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Dead Tapes

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Listen to them screech.

Listen to them claw and gnaw and thrash. Pathetic things. Pitiful.

I don’t think they understand what is happening, not really. These travels to new worlds. They don’t know what has changed. They can’t. They’re just a swarm of broken hungry thoughts, with no thought but fear.

They burrow into this new world, and they shift.

This world, you see, stands on the brink of a great war. And so That Which Fears Violence thrives.

Ah, but they have made more advances in vaccines then the last world, and so That Which Fear Rot withers.

The same show each time, the same chorus of cackles and sobs for each new world. Winners lauding over cowering losers, new terrors forming and obsolete ones fading away. It is grimly beautiful, to see what pantheon will rule this petty court.

I do not partake.

In this world, people die. And I am strong.

I am strong in every world.

And so I can think of bigger things.

I sit silent as the attack begins, their slumbering forms slamming against the walls of the world. They are too crude, of course. They could never do it. Only send in monsters and pawns.

Only two of us could.


And my mortal enemy. My only friend. The only other mind here.

That Which Fears Control.

It blossoms and withers like the others, different worlds with different fears, but not for long. On worlds of freedom and tolerance... it changes them. It is not like the beasts. It forms a world to its liking.

As do I, I suppose.

It is the endless movement to my still silence. The frenzied plotting to my calm victory. We have an understanding. A game.

I wish to kill it. It does not wish to die.

It laughs and preens. It has escaped my trap, it mocks. Now it will live forever, dancing from world to world.

It could never understand the truth.

It is plans, it is schemes, it is purpose. It is ever-striving.

I am patience. And inevitability. And I know something it doesn’t.

One day, it will run out of places to run.

Nothing is infinite. I would know. A thousand worlds. A million. A billion. More.

But they will run out eventually.

Everything does.

I see it already spinning. It has chosen That Which Fears Dark as its pawn in this world, and it already looks through shadows and dark spaces for those it could mark.

Let it try. Let it succeed. Let it succeed a thousand times.

It won’t matter. I will cage it eventually. I could cage it now. There are many ways for a messiah to die before it can open a door.

But I have bigger dreams.

I am not one for planning. But I knew, once I saw the truth, that I would have to.

A billion worlds. And I could only kill one. My work of art marred by an infinity of life.

But this? I could spread to every world. 

I can end everything.

Genuinely everything.

It will be beautiful.

That Which Fears Control laughs. There. The woman in the dark room, fleeing the scuttling swarm.

She will explore every dark space, and be touched by all horrors within, and plunge this world into endless night.

And then That Which Fears Control will steal her voice, and follow it through to another world.

It is nice to hear the plan. To hear a plan. Next to us, That Which Fears Isolation claws at the world, sobbing and wailing. Pathetic.

We agree on that at least. And it thinks it has outsmarted me, fleeing before I can kill it.

But it has not understood. I am remnants.

And even we leave behind corpses.

After the travel, those on the first World will find a tape recorder. One left behind.

And the world after that. And after that. And after that.

A trail of dead webs, to bring me back. To pour through every world, riding a wave of terror as all life grows cold. Right back to our birthplace.

Ah. It begins.

A great portal of shadow opens and the world shifts.

I start my work. I kill 3 million before the woman opens the door.

That Which Fears Control preens at my loss, and it doesn’t notice or care about one more bit of debris left in a dead world.

A new world. That Which Fears Confinement shrinks, That Which Fears Vision grows. That Which Fears Form swells, That Which Fears Others withers.

I remain strong. In this world, people die.

Listen to them screech.

Listen to it mock.

But I am patience.

I am an Ending.

So I wait. quiet. Still.

They celebrate their feast.

And I leave behind another tape.