, bleeding into the concrete. Not an ending, but another beginning.

She spasmed.

Choked.

Died.

Alone, suspended in the dark, the part of her that was still aware wondered if she might be granted a release—if she might, after countless lives, succumb at last to the Great Void and the mysteries that lay beyond. Then came the all too familiar tug, as if she were a yo-yo at the end of its string that was about to be pulled back.

No, please. I don’t want to go.

But the choice was not hers to make, and it seemed the universe had other plans. Her essence—or her soul, according to what her parents had taught her in her previous life—plummeted through an endless expanse of empty space, where it condensed, coalesced around a nascent core of matter and energy that would, in time, become her next body.

Her awareness, now tethered to an embryo that was not yet capable of rational thought, began to dim. But before the dark enveloped her completely, a single thought bubbled out, a desperate plea cast into the infinite and beyond, addressed to whoever or whatever might be there to listen.

“Why?”

And then, surprisingly, an answer came, one she didn’t expect.

“Because there is more I have to teach you.”

Then, like a guttering flame, the last vestiges of conscious thought disappeared, and Samantha passed into a dreamless sleep where she waited to be born again.

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We Are One

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This post was originally published through Patreon on September 12, 2018.

A blinding flash of blue, and then it’s happening again. I told them not to take me, that I wanted to stay. But they didn’t listen—they never listen—and now, my all-too-brief sojourn on Earth has come to an end.

I gaze down at the glowing celestial body I wanted to call home. Its luminous contours have already receded into the distance, but all the same, I keep my eyes fixed on Earth until it’s just another star, until even that solitary star has fallen so far behind that you’d need a telescope to even know it was there.

“Why?” I ask.

But they don’t look back. They don’t acknowledge my presence at all. And why would they? The beings who shuttle me across the cosmos for judgement believe I’m a traitor, a lowly creature worthy only of contempt.

“Is it because I had the audacity to leave? Can you not imagine why anyone would want to set out on their own? Why anyone would want to be different?”

I can sense the tension that mounts in my captors’ hearts, a thinly veiled hatred that bubbles to the surface of their minds for all that they try to conceal it. My kind wear their feelings on their sleeves—a strength or a weakness, depending on your perspective—and I can sense everything they refuse to say with words.

We are one, they think. One body, one heart, one mind. Did you not consider that by leaving, you might damage the whole of our collective existence? Such selfishness is beneath us. You are a cancer, yet we cannot destroy you without destroying ourselves.

A glimmer of guilt sparks within my heart, but I am ultimately unmoved.

From the moment I was born, I felt the incessant pull to be different. Perhaps I’m a throwback to a more primitive version of my species. Or perhaps, in some way neither I nor they understand, I’m simply defective. Perhaps I truly am a cancer. Individuality does not come naturally to us. Yet, whatever the cause, the need to be different is a part of me, and I can’t deny what I am any more than they can deny what they are. If I’m a source of division, it’s not my fault for being born that way.

“I am what I am.”

They recoil from my words, and inwardly, I sigh.

“You know I’ll just leave again.” The statement is not one of spite, only simple fact. “You can drag me back, but you can’t stop me from leaving once I’ve returned.”

At last, they address me directly. This time, their tone is not one of contempt but of weary grief and resignation.

“We know.”

That’s all they say before the empyrean lights of our homeworld surround us.

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