An Espresso Tale
Accipiter G. Goshawk
The story continues from where we left it in Part I…
In the depths of the Building, the Inner Workings roiled and tumbled endlessly like an angry sea of fire. Realities jumped into existence only to be smashed a timeless fraction later by an expanding plain of nothingness. Colours looped through every possible spectrum, shaped into energy, and then crumbled back into shadow, as the creatures that lived in the cracks of Existence floated dreamily within the soup of prima materia.
A simple wooden door appeared on the periphery of one of the smaller realities. Hesitantly, Teal walked through and closed the door behind them.
Their dark-blue coat fluttered in the cosmic winds and their shoulder-length hair freed itself from a stern ponytail. Strands of silver floated all around their head as brown eyes tried hopelessly to capture the immensity of every iteration of Time and Space.
Had there been oxygen in this place they would have drawn a breath. Instead, they concentrated and twisted the prima materia into the correct assemblage of protons and neutrons, willing it to flow gently into their lungs.
“Now, where to begin…?” they thought to themself, as they scanned the surrounding miasma.
The question twisted space, rapidly drawing them to the closest ‘where’ within the Inner Workings.
“No, no, no!”
Light flashed around them as they were drawn into another reality, colours and matter streaming past in an endless cascade of information and possibility.
Slowly, they opened their eyes.
They appeared to be standing on a beach of blue sand. Red waves rolled lazily around their feet, turning the rocky grains green and then translucent violet. The whole planet smelled of lavender. Somewhere to their right, the locals had erected a small building.
“Are you lost?”
The question was uttered in an unintelligible garble of light and sound, but Teal had spent many millennia devoting themself to the study of all languages. They turned towards the speaker, an odd-looking nitrogen-based lifeform that looked like a cross between a magnolia and a grandfather clock.
“I…yes, maybe a little. I need to get somewhere. I’m really not supposed to be here.”
The being rustled its fronds and let its gears turn thoughtfully.
“You seem strangely limited in your possibilities. Why would you feel you require to not be in this place? All places are equal and you may do as you want.”
The small reality reached out to hold Teal; they could feel its influence in their soul. It tugged at their being, demanding they stay, that they be fixed.
They sighed and smiled at the creature.
“My desires are elsewhere. Be well,” they murmured. Then they moved sideways, out of the universe.
Their short foray into reality had brought them to a very active patch of the Inner Workings: around them existences expanded and deflated like fleets of startled pufferfish, causing the prima materia to swirl in dangerous eddies of causality.
“Ok…ok. I can do this,” they whispered, eyeing the chaotic progressions worriedly.
Hesitantly they stretched out a hand, willing the surrounding forces of creation and destruction to bend to their will.
Slowly, a small mote appeared between their fingers, drawing in more matter as it attempted to exert its laws and destiny on the prima materia in its vicinity.
Teal let out a small exclamation of satisfaction, but it almost immediately died on their lips. Rolling towards them was a massive bubble of darkness; a reality so vast that it seemed to engulf or tear apart all others it encountered.
Space and sound twisted as the aspiring world-moulder turned to run, willing themself to disappear to the farthest reaches of the Inner Workings.
However, their efforts only resulted in them spiralling erratically into the tarnished eddies of prima materia, putting them directly in the monstrous universe’s path.
As darkness overcame them, they tried to keep the shining mote alive in the palm of their hand.
But the cold winds stripped away all light and thought, leaving their palm empty and barren.-
The story continues in Part III…