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The Darkness That Lasts Forever

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When Champagne's world shifted, she did not understand it. The familiar darkness split into thousands of patterns, weaving around her and creating countless forms. Champagne reached back, and the darkness clung to her. The darkness would never leave. She knew that to be a fact. But how was she so certain? That, she did not know.

But the darkness could not envelope her as fully as it once had. Champagne saw shimmering walls of light pierce the dark. Figures that her mind gave shape to, forms inscribed upon her soul - they surrounded her, and chattered. (None of them had faces. All of them reached around and changed reality.)


They spoke, too. Their voices were so incongruous at first, but the darkness responded. It changes them ro songs that Champagne could listen to more easily. There were harsh noises too, made by things that looked like they were made up of eyes and pipes.


And light flooded Champagne's world - everything here shone. The walls of light felt like a distant dream, voice pleading for life. The pipping … things were distant to the touch, but they too were engraved with memories. Champagne listened to the death-rattles that these things had imprinted upon them.


The figures had the most. Champagne could feel their wishes. There were other figures; there was the turning earth. Their souls that shone so brightly, draped with innumerable items. (She saw little canines all with binds upon their paws, and doves carrying lanterns across the sky, and horses whose mighty chests admitted these figures, and so many more.)


Champagne reached out. Her fingers brushed across the smoothness of the souls.


One figure shied away. Then two. Then three. The whispers grew more frantic.


Something is wrong. Something is wrong. Did you feel that?


She lifted herself up. The light beneath her flickered. Darkness clung to her, but Champagne could tell she had a body now. It rather looked like one of the figures, really; but it wasn't a shadow with a soul embedded in its core. There was colour.


The flickering shadow-figures left Champagne by herself. There were breaks in the light, through which she could glimpse other figures flittering about. Beyond one of these gaps was a great tree painted in blood.


The grief radiating from it was strong.


Looking at it gave Champagne a headache. She pulled back, her eyelids twitching. The darkness wrapped around her. And in that instant, she shuddered.


New figures twisted into existence, phasing through the light. They danced and screamed and contorted. On their heels was energy - energy all in yellow and blue and purple, that hummed with old songs. Songs that Champagne felt drawn to - but that also stirred something else in her. Something in her wanted to see these energy-forms obliterated. Gone. Never to exist ever again.


She smelled something, a sick and tangy scent. Red oozed across the ground. Red wept from the figures all around Champagne. Blood, her mind supplied, this is blood.


The world tilted, reshaped itself, and everything Champagne had just witnessed fell away. The walls of light reformed themselves. Champagne knew time was passing, has passed, will pass, but she didn't know how much. The sand dripping from the hourglasses all blended together.


The songs began again. More figures flitted about. She caught glimpses of others as the walls of light weakened and strengthened. There were some whose hearts Champagne thought looked like they come from myths. There were castles and towers, and a shining figure upon a great white horse. There was an old hall, filled with mirrors and with timeless desire.


There were others whose hearts were full of steel and neon light. Great towers reached up, and up, and up. The earth ticked and clicked. Metal wove into innumerable intricacies, and screeched across the glassy ground. It soared beneath the dome. Metal shapes glided across the sea - and this in particular felt… familiar. Right.


There was faith, too, faith in something beyond their eyes. Champagne knew, somehow, they could not see it. But she could. Sometimes she moved so slowly, like time was slowing down, and countless things danced across her vision. There was fire, and there was despair, and there was darkness - and she belonged to these desolate landscapes. She was the desolation - or, at least, she could be.


The first time Champagne felt like she could stand, everything slowed down again. Dimly, she was aware of more of the darkness and the figures flitting about her. (The light beneath her feet was so very smooth.)


And then it became rough and warm. The ground was springy now, an expanse of grass - of earth, her mind said. Trees contorted and danced, and the bloodstained tree she'd seen before clawed at the celestial dome.


Yes, it was a dome. Foggy in some areas and glassy in others. It was colourless but yet she saw it. A golden, shining, brilliant eye slid across the dome. Thousands of little lanterns hung from it.


Champagne shuddered. She felt heavy. Pulsing energy wound across the earth, and the figures did not notice. Traceries of blue and purple and yellow shaped themselves into eyes. Inscribed themselves upon the done.


Champagne's knees grew weak, and the shadows flocked around her. Like moths to a light, moths dyed in darkness. They held her, and she realised she could feel it. Feel them. They were warm and soft-firm. She couldn't quite describe the feeling.


Their songs grew low, and soon they were wrapping themselves around her, guiding her back into the innumerable shining hallways.


Strange. But somehow, she knew this would not always be her world. There were tapestries unscrolling themselves in her mind - her soul. Failure, success, fear, defeat, joy, pride. So many… emotions, she thought. And somehow, she knew them all as the world around her shimmered. Ever-shifting, ever-changing.


It was Champagne's world, now. Hers and the darkness's. It changed sporadically, and also as she moved and touched it. Yet - the world and everything in it felt so far away. The darkness, Champagne thought, was the most - real part? Most real, yes, that was the word.