THE PATH Part 26

King Voozko stood upon the roof of the highest tower in the city of X’bal’ba, looking down upon the world he commanded. The sun lay on the cusp of the far mountains, sinking deeper, deeper, abandoning the world to dusk. All over X’bal’ba, the watchmen began to pound on their gongs, their bells, their drums. Awake! Awake! the clamor sang. The sun has gone! A new night has come! The people of X’bal’ba began to crawl from their dens, filling the city streets. Talking, stretching, passing bodily waste, eating, drinking, copulating, fighting. X’bal’ba came to life at the sound of the gongs and drums, a dance in celebration of the advent of darkness.

The King watched it all with no great interest, his tired eyes losing their focus. X’bal’ba lay beneath him and around him, its flat-topped buildings of black stone rising and falling, swelling like waves to crash and recede against the four great walls that enclosed the city. But the King knew this to be just illusion. X’bal’ba itself did not move. It lay as still as death.

He looked toward the horizon, where the sun had fallen over the rim of the world. In his mind, called forth from his memory, he saw again the oceans rear up over the land, higher than the highest mountain, a great pulsing wall of darkness in which struggled all the living things of the seas, enormous serpents and whales and giant fish, seeming as tiny and helpless as insects. He heard the rumble of the beasts of the land, from the weakest to the mightiest, as they fled in terror the destruction looming over them. Amidst the wave, he saw open two huge whirlpools, black bottomless holes which became eyes. The waters parted as a fissure opened beneath the eyes, a monster opening its gigantic mouth. It exhaled the cold storm-winds of death.

You I will spare, the mouth had spoken. You alone. Then the wave collapsed, a hammer falling to crush the earth beneath it, to drown the world.

*I alone.*

He shook his head to clear it of the vision. How long ago had that been? He had ceased to count the centuries, the millennia. And yet he could forget nothing. He had come to this land a vagabond and an outcast, traitor to his kind, those whose bones had been scattered to the four winds by the might of Tull.
He remembered encountering the young race, the survivors of the deluge. Men in no true sense, just monkeys that had lost their tails, their fur, and learned to speak. He had become their sovereign, and in the fullness of time had taught them the skills of his own fallen race. In time, they had reared this city, fashioned of dead stone hewn from the belly of the earth. He had ruled these beings, his authority unquestioned, for longer than the longest reckoning of men. Their king, but not their god. No. They, like he, knew no god save Tull.

You I will spare. Tull’s promise echoed in his ears. You alone.

Voozko sighed. Tull had kept his promise. Now the King stood upon his palace, naked in the desert’s cooling night winds, and gazed out over all he had created. X’bal’ba the Magnificent, his city. The Menhau, his children. And, unseen but ever present, Tull, his master and his god.

Oh how he hated them all.

Categorized as darkness

By The Evil Cheezman

Purveyor of sacred truths and purloined letters; literary acrobat; spiritual godson of Edgar Allan Poe, P.T. Barnum, and Ed Wood; WAYNE MILLER is the head architect of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, serving up the finest in entertainment and edification for the stage, the page, and the twain screens, silver and computer. He is the axe-murderer who once met Andy Griffith.

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