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The End

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A quill scratches against parchment in short bursts, leaving black lines in its wake as it slowly traverses across the page before being brought back to the left side. Symbols fill the yellowed page, ones that were created across various lives and redone until they formed a script that Steve could read with ease. The writing system isn't one the villagers can understand, nor anyone aside from Steve, but it works. It isn't like they can understand him usually, anyway.

Grass rustles against his feet as he walks in the plains without thought. He mumbles under his breath, "Need to revisit the Nether... get more blaze rods..."

He goes to write the thought down when his hand and feet still. A faint breeze blows over him, and a cow moos in the distance. He looks down at himself. An enchanted iron chestplate gleams at him, along with his diamond boots and iron leggings.

He lets out a long breath as he returns to the book. Is it time to face her again? He has enough ender pearls; he would just need some blaze powder to create the eyes, and then...

He closes the book. His feet drag as they carry him to the nearest tree, and he plops down against it. He looks toward the sky, the Sun still high up in the air (it isn't even noon).

Every time he awakes in a new world, he feels a pull spark inside him––one that whispers in his ears with each progression he makes, like creating a crafting table or finding diamonds for the first time. The End, it reminds him. She awaits you.

Every world, he must meet her again. Every world, they must engage in a dance. Every world, he sees her, and he feels a connection between them, one that has gnawed at his brain for forever. Every world, when the time comes to fight, he calls for her to explain what it means, to give him answers, and every world, as she explodes into light, he can feel her speak inside his mind: Not yet.

And then he wakes up in bed, like it was all a surreal dream.

It isn't like he is completely in the dark. He remembers some things before the world was destroyed and reborn. He remembers the ships, and the thunderous noise they made as thousands flew and blocked the Sun. He remembers the fire. But it all blurs so horribly until there is nothing much left to mull on. He feels like she, for instance, is familiar, but has no recollection as to why. He also doesn't know why he is here, why he continues to wake up in a new world. All that he can say is that she knows, and she won't tell him––not yet, at least.

A chicken clucks gently beside him, bringing him partially back to the present. He smiles as he slowly brings his hand to it and pets it. The chicken's head leans into his touch.

He takes in a deep breath as he leans more into the oak tree. Perhaps he won't go just yet. She'll still be there for him, waiting for their duet.

His eyes begin to flutter under the warm light as the chicken steps onto his stomach and lies down, its own eyes half-lidded. He chuckles softly as he lays a hand on the chicken and closes his eyes, allowing sleep to take him.

Far, far beyond the world, among the porous yellow stone, a dragon snoozes as well to the endermen's singing.