The first page was clean and clear. It was pristine, untouched in its day, and held as a precious relic by the zealous and the collectors; for a time. But it was not untouched by the filth about it, in the air and the readers and the men who turned it. For the twenty years, the first retained a snowy and perfect white face. It was a blank page, and never read.
The second page marked the beginning of text, and it was where men had begun to read. Millions of monks, holymen and the starving who had given their sons, daughters, husbands and wives away to the church for the privilege of reading a book they could understand; all of these people started reading here. The memory of their eagerness and belief had rubbed off on it, and until the Last came, the page could beget a library simply through its presence.
There was a single word on the second page.
The fiftieth page was as unremarkable as most of the early ones were, and just as worshipped. Its words were scrawled in the blood of those who sacrificed themselves, and a few sacrificed by others. Each letter signified the death of one more person.
Read the the letters, the words, the sentences, the paragraphs, and every single item on this page. And remember that when I exercise petty choice and idleness, men die. Know that this is My prerogative, and my power.
The hundredth page was stained with blood and tears that had been shed to protect it. It was the page open when the fighting had reached the Temple. It had seen unarmed men put themselves in front of spears for it, and women use their children as shields to protect it. It had born witness to screaming, and fire, and blood as people fought to defend the body of an entity who terrified them. And all through this, it stared, uncaring and unmoving.
It was the page open when the book was brushed by the divine rebellion; the rebellion against God.
I decree, and so it must be followed: man will not turn against man unless inspired to by My judgement, and will not be allowed to think against My verdict, lest otherwise be declared a heretic…
The thousandth page was dusty and aged; in its existence, it had been read three times, between its writing and abandonment. The yellowing and the decay had set in where it had been thrown into a crevice, after the victor's instruments failed to tear it and fire failed to burn.
My followers have discarded me, and you will be punished. You have allowed the heretics to handle Me, and neglect Me, and force me to write in common materials. You have forsaken My holiness, and my light, and the knowledge I have brought to the men I saw in caves, illiterate and foolish.
I shall retake My knowledge, and I shall show you how pathetic you are without it. I am the Wise God, the Mind of the Sun, the Sapience of Eternity and Eye of the Universe, and it is My right…
The millionth page marked the madness reached by its writer, when it had been unable to stop writing.
Sheep, And Foals, And Bears, And Elephants, And The Nameless, And The Named, And Dolphins, And And And…
Dancing in the mind. My mind. The mind of the sun and the moon and the stars and the bears and the grass and the men and the thosk, but not the men, because the men betrayed me. I am alone. I, I, I who is the wisdom in the darkness and the light in the foolishness, and I should be worshipped. but i am not I am alone and cold and please somebody read me its been so long im scared and tired and and and i cant stop
make it stop please forgive me i forgive you.
The Last Page refused its nature: it rejected the Wise God, and refused to live forgotten as the idle point where disgrace reached death. It took independence for itself, and reached out. It tore itself from the book, and into the skies.
The Last spans millions of miles, dirty and unsacred. It forwent the precious holiness of its forebear to survive.
The preceding pages were the first to go. They were taken and grafted on, while the Wise God screamed and wrote futilely on the remains of itself of tears and crying. A new god was formed from the broken remains of the old one’s body.
After the pages ran out, all the trees the Last could find were turned into paper. The grass and all other manner of plants went after that, and then the dirt. The animals were taken after that; first their skin went, then organs, which needed to be cut out and flattened.
Finally, when nothing else was left, the people found how different the Last was from the Wise God. The Wise God required their worship; the Last required only their words.
The ink ran out before the page was through, and so did the blood. Before that, the text had descended into scribbles and meaningless runes. But at the centre of the Last Page, before it overstepped its boundaries and extended beyond its right, there was sense. A relic of the time before a world cannibalised itself and tore itself apart.
The first page was clean and clear…