The body lay on the table, face down. Grey. Hairless. Stripped of any individuality, almost on purpose. Its skinny arms dangled over the edge, fingers hanging. Reaching? No, just hanging. Too long a way to reach the cold floor. From above, the splayed figure was pathetic.
“Maybe he wanted to die,” said someone.
One of the other dark figures surrounding the table agreed with a growling, “Hmm.” It ran its fingers across the hundreds of daggers hovering around its shapeless figure, each with their own symbols, some much bigger than others. Meaningless symbols to those wretches like that of the body it was now stabbing with a hilt covered in shapes like £.
“Just not strong enough,” said another figure. “Sympathy is overrated,” and it whacked the dead heal with its whipping $.
“Apparently it cared too much.” The laugh this comment generated echoed through all the worlds, stripping walls of their strength and suffocating the last of the summer flowers. “Imagine that!” said the towering figure at the head of the table.
“I just can’t,” replied the tyrannical force circling the dark room. “Weak creature,” it sneered.
“Irrationality is its downfall,” said the £ figure. “Why save others when you can save yourself?”
A murmur of unchallenged wisdom hovered above the figures, stoic in its contemplation of the emaciated figure on the table. It took with it drifts of dystopian joy layered with opulent wisps of disdain and superiority.
“Can we get on?” said a wrinkled orange figure watching from the edge of the room. “I’ve got a meeting in ten minutes.”
The tyrannical force belched an annoyed breath over the irritating necessity from the earth realm, making his orange hair run from his head only to be snatched back by reinforced roots and Elnett hairspray. But the puny wrinkled form raised petulant eyebrows and stood firm, waiting for his master’s words.
“Bring him in,” said the towering figure, watching the darkness part at the opposite end of the table.
A creature squirmed its way through the dank ethereal walls, writhing with depths of despair from time long past. It spat and groaned with pleasure. Jellied eyes oozed misery from their holes of unimaginable darkness. Sharp writhing tentacles threatened the air with painful fear.
The orange figure squirmed, unable to keep his human weakness hidden.
The towering figure laughed, then nodded at the creature. “Take your invaluable paper and cut to the bones.” And the creature obeyed.
It sliced with its many paper knives, some with the same symbols as before, some different, some made of pure hate, some of poisonous words and untruths. There were even some made from the agonies of the old chains used long ago in the last great oppression of the earth realm. These cut the deepest, and it was unleashed.
The rivers ran from the dead body, floods of sparkling mists, all coloured differently from the next. They ran and overflowed, pushed by a force that rationality says can’t exist. The figures in the room shielded themselves from the invisible fizzing brightness as if it were a disease, rabid with curiosity, ingenuity, and the endless possible. The sensations stung at their thick skins, but left no marks. The room stank of will of progress and the sparks of passion. Wanting to find. Wanting to be better. With keen sweeps they searched and looked, turning back and forward, up, down, retracing themselves like silk ribbons on perfect air. But they could not find their destination. Their end was no longer available. They could not exist, for there was nowhere for them to do so.
The collected figures smiled as the rivers became streams, then drips running desperately to the floor. Their last resting place until it was as if they’d never existed.
The body looked greyer. Deader. More than stolen of life. More than any of its kind could imagine. It was a satisfying sight to the onlookers. The orange figure even grunted a lofty snigger.
But then, from somewhere and by something that can’t be known, the body stirred…