The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 22

by Mark Figueroa | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen


Chapter 22: It takes no fear to know fear. You aren’t capable of that, yet.

“Wait! What?! And a piece of him is living inside me?” I scream, crossing my arms in front of my stomach. “How many other gods like Aemon are there?”

“As far as we know, only one,” Kanti responds pensively. “There were once many. And, even many more like me.” His regal voice trails into a distant memory. “Originally, there was one: the nameless, forgotten father of The Abyss. From it came twelve, along with light, dark, life, stars and worlds. Death also came into being in our realm,” he says, staring into the distance. “Each of the twelve bred two, and those two created my generation: the intermediaries between the lesser inhabitants of this realm and the twenty-four who consorted with the omnipotent twelve. All of the intermediary gods were gender-less. The lesser gods, myself included, were created with one body, one mind and one soul. The gods of my gods feared those above or beneath us would breed with us.

“Us?” I ask, then glance at Achron.

His four faces smile simultaneously. Achron nods, confirming the depressing answer.

“Several eons ago, a war between the gods divided the lesser divines in two,” Kanti continues. His lamentation absorbs the darkness surrounding the bright blue surface of Vivus.

“Any other questions?” Achron inquires, politely popping the bubble of silence.

“Well, I just… I want — I want to know why. Why me?”

“In truth,” Achron’s childlike face begins softly as his other three faces gawk eerily, “you and the rest of us simply got lucky. Rather than asking why me, why not ask ‘who else, but me can do this?’ Yes?” his fourth face interjects, grinning ominously, whispering in its sinister tone.

“Right!” I clear my throat, stepping on the red gateway to Mordis again. I prepare myself to feel the weight of being human. “I want to be strong!” I blurt out. Negativity wraps itself around me and Aiven’s death plays in my mind. I have to do this! I have to be strong! Despair chills my ailing soul. I try to remain strong, locking eyes with Achron’s most human face. I will be strong. I will be strong. I am strong!

“In due time,” Achron says, intruding on my thoughts. He glances over his shoulder and smiles at Etriyenne, his star-crossed lover. “Is there anything else, before we conclude our little meeting, my dear? I have heard there is much to be done below. It would not be wise to leave Mordis unattended.”

“Yes,” Etriyenne replies, gracefully hovering in place. “The rift created by another wave of low-resonance has caused some instability on Mordis,” she adds. Her flaming hair flickers wildly around her nude, porcelain body.

Achron’s human head nods. “Understood, my love.” He lets out a deep, mournful sigh. “We have all been affected by the calamitous force. The awakening of Aemon, should it come to fruition, threatens all of existence, and — ”

“ — Careful, my herald,” Kanti interrupts. “We have yet to comprehend the —” Kanti pauses, then stares at me. His eyes slowly turn to the ground as he lets out a sigh. “Achron, such a statement is not an infallible truth. We should mind what we say,” he declares, concerned. Kanti sits tall, eyeing the Mordisian gate. “The threat upon existence is relative to how we have come to understand it.” Kanti faces Etriyenne and Achron. “The reactions of other beings, without proper examination and inquiry of necessary action, pose an even larger threat to reality as a whole then Aemon’s revival. Granted, such an event would be extremely undesirable to all, given his power and the degree of malicious selfishness of his being. But, even the deity of darkness would sooner be defeated again than have all of existence destroyed.”

I walk back to the blue surface, escaping my billowing fear.

“The metaphysical and physical realms,” Kanti continues, “have a greater degree of control in maintaining the intricate threads of reality. We need to prepare for impending doom without fear. It will only cripple us when the time comes to take action. Further more, we — ”

“I — I understand the Abyss,” I interrupt, regaining my composure on Vivus. I don’t want to talk about Aemon; the idea that he exists, at all, really scares the hell out of me. It’s even worse to think he’s inside me; part of my soul. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if I didn’t accept the cloak. “I understand how this realm, The Abyss, works, I mean: how it’s like space and there are other worlds here,” I say, trying to redirect the conversation while dissipating my fear. “I get that The Meta is just a flat plane that spans the entirety of the Abyss, cutting it in half. It’s like a tube with a two-sided plane in the middle and there are a ton of things between each side of the center and the respective top and bottom.” I wave my hands in the air, tracing a figure into the emptiness.

