Whence It Came: A Short Story

Nearly everyone assumes it was a benevolent God that begat the world, few would hazard a guess that it was an ambivalent one. It is said that there was a bang and then there was light. In fact there was a scream and then the dark came into being. Before the dark there was Nothing and from that great ocean of nothingness sprang forth The Creator. It existed in that void until the birth of the universe from its will.

It is impossible to discern much about The Creator. It does not exist on the same plane of reality as you or I. The Creator is not a physical being nor is it a spectral one.  It is not a slave to time as we are.  Birth, ageing and death are not concepts that apply to it.  It exists of its own will and we exist in spite of it.

What came before The Creator is even more mysterious as it is not the one responsible for the plunge from nothingness. It was its God that made it, for what purpose we will never be privy. We will come to know The Creator, for it has come to us. What purpose does it have with mortals of Earth?  I will first tell you it promised answers and it guaranteed The End.

I was a young man living in France at the time I made its acquaintance. I had come to a small town south of the Seine from a similar small town in America. To say I was a writer is stretching the truth. I wrote but I mostly imbibed; spirits, stories, nature. I took in all I could in order to find some meaning in life. Fancying myself a storyteller, I figured I had to experience all the world could offer in order to have something to say. It turns out that was an overreach on my behalf. In the end all I had to do was be in a particular field at the right moment to learn the last story that would ever be told.

This particular day, the last day, I found myself standing by a stream in a farmer’s field observing nothing in particular.  This was a method I would use when my inner voice failed me.  Creating something from nothing requires a great deal of endurance.  Forming ideas into a coherent, structured story is not for the weak-willed.  I stood by a stream imagining a man desperately grasping for the surface while the easy tide sweeps him towards certain doom.  Macabre, I know, my mind gravitated more towards darker tales.  While many would stand amongst nature and see immeasurable beauty I could only see the potential for disaster.

Suddenly there was a noise louder than a sonic boom and the tranquil blue skies turned a shade of crimson. A massive gout of fire breached the atmosphere like a wrecking ball into a dilapidated building. The sheer force knocked me square on my back. A searing heat scalded my face, in an instant all the hair and clothing was singed from my body. I struggled to regain my senses. Immense pain racked my body. Blood flowed from the hollows of my ears.  In an instant I was made deaf.

When the pain in my head began to ebb my eyes shot back and forth trying to discern what was occurring. What I saw before me was mist; thick, grey and suspended in air. The air was still, as if in a vacuum, and smelled of sickly sweet flowers. There we no signs of life, it was as if in the moment all life had taken a collective gasp. What I know now is that everything went on unabated. This was a secret arrival, the show was for me.  The pomp and circumstance would go unnoticed by the world outside this field.

It didn’t matter to the Creator who it found to tell his story. It wanted it told and just happened upon me. Any delusion of grandeur on my part is just that, a delusion. I am not prophet sent to relay the Gospel of the Destroyer. Wrong place, wrong time. Simple as that.

The fog coalesced, swirled and danced before my eyes. I felt the air grow cold and gather around my body. I could feel it enter through my pores, my ears, eyes and mouth. I felt it probing my mind, searching my thoughts, my memories, my dreams. I saw them all reflected in the mist. My father teaching me to throw a baseball, my mother dressing me for school, a fight with my younger brother, my first kiss, my last one. Everything I had experienced played out in seconds for it to see. Judging my life, judging me.

A great light burst as if the sun itself was exploding and I was blind. My eyes were rended into useless pulp. Bloody holes existed where blue gems once beamed.  Despite my physical blindness I could still see in my mind’s eye and that is where the Creator made itself at home.

To assign a form to the Creator is impossible. Imagine every horror you have ever seen; every image of Satan, Nosferatu, Cthulhu and you might not be far off. The Creator takes the form you most dread from the deep recesses of your mind. I saw a Lovecraftian beast of lore.  Tentacles slick with viscous slime hung from a scaly, oblong body.  At the end of every appendage was a single razor-like claw.  Its mouth was filled with sharp, snarling teeth and above its gaping maw were many eyes which shone like hot coals.

The great tentacles grasped me by the shoulders and drew me up to its face or it’s approximation of one. My body felt as if it were enveloped by coarse pebbles and sharp pain pierced my back as the long piercing talons dug into my spine.

The floral smell was thicker and I felt an uncontrollable urge to retch. The beast towered over me, snarling acrid smoke from three holes in it’s oblong head. Its eyes bore me no kindness or ill will, I could tell it regarded me as no more than vermin.

“You will die” bellowed the creature. Its voice was cold yet calm. There was no hint of anger or malice. The beast spoke with intent and purpose, of this I was certain. I knew at any moment this abomination could tear me limb from limb and toss me asunder.

A deep, instinctual part of me remained calm.  I figured dying now might not be as horrific as living to see what came next. These notions quickly abandoned me as it squeezed me tighter in its grasp. The claws dug into my back further piercing my flesh. I bit my lip, doing my best not to cry out in agony.  Again I had a deep feeling that none of this was malicious, it was just its way of gaining my undivided attention.

