So, if you follow me on twitter you know that I feel I’ve written myself into quite the hole by killing James. I’ve been trying to write part twenty-two but it just isn’t coming easily right now.
Well, this morning as I was looking at Twitter, my good friend Mark (@AstragaliUSA), sent me a message saying that he’d had a try at writing part twenty-two. I was amazed when I read it. I told him that I’d like to use it and he said that it was no problem. So without further ado, here is part twenty-two by Mark. Thank you so much!
“And then there were two,” The Creator chuckled.
The sound of The Creator’s laughter grated on my nerves, and I’m ashamed to say I lost my self-control. “Screw you!” I yelled to the air around me, startling Erin with the sheer vehemence of my outburst. “Why do you get off on seeing people die?”
The Creator’s chuckling stopped, but there was still a smugly amused note in his voice. “It’s all part of the experience, Steve. Challenging people, measuring them up to my intellect.”
“Doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time,” I replied angrily.
“Of course not,” The Creator said, airily. “You have – sorry, had – to deal with everyday, mundane hardships. Where your next meal would come from. How to get through the day without dying of boredom, perhaps. I have no need for such paltry considerations, and so I choose to see how well my… guests deal with more pressing issues.” Our tormentor took on a businesslike tone. “Now, you two still have a long way to go, so you really ought to be getting a move on. Unless, that is, you need a little… inducement?”
“Where do you put the bodies?” I asked.
“Where do you put the bodies?” I repeated, my voice raising in volume again. “Cory, James, the hundreds of others you’ve dropped into your little slice of Hell – where do you put them?Do you give them some sort of decent burial, or do you just leave them here in the corridors to rot?”
“What do you care?” The Creator responded. “It’s not even as if you liked James.”
“That’s true – but I wouldn’t wish death on even my most hated enemy.”
“Oh, well, since you insist,” The Creator answered. “I leave them to rot, naturally. Well, those who don’t fall into a lava pit, or become consumed by my spiders, or otherwise dealt with by my creations. They serve as a warning to those who follow. And there’ll be plenty of them; I have all the time in the world.”
“Steve, what are you doing?” Erin hissed. I ignored her.
“You pulled me from another world. Weren’t there any more people left in this world for you to torture?” Erin’s eyes grew wide at the possible implication of what I’d just said, but I didn’t continue on that thread. I got to my feet, instead, and pressed The Creator harder. “Are you The Creator of everything in the universe, or just this world? You know, for that matter, I’m not even sure that you were the one who made this world in the first place!”
I paused, to see if I’d managed to goad The Creator into a response, if not an explanation. When he didn’t answer, I filled the silence. “I get the feeling that you’re being punished, just as much as your victims. You’re not the only Creator in this universe – if Creator you actually are – and I think you’ve been exiled here by… I don’t know, some sort of higher power, or organization, or something. Maybe the Powers That Be can’t destroy you, but they can hold you here, indefinitely.”
My speculation was ridiculously wild, but what the hell. “But you’re getting stronger: you weren’t able to take people from other worlds before, but you can now. I think you’ve been set a challenge of your own: if someone gets through your challenges – just one person – you’ll be freed. And of course, you can’t make it easy for them, because you’re being watched. Judged. By beings who are more powerful than you.”
When The Creator finally responded, his voice was filled with rage. “I. AM. OMNIPOTENT!” he roared. The ground began to shake, but I stood my ground as well as I could, even when Erin grabbed hold of me and screamed, “What have you done?”
Suddenly, the corridor tilted sharply under our feet, and Erin and I were sent sprawling, then sliding, towards the next room.