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Part One[]

And there I stood. The wind through the valley rustling the loose fibers has turned to a burning fire, charring my edges.

The pressure of my feet on the ground continued to grow. My knees buckled under the crushing intensities of nothing at all.

I was presented with insurmountability, complete and total, in the most literal sense.

Walls of wood, brick, mud and rot extended higher than my eyes could bear witness to.

A perfect cliff, a perfect chasm, a perfect valley, as the hands of man bring upon only bastardizations of what nature creates.

Slight tendrils of ivy clung tenaciously to the edges of those imposing walls, hinting at something else beyond what my poor, fragile brain could even consider.

And as thus, a different thought came to me.

And I knew that I am small. Infinitesmally small.

And I knew it was though the world had conspired itself to remind me of my own limitations.

And it reminded me that I am no different than anything else, that I am still with everything else. I am still everything else.

I live. I breathe. I burn. I die.

I am as the cliffs. The ivy will take me as well.

I'm not like them, not now, and not for a long time.

It was the weight of this inadequacy, pressing on my shoulders, sending me to my knees, laying there solemn on the bricks, and the gravel and the ash, and the mud.

I am still of this Earth.

A surge of awe and humility coursed through what could be considered my veins.

Oh, it was still a grand scene despite the circumstances at hand.

The time that I could not fathom occuring at all that was spent shaping the edges of these walls and valleys, the care and precision put into each little speck, each little minutia, each angstrom of all ten-thousand miles of this world.

It made me feel appreciated. I recognized a beauty in my smallness.

It was all made for me. This world was made as large, as opposing, as utterly incomprehensible as it was, all for me.

I am still as everything else is, and I am a part of everything else, in everything else, of everything else, for everything else.

I don't know if there's someone watching over me anymore.

I don't know if these messages left on the television mean anything.

I don't know if I should listen to the ten-thousand voices in my ears.

I don't know if proceeding would be better than retreating.

I don't know if my purpose was for something grander.

I don't know if my mistakes were planned out before.

I don't know if they sent me out to die, if they intended to send me out to die.

I don't know if there's a plan, if there's fate, if anyone knows what they're doing.

And I don't know if there's a God, or a heaven for me to go back to once it's all over.

And as I stood there, surrounded by the grandeur of the world, the weight of pain, the weight of failure, the weight of inadequacy washed away in the burning winds of the valley, leaving only a serene, if not bittersweet acceptance.

And from within me burst a light, greater than those from the paper stars in the sky.

Piercing through the dark of the valley, breaking through the walls presented.

And I was given a choice.

Like prophecy, like truth, like justice.

It was innate, instinctual, animal. It's been there for an awfully long time.

And I never bothered to look up at it. I never bothered to even consider the option, the opportunity.

And the television angel laughs. How foolish he must be, I could feel his breath as venom.

What a cruel joke, what a crude joke, even more so once I saw the dillema presented.

But I dared not spite the television angel, for I didn't have the words to say then, and I cannot speak them now.

And so, I stood there at the precipice of this vast world, a world that seemed both infinite and finite, both daunting and inviting.

As the light within me grew brighter, it illuminated my thoughts and fears.

A spotlight which they were afraid of. Ironic.

What a feeling! What a sense I can't bring words to describe!

The voices in my ears, the messages on the television, the words of the angels swelled, compounded, intensified. Sheer magnitude.

Each time I fell to my knees was practice for this very instant.

And the light burst forward from me and I took the deal.

I shook hands with the devil. I heeded the television angel's advice.

When faced with this both freeing and capturing, imprisoning circumstance,

I took a step backwards, and I tried again.

Part Two[]


My arms tensed.

My legs tensed.

My chest, my stomach, my back tensed.

My gut turned to stone, and my muscles turned to bone.

And I swelled. I swelled with air, water, gas, and I swelled until I burst.

The pressure grew with each passing instant, each feeling like it's own hell as my insides were pressed against my skins, my bones shattered, my blood boiled.

Each breath I took drew in more of the world's weight, my lungs strained against the burning air of the valley. My eyes unfocused, dilated, clouded, before becoming unusable. I was blind.

An unrelenting self-inflicting onslaught of my own creation.

Surrounded by the night of my own seeting sun, tearing me apart.

As was prophecized. As was shined in the poison of the television angel.

Each of my fibres, each of my nerves pulsed in a symphony of pain seldom seen on this Earth.

I pulled myself apart.

I heard a crack, before I heard a rip, before I heard a tear.

And before I could process what was happening to me, my skin was unraveling, exposing my raw, quivering insides.

The pressure inside me found its only escape through the rupture of my body.

I tried to scream, but the air rushing from what was left of my shredded lungs was not enough, producing only a feeble, strangled muffle. A cosmic hush.

I was thrown to the wind. I popped like a balloon.

I was full and hollow, empty and full.

A landscape of red and white spread before me, my feeling made flesh.

Hills, troughs, rivers and streams... And I became the world as the world became me.

I was small! Insignificant! Unworthy and unwise.

The television angel stood upon his throne, he knew he was right, that he was just as much as I did.

My vanity, my insecurity, my short tempers and self-absorption made manifest, and I became two, then three, then fifty, then a thousand.

I came to where I could not stand myself, so I became something else.

I spilled myself across the floor of the valley. I became the valley. I was everything else as everything else was me.

And thus my self died with my body. I crept like the ivy upon the face of the cliff.

I was neither here nor there, suspended in worlds of my own creation for my own creation. Disorienting, disenchanting, liberating, illusionary.

And I sat staring at the nothing made from something, as there was no longer a seperation in me from the rest of the world.

I saw us for who we were.

I saw the television angel in all of his beauty.

I saw the sculptors of the valley.

I saw behind my eyes, my head filled with wonder, rainbows and ice cream and lush, green rolling hills.

And then I saw nothing.

And there I was through another's eyes on the other side of the valley.

Precisely the same as when I started.