Its voice rose again inside my head “Make no mistake, your time is at an end. There is no escape. However I will permit you to know why this is happening. Consider it a gift. I shall offer this to no one else. You will bear witness”.

The grip on me abated and I felt myself gently lowered back to the ground. The pain that coursed through my body eased and I felt calm. I could not see my surroundings or hear anything but I could feel the creature ease its grasp on my mind allowing me to regain my composure. At last I took a deep breath and asked what the creature wished of me.

It boomed “To tell my story” and thus it laid its tentacles on me again, yet softly like parent supporting a newborn’s head. It spoke to me, not through words but projecting into my mind.  Despite my devastated physical state I found I could see, hear and feel once more.

Billions of years of blackness, wandering through unmarked time. Loneliness, helplessness, anger. I was experiencing what it was like to be The Creator. Imagine sitting in a darkened room hearing nothing, seeing nothing. Nothing existing around you, for you are the only thing in existence. You have no form, you just are concentrated will.

For the first billion years it yearned for company. The next billion it spent yearning for answers. It assumed something had made it and for a reason. Yet it sat there in its nonexistent cell alone and grew angry. One day its anger became so great that something remarkable happened. A great primordial scream burst from somewhere inside it and thus a bang became the first sound.

Existence sprang forth from the sheer force of its rage. The universe had begun. It watched its creation and began to tinker. Over eons stars would form, worlds would be born and The Creator whose anger had birthed it all watched with unblinking eyes and busy hands.

To realize the world was born of pure unadulterated rage is not such a hard thing to imagine. With all we were given; pristine oceans, land fertile with game and vegetation we have succeeded in few things greater than killing. Wars fought over territory, resources and petty disagreements litter our history. We had everything yet were never content with that. We were made in our Creator’s image.

The birth of our world is one of curious intent. The Creator grew tired of its barren universe and began to experiment with life. When it grew tired of the ferns and grasses, it created single celled organisms. After those became tedious it moved on to fish-like creatures, amphibians, great reptiles and mammals. Humans were an oversight. As The Creator grew bored of the early mammals on Earth it turned its attentions once more towards discovering its origins. During its fruitless search it wandered its universe for a time. While this was mere moments for The Creator it was millenia for us. Thus when it turned its gaze back to our planet it discovered something new had arisen, humanity.

To say it felt anything beyond apathy for us at first is an understatement. It looked upon us as humans look upon grains of sand on a beach. It allowed us to live, watching us struggle to remain upright, to fashion stones and sticks into tools and weapons.  The Creator watched us spread to the corners of it’s world claiming it as our own.  It could not help but be amused by this notion.

The Creator who had searched for its maker now witnessed life it haphazardly begat search the heavens for their creator. For a while it pondered the idea of revealing itself to us, claiming the “God” mantle humanity had created. On occasion he would tinker; a plague here, a Messiah there, prophets struck deaf and blind recounting the words of a burning bush or a pillar of smoke. It watched as we birthed countless religions and toyed with us to amuse itself.  Men were beaten and sacrificed in its name and it was entertained.

The Creator is not an evil being. Good and evil are of no consequence to it. If it has any motivation it is just escaping tedium. The Creator is not above good works. Miracles happen, if it serves its entertainment. It watched us rise, creating society, laws and nations. Great pleasure was had watching us stumble through time; foraging, hunting, colonizing, exploring, drawing and redrawing imaginary borders. That was until something called out to it.

What began as a normal day for humanity would signal the culmination of our world. The Creator watched us go about our affairs. Then it felt something, an otherworldly presence. Remember, this is a being with no physical body and yet it felt a great weight on it. A voice spoke and told it that all would be answered. The Creator would finally know why it came into existence. For that reason we would be cast asunder. A child’s playthings tossed aside.

It will not rain fire and brimstone down around us, the seas will not boil and the sun will not explode. Our end will come not with a great tragedy, we will just cease to exist. Everything will stop, the lights on the stage will dim and nothing will remain in the darkness.

We now return to where we came from as The Creator returns from whence it came, the great Nothing. The Creator is not without any feeling for us. It knows what will happen and decided to make its presence felt once more. I attempted to ask The Creator about his Maker however it was no use.  The Creator departed, having fulfilled its obligation.  So now I sit here in a void having been rendered senseless awaiting the very end of existence.

Thus it was on a perfectly normal day in August that The Creator visited a small town in France and told its story to a single human so that we would have our answers. It could have told the entirety of humanity however to The Creator we are all grains of sand and what is the difference between talking to a grain of sand and to a beach?

Author’s Notes:  I honestly hate this story.  It is pretentious as hell.  The reason I felt the need to post it is that it’s the first fictional story I’ve written in nearly 15 years.  While I don’t really like it I feel it’s important.  If anything it sets the bar really low for my upcoming stories, so that’s nice.  If you have any comments, critiques or feedback please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.


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