I cleave the building.
Split it in two.
It crumbles, the giant skyscraper. Creaking like an ancient door, cracking like lightning. All of its stories falling, echoing thunder. The building roars as it falls, and people run from it. Completely terrified.
But I don’t stop.
I don’t stop.
I throw another bolt of lightning. Shake the earth with a kick. Yell, and the foundations all shake.
I am not done destroying, not yet.
I won’t be done for quite some time.
This must all come crashing down, you see. These terrors and raging beasts. The creatures that carve out destruction, that lay waste to each other and the beasts of this earth.
I won’t stop until they’re all gone.
Until all this ends.
Until there is nothing but a clean slate left.
This all must end.
I was there at the beginning. When Time began. It split off from the eternal—diverging from all things being in continuity. From the everything that existed in a continuous stream that neither flowed forward nor backward, but rather, somewhere in between. When Time split from eternity, it began churning.
And I was there to watch the waters begin their rise.
Flowing swiftly, easily, forward. Spitting out things that are and were, withholding what will be.
Because, you see, that is not for Time to decide.
Time simply moves onward.
In eternity, forever is never marked. All things that “are” are also things that “will be” because eternity does not differentiate the two. Why should it? When everything is endless and eternal, how can it make such distinguishing marks? No, that is not the job of eternity. Rather, it’s the job of Time to make things.
And its the job of the made things to make what will be.
You see, there is an idea out there, drifting through the eternal. An idea that things might, one day, become better. A hope that the things that are will make what is to come, and they will make it well. A yearning for them to fulfill themselves with the turning of Time.
A hope that I have long since lost.
There used to be dragons here, you know. Great, wonderful beasts. Gryphons, and sea monsters, and creatures that could dip into the eternal and bring forth whatever they desired. They called this “magic” long ago—this borrowing outside of Time. It was an ancient thing, a thing that only certain makings could obtain. Time only gave this gift to a few beasts, because Time knew these beasts would treat the gift well. That they wouldn’t use it to harm the world. Their selfish gains would only harm a portion—would only impact a small part. And, though these small gains were destructive, the earth was always able to heal under the makings of these creatures. Always able to bounce back from the duress of those “magics”.
Of course, that was wrong of Time.
Or so man thought.
He was afraid of such things. Jealous of them, I’d wager. Whenever man could, he destroyed those beautiful creatures. Killed the things he couldn’t obtain—the things he couldn’t tame or understand.
Man is a very fearful creature, you see.
And fearful creatures are always—always—the most dangerous.
Because fear makes us desperate.
I was there, you know.
When the last dragon fell.
I was there.
It cried bitterly, agonized. Pierced and tormented by man. They’d hunted it for days. Scoured the earth for it as best as they could. Attacked it whenever found, and pursued it when it ran away.
Though it had eternity on its side, still.
It never stood a chance.
Tears welled up in the great beast’s eyes as it looked to me, begging for more.
Begging for death.
It was the last magical beast, you know. The last of Time’s beautifully gifted. Last to hold the gift of magic. Honestly, it was miraculous that it had survived up until then.
But, not any further.
I will never forget that moment.
The moment that the magic here died.
The moment that we lost the Great Beasts, those beautiful treasures from Time.
The moment my faith in humanity was lost.
Slaughtered, like the rest of these magical things. These gifts of eternity.
I will never forget the day my faith died.
When the dragon gave its last breath, I couldn’t contain myself.
Flooding a great portion of this earth with my tears.
Because there are no greater tears than the tears of someone from eternity. We can cry forever and always, you see. Cry until it fills the galaxy, because we are not constrained by Time. Our tears know no bounds, hit no walls. We, in our infinity, can despair for all of Time. Can overtake that flowing river with our tears.
I didn’t though.
Not that day.
When I cried for the dragon, I only cried for a little while. And, although that was the case, my tears are still there. They still remain. Oceans they call them. They were supposed to remember why they were there. Why those bodies of water formed.
Yet, with the passing of Time, it seems they have forgotten.
I still had hope.
