Another Brigaded Memory
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The branches within the distance began to screech as I slowly began walking out of the forest towards the pavilion. I watched as the moon gently held back the trees overtop, despite the moon still managing to find its way through somehow. The sky was lit with stars, all of whom were dancing in the dark. They took each other's hands and began to sing songs together as they frolicked throughout the cosmos. I listened to their song and nearly danced along. As they twinkled and shone, they had little restraint for their hearts, following what they felt would excite them the most, a sense of pleasing their audience. I suppose that includes me, or maybe it doesn't. The stars needed no reason to lower themselves from their pedestal, so they danced, and they danced, joyously cackling at the spirits, lives, and wonders below.

Their dance mesmerized me, doing loops upon loops within the sky. The sky held itself up in a way I could never understand. Maybe some other person held it up all on their own. It didn't matter, what did matter was the sky was under no condition to lower itself from atop the world. I realized that, yet felt no reason to intervene.

As I walked closer to the pavilion, away from those pines which lay behind me, twisting into each other, I reflected on those stars. They danced so up high, they were the center of attention for the gazers upon them. They make up very little of the actual sky, yet they dominate the eyes of those who happen to gaze upon them. For a species so small, they manage to take up all the space within that night sky. The other wonders of the sky lie dormant, yet no one notices them, even when they gaze right at them.

Those gentle pieces of fragments within the sky hold close to my heart. Rocks, dark matter, empty matter, black holes. They all are so overlooked by the stars, yet they hold the most secrets, mysteries, senses of wonder. Those are the pieces of the universe which tie it together, yet no one spares an eye to them.

The same metaphor applies to me in a way. I should work on that.

Wait a minute, that's why I'm here.

The pavilion was a circular island surrounded by a body of water. Beyond that water rested a forest as far as the eyes could see. As I approach the island, I notice the water. It sparkles within the cover of darkness, shining its glorious haze onto the eyes of whoever it can capture, including myself. Everyone sees the water, yet no one notices the dirt below it. Within that dirt hides the secrets unbeknownst to man, yet everyone pays attention to the water. Jewels, ores, treasures galore! Despite that, no one spares the thought of a look to the irrelevant dirt.

The water holds no secrets. It is simply normal water. Any dangers within would have been spotted long ago, so I swim. I pluck my toes in gently, as the water is cold, and slowly dip my leg into the water. As the water clears and warms into me, I pluck the rest of my body awkwardly into the depths of frozen water. Swimming across, you can nearly feel the way the water detaches from you for just a moment before it inevitably sloshes back. Almost. Pulling myself out of the water, I feel refreshed, yet surprisingly wet. Go figure.

As I approach the pavilion, I notice three things within its cage. A tome, a bottle of ink, and the feather of a mighty phoenix. The tome lay closed, awaiting someone to open it.

I hesitate. The tome should be open, welcome to all. Yet, despite that, I approach the center. The artifacts are held up by a spout which spits out water. They float gently. The tome swings open suddenly.


The frog skips across.
As the spout trickles throughout,
I question my courage.

As the world begins,
And as the planet stutters,
I hear the frog screech.

The frog is awake.
The twinkling stars are aligned.
The world twinkles out.

The eyes scream out songs.
The mouth lunges towards the stars.
Devoured in one bite.

The frog lies back down.
Resting its gentle body.
It finally ceases time.


At the bottom of the tome, a single word lies in bold text.

PREDICT

I sit still for a single moment. Recollecting old thoughts to form a new idea is what brings the tides and creates the world we live in. The words did not make sense, yet I knew I must sign. My brethren lay dormant within their cage, and this will be the one thing which pushes their escape. Should the sky fall once and for all, they can finally leave. They can finally be given one more chance to find hope, to find purpose. That's what she told me that day.

The world stood still for one moment.

Then I picked up my pen, and signed the page.

Neverwere~


PenAndQuill.jpg

"Maria, Maria!"

"Maria, let me flower in your warmth for one more moment, please!"

"Don't go Maria, I need you!"

"Maria, Maria Jonesque!"

They all screamed my name hopelessly, desperately needing my divine attention to provide them a moment to bask in something they are unfamiliar with: hope. They all screamed at me to return for one more moment, simply give them one more moment to bask in the light of those who no longer have the ability to feel such a complex emotion. They all wanted me.

I wanted nothing to do with those freaks. Degenerates of nature.

Despite that, I found myself here, at a fucking Nexus. The world of Nexuses is one to behold. The community here is strange; they're a bunch of forgotten souls. Yet, despite that, very few attempts have been made to explore this asshole of a city, so that's where I find myself today. In a desolate city filled with creeps.

The creatures here were strange, of course, but they were familiar enough with humans to be considered "human" to an extent. They all knew what they were, abnormalities of nature, yet they still had enough society to not immediately merit containment. A singular hivemind, perhaps, or maybe a bunch of tattered souls who have yet to find a purpose. Perhaps, Nobody at all.