“I suppose that is as fair a comprehension as one could have,” Etriyenne says. Her beautiful, amazonian figure attracts my eyes as her breasts jiggle while she hovers. “And, yes, there are many worlds and creatures inconceivable, even to us, within the Abyss. What you envision is correct,” Etriyenne concludes with passion “The four pillars keep the divine source intact, young cloak bearer.”

I nod enthusiastically. I’m picking this stuff up pretty quick; it’s awesome. “And that’s because, the four pillars, if I understand everything, connect with, and kind of are, the Divine source itself, right? They transport and cleanse the souls to either the ceiling or the bottom of The Abyss.”

“Yes,” Achron responds, opening his massive hand and urging me to walk onto his palm. He lifts me up, allowing me to see the pillars and the souls all around us. “The souls are kept a safe distance from the gates of each surface. The gateways, as I may have said before, serve as a means for all the inhabitants of Olacium to commune while transporting souls who, upon certain reflection, change in polarity,” he says softly. Achron pauses, staring over Vivus while I stand on his palm. “When a spirit awakens to its truth,” he continues,” its mind disintegrates, leaving the bare soul. It is imperative that each soul travel through the appropriately-resonating half of the Divine source, lest it disintegrate on the incorrect surface. If that happens, that being’s existence would be forever forgotten by all, including the divine ones.”

I sit cross-legged over Archon’s palm tracing the scaly-grooves in his hand. “I understand,” I respond, half-listening. “So, question, is it only hatred that produces negative, or low resonance?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Achron responds objectively. His voice is calm, but firm. “It is a number of things, my dear boy. The intent to harm, emotions like rage, anger, sorrow, jealousy, melancholy, apathy, moroseness and negativity in itself, all produce low resonating energy. Self-loathing, guilt, regret, denial and self-imposed forms of malice are the lowest-resonating of all. Resonating extremely low can render one nearly invisible. Nonexistent even. That said, the souls on Olacium are segregated out of necessity.”

“I figured,” I respond confidently. “Archon, how many spirits are on Mordis?” The millions… billions… or trillions of spirits up here can’t outweigh the creatures who live a life of malice.

“There are over hundreds and thousands of billion-quintillion spirits on Olacium. Believe it or not, Young Emery, the entirety of man is roughly eighty-percent benevolent. It is a shame the universal culture seems more intrigued by concepts of evil, however.”

I nod as Achron puts me on his overarching back. His second, human head is just below my feet when I sit down. “That’s a relief, I guess. How do all of those souls fit, anyway?”

“Ah! Good question, dear boy!” Achron exclaims. “You see, the Abyss is infinite, in a finite sense. Do you understand?”

I nod.

“Good,” Archon continues, “Therefore, it stands to reason that Olacium Sorti, being that it reaches The Abyss’s ends, is infinitely-finite as well. No one realm or creature can contain every human spirit and soul, and keep existence intact without adjusting. In addition, there are the cloaks, and other beings to keep the balance,” Achron replies. I take his words in while picking at his silky, blackish-purple hairs.

“So, when they purge, God takes the good from a soul and returns the good to the divine source, and the Devil takes the bad and adds that back to the source too, right?” I ask, muttering softly. That sounds about right, based on what they told me.

“Hell and Heaven do not exist within the human-created definitions,” Kanti answers. “I am certain demonic and angelic creatures exist somewhere in the Abyss, and do plague humans in the physical realm. However, it is important to remember that they do not dictate life or death any more than the divines.” Kanti locks eyes with me, checking if I’m picking up what he’s putting down. Over the gateway to Mordis, Etriyenne and Achron place their massive hands up as if to touch palms. “There are certainly divines that we do not know of who dwell on planets we do not know of either. Being that they have not presented themselves near either surface of Olacium, it is safe to wager that they have no power outside of their respective domains.”

“What about the god of The Meta?” I ask climbing down Achron’s back. He grabs me by the cloak’s hood and places me on the blue Vivusian surface. All of his faces smile at me. Etriyenne giggles.

“The god of the Meta is also the god of the Abyss,” Kanti says solemnly.

“And, who’s that?”

“The entity of light. The one bound to the Divine Source: Shaik’Tael. Aemon’s other half.”


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Silence sneaks in like a cat in the night. It taps over the concrete, swiping at corners and shiny objects. The black cat of darkness is a silent soliloquy of sadness. When it speaks the veil of the world exhales its wisdom. Lost on our ears, we suppress the knowledge of the ancients through unnecessary … Continue reading Headlines

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