The Progression of the Self

     "This door locks behind you!" he screamed, "there is no turning back!" I stood there at the open door, outside the blaze of the magenta sun roared violently beneath the house as the house floated in blackest space- alone save for the broiling sphere beneath us. Inside the house was a hallway, a hallway that stretched from here to the infinity from whence I had come. I knew the words that issued from the man in front of me, I listened to him as he told me those words, but I did not hear them. Glancing back outside the house, I see that the sun has started spouting flares, the flares coil and worm through space like fingers of a spherical hand, beckoning me to join them. I turn to step outside; the man grabs me, pulling me toward himself, his face now centimeters from mine. "Are you sure you want to do this?" he shouted. The words are a slap in the face, pulling out of the trance I was in. My eyes jerk downward not wanting the man to see how scared they are... a muffled "yes" pulls itself from my lips. With that, the man frees me from his grasp, almost pushing me away, "I wish you luck, dear friend, and farewell, for I will likely never see you again." He turns from me now, and as he has chosen, begins his long journey through the hallway- alone; and from his gate it looks as if he has left his soul here at the door. I gathered myself, his choice was his and his alone, and like him I have made mine. Stepping to the door I take a deep breath, close my eyes and remember a time when life wasn't like this, when my biggest problem was deciding what was the most entertaining way of wasting my time for the day. A broad smile sweeps across my face, yes, those where the days... but times have changed, the smile disappears and I remember the task at hand.

     A great flare leaps from the sun, licking the side of the house, dancing from shingle to shingle, from window to window, and brick to brick. It glides and pulsates around the brick exterior and caresses the carefully hewn marble gargoyles, as if to mock them. It withdraws from the chiseled beasts and winds it's way toward the front door, toward me. The great flare retreats as suddenly as it appeared, as if tasting the acrid rot that seems to have lodged itself in my heart. I remember the dream, the dream that brought me here. It was a nightmare. This is a nightmare. But through and still the words of the Princess Universal ring in my ears, "The sun is the ball of death, a great sphere of undead rage, it is the culminate of the unrest of the departed. Left unchecked, the sun will devour everything, seeking to appease the souls that drive it thus. It is those souls that need to be destroyed, and they ride their chariot from within. You must destroy them. It is the seed of life that is their weakness; their hollow hearts fill to explode when brought to contact with this purest form of life...." Her words vanish as quickly as they had come; my senses are acutely aware of my surroundings now. Thoughts flee from my head as sheep from wolf. My purpose is blindingly clear. The seed of life, my seed of life, must be spilled upon this ball of death.

     I retreat to the corner of my mind reserved for the special times and special places. The corner of my mind reserved to house the thing that kept me human. It was the ecstasy, the desire, the want, the need that drew me first to this place- and then kept me coming back. Now I return, for the last time, the most important time. In my mind I see the things that I had never seen with my eyes, palaces of pleasure and fulfillment; great towering spires of human lust... and stingant pits of depravation. In my mind I sprout wings and soar through my fantasy land, swooping in and out of the alcoves nested within the spires, spiraling upward toward the apex of the clouded sky, faster and faster I swoop, ascending at breakneck speed, dashing in and around as I move to crest the spires,.... then.... CRASH! I breach the clouds supersonically, a sonic boom reverberates across the land, great thunderheads form instantaneously and spray violently the liquid held within, my wings are alight with the magnificent power of the lightening that is draining into them from the clouds. For an eternal moment I am the universe, the very fabric of reality is the cloth of my pant, I have an Olympian view, where eyes needn't open to see what cannot be seen; but the moment eternal wanes to moment ephemeral. The clouds withdraw, the fabric of time is ripped from my garment and my wings are torn, broke, and I am cast back into my reality. I gain awareness just as my feet slip from the edge of the house and I tumble into the blackness.

     Just as the Princess Universal had said, the seed of life muted the torment of the dead and the sun quickly burns itself to black charcoal, and vanishes. I am falling now, watching the house rise ever faster above me as I head unseeing into the black unknown. It occurs to me that to be falling as I am, I must be falling toward something, what, I dare not contemplate. The legends say that he who spills his seed upon the dead, must fill the emptiness that is left within himself with the loneliness of forever. A tear slides down my cheek as I realize what it is I am falling toward, I am falling toward....