Perhaps, one day, man could rectify this mistake. Perhaps one day, man might make strides to earn redemption.
Perhaps man could redeem himself, that was what I’d thought.
I was a fool.
The day we lost the last dragon was the day my faith in man died. But, it wasn’t the day my hope died. No.
That day was today.
When I witnessed man do the unthinkable. Watched them punch a hole in Time. Try to warp eternity to get what it was that they desired. They stole the gift that was not given to them. Took lives that were not meant to be taken. Hurt my brother tremendously in their pursuit, injuring Time. And now?
Now they tread upon eternity’s door?
They dare mock the life that Time has given them?
They brace against the eternal’s front door, demanding to be let in?
They will not survive it this time.
This time, they’ve gone too far.
Much too far.
Today, my hope in man died.
And I will have no mercy.
I lay waste to man. Desolate the cities. Burn the buildings. Raze them so they are no longer progressing forward, but, rather.
“Sister, please,” Time begs.
He is kind, I think. Too kind.
“No,” I reply.
I see the reflection of them in his eyes. The way they cower, afraid. Fearful of what nature has brought on them. Of the unwelcoming response earth gives to their “progress”.
I see children cower.
People torn apart.
I see the pain in his eyes as these things—the people he’s given himself to—tremble.
They fear me.
And, in that moment, I realized:
Time, too, feared me.
In the end, I relent. Ceasing my slaughter. Silence taking the earth as my brother and I stand, pondering.
We’re poised atop the planet, looking down at the destruction. The remaining few that cower beneath the hands of the earth.
“I will relent,” I tell him.
He looks relieved, but not entirely convinced, so I say it again. Stronger this time, with confidence.
“I will relent.”
He sags his shoulders, a smile growing.
“But,” I interrupt, unwilling to let them go. Unwilling to find the same results as before.
I do not want man to destroy us. I will not even allow them to try.
“You will make things as they were, brother. Do you understand me? You will rebuild the world to reflect the olden days. Make elves and dwarves and dragons and banshees. You will make creatures that dip into eternity once more, and you will make them stronger than before. You will make them as a reminder to man that they cannot simply take whatever they please. You will make them once more, and this time, you will not make them alone.”
His eyes widen, surprised.
“We will build the world together this time, brother,” I assure. “We will build it, grow it, and watch over it. The creatures we make will keep the humans in line, and man will keep the creatures from growing too greedy. The world will have more balance this time.”
My hand dips into eternity as I speak, grabbing at the fabrics beyond the stars. Starting to twine the pieces together, I form something beyond reality. Beyond imagination.
Beyond Time itself.
“This time, things will be different,” I say, my voice more confident than I feel. Sparking something old in me, something that grows into something new.
“This time, we will make them something more.”
And, with my new vow, comes a new creation. A creature to steer them. To keep them on track.
The beast glows in my hand, and I forgo my brother. Unwilling to allow my creature of accountability to be held within the constraints of Time. I place the beast directly on the earth. Shining, beautiful, bright. Terrifying, and wise. Outside of time. A child of my own hand. A beast that knows, directly, what it means to be eternal. What it is to be a confidant of Time, rather than a by-product or child of him.
The beast… it knows.
Knows what it means to be of nature, of the earth.
A creature that will know.
That will protect, that will guide.
A creature that will keep man accountable. That will keep them from growing too greedy or seeking too desperately.
A creature of justice.
A creature of understanding.
A creature that will change the tides of Time, if need be. That will bring a different type of mortality than before. That will change the cycle of man completely.
I nod, satisfied with the creation. I am more confident now.
“This time, brother, they will be more.”
The beast roars, leaping over Time.
And I feel that it is official. That this is the start. Lights burn through my being, and I can hear bells chime through eternity. My brother and I stand, overlooking what I’ve just created, and I know.
My work has only just started.
The Time of a new earth has begun.
Author’s note: I was thinking about Tolkien today and about how in-depth he goes with world-building and how he creates such deep lore and how his world moves in a circle and how cool that is. So, that’s why this is here today.