Memorium Vitae

The Ones Who Went Forth

To See What Fear Was

Once upon a time there was a boy who knew no fear. He faced the void and ran headfirst into it, sword slashing left and right as the daemons tried to cut at him, but could not break through his armor of courage. He carved a path straight to the end, and there he found a mirror. He looked into it, and saw fear for the first time. He tried to cut at the fear, but he only cut himself, and was forced to retreat, bleeding, as his fear laughed at him. That fear burnt into his head, and he felt it cut him deeper than the sword did, and it sunk deep into his bones where it haunted his dreams. His pride forced him to hunt it down, reveling in the blood of all before him, but deep down he felt the fear gnaw at him, until he was only skin stretched tightly across scared bones, and he never slept again.

Another one.

Once upon a time there was a girl who knew no fear. She stood at the head of the host, burning bright with glory and righteousness, but while she looked ahead the darkness slipped behind and ate up her sisters, and wrapped itself around her burning halo and dimmed it almost to invisibility. The darkness tempted her with wine and song and laughter, and she supped at the darkness’s table, for what harm is there in wine and song and laughter? But all around her the darkness deepened, until it was only her and the wine, and she looked into the darkness and saw herself sitting there with the darkness reaching up around her with pointed, poisoned teeth, and she could only close her eyes and will it away while the fear bubbled up inside her like acid. So she remained, eyes closed against that which stood in front of her, and she never saw again.

And another.

Once upon a time there was a boy who knew no fear. He ranged far and wide away from his home, further and wider with each trip, and his curiosity was endless, for so was the world; or so he thought. One day, he ranged out further than any had gone before, and the old bones in the ground woke up and assembled themselves in front of him, eyes bright with anger against this trespass, and he did not run. But the bones were strong, so strong that he could not break them; they broke him, tearing him to pieces slowly. But the boy was clever, and when they took a leg, he used their own bones to rebuild it, and when they took an arm, he used their own bones to fashion it, and when they took his mind, he took all that they were into him. Soon he was as strong as they, and finally smashed them all into dust, but it was too late, for he had become that which he fought against. And his legs stopped moving, and his arms stopped moving, and his mind stopped moving, and soon he was a statue standing in a tomb of his own making, and he never moved again.

And still more.

Once upon a time there was a girl who knew no fear. She swam through the endless sea, never shying away from the dangerous currents and eddies that tore through the water, for she knew if she rode them, she would go further than any other person ever would. So she did, and saw many wonders throughout the ocean that was her home, and met many of the denizens of the deeps and the shallows beyond the boundaries of home, though she always kept the sun in sight. But every day she swam further and further away from the light of the sun, deeper and deeper until she could not see which way was up and which way was down. She called and called for aid, but the sea drowned out her voice with its silence and so she swam even deeper, hoping that if she swam deep enough, she would come to the surface again. But the sea is everchanging, and so the girl swam and swam with her arms outstretched, hoping to find the sun again, and she never rested again.

Yes, at last. Listen close. In this world filled with terror and beauty, we must always fear, or we shall be consumed by it.

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Telin allyster

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