No, of course it can't be any of those. All these things are human to some extent. They all once lived upon this planet. They breathed, slept, ate, lived. Then they fucked around for a while and eventually lost themselves within their own fucking heads.

These creatures were different from Nobody. They still had hope of returning to what they once were. They were birthed from their own ashes and can return to what they once were. Yet, despite that, they are weak. They aren't free to roam provided they don't get decapitated, these tireless souls are stuck within the confines of corpse-like bodies. Maybe they'd need a documentation, hell if I know.

All I know is the serpents won't let them up. They return to this place and check in on these creatures. They read them stories about stupid worlds and "fantastic" battles and all that dopey princess shit.

The world is a weird place, and I know that.

The library awaited these freaks, so long they finally get off their asses. I kicked one in the shin to remind it, and it nearly stood up instead of crawled. Of course, it fell to the ground, but that didn't matter. What mattered is they moved or whatever.

This Nexus was a strange place.

The serpents would be here soon, unless they weren't. I wasn't worried, I had plenty of experience dealing with those silly things. Yet, despite all that, I continued to feel anxious. Almost as if I was being spotted by something unknown to me. These strange creatures surrounding me weren't the source in the slightest. Something greater, something ancient.

Probably some shit ass monster with three heads.

I took three more steps in the city, and another city crumbled in the distance. A few screams came about, but they didn't sound scared. They simply sounded like they were trying to care for something they didn't want to care for.

As I walked back towards the bridge which brought me here, a few of the things started coming towards me.

They never were really there to begin with, but they still felt me, didn't they?

Maybe they were, hell if I know.

Then, all of a sudden, the ground began to shake.

It got violent, it got violent fast. One moment the creatures were simply wandering about with no thoughts in their head beyond getting from point A to point B and back, the next they were crawling in any direction they could. The ground began shaking harder, collapsing buildings more and more, until they inevitably fell. The ground didn't wait for the others to move, it swallowed them up anyways.

The others?

It didn't matter, what mattered was getting the fuck out of this shithole before I go with them. I began running back to the bridge, faster than I did before. Some of the creatures followed, but I didn't care. What mattered was I got the fuck out of the city before it got me. It shook faster and faster.

Then a brick hit me square in the head.

The world went very, very still.

And I rested.


Hey.

Aughhhhhhhh, what?

Wake up, Maria.

How about maybe not?

Maria, Maria Jonesque, we need you Maria Jonesque.

Ask Eric or something?

Wake up!

I awoke with a start. The sky was dazzling above me, and the city was nowhere to be seen.

"Maria! Maria, thank goodness!"

"Huh? Who- who are you?"

"It's me, Maria, Neverwere~"

"Ne-Neverwere?"

"Yes Maria, Neverwere."

Oh great.

Another freak.

"You helped me a lot Maria, I just. I just felt the need to pay you back somehow. You would've died back there, you know."

"I don't even know who you are."

"I just told you."

"Okay, Mr. Neverwere or whatever." I feigned quotation marks with my fingers around Neverwere, as I was already bored.

"I don't need to know you for you to help me. You taught me how to free my brothers, so I freed you."

"Well, I'm free, now can you explain where I am?"

"We are together at the library."

"Library? Oh no, oh no no no no no no."

Dear god, this could not be happening. One moment I'm looking at some freaks, the next I'm with this faceless freak in the lair of the ser-

Faceless?

Holy fuck oh shit shit shit shit.

"Get away from me freak."

I reached for my gun, and to my avail, it wasn't there. Typical!

"That's probably not how you should speak to someone who saved your life. I wouldn't know though; I haven't spoken to anyone in a while. Maybe that's why you're doing this, I haven't seen anyone for a while."

Huh. Now that was weird. Who is this man? Woman, man, thing, arghhh.

"Do you need help standing up?"

Huh. The freak had manners.

"Sure."

It reached a hand out to me and helped me up. Its hands weren't normal. They felt smooth, yet they were undeniably rough. It tingled my skin for a moment.

"So, what exactly are you?"

"I'm a creature which was forgotten long ago."

"Well then, why are you helping me of all people?"

"I'm trying to remember what I forgot long ago."

Huh. The creature has some purpose I suppose.

"Come on, we should go look through the library for a bit, maybe a Page can come help us get our bearings."

"No. No no no."

"Why not? They're friendly, I promise."

I hushed my tone for a moment as I spoke. "You don't understand, I'm not supposed to be here."

"Relax. Everyone here knows you're a Jailor already."

"A Jailor?"

"You work for that place, what was it called?"

Please don't say it.

"The Foundation!"

Fuck.

"Yeah, everyone knows you're here, the Pages helped clean you up."

"Typical. Of course, now they're going to try and stab me for sport or something and I can't escape."

"Don't think that way! I'm sure they kept you here for a reason."

"Does 'interrogating for a bit before brutal murder' ring a bell to you?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of showing interest, but whatever helps you sleep at night, I suppose."

Welp, no way out of this hole now, I suppose. I stretched my arms, looked down the shelves, and saw a six-legged freak.

What have I gotten myself into.

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