The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 76

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

Chapter 76: Amortization? Now? We read the fine print years ago.

“If that’s true…” she says.

I can hear her smile and feel her disbelief.

“Then why’d you kiss me? You don’t have to lie to me, Emery. If you’re not ready, it’s okay. We don’t ha-”

Her soul whirls around my forearm. I shake her hand off.

“I know things are tough for you right now… I know you’re still hurt over Aiven… I can’t imagine how it feels to lose a sibling. It’s probably hard for you to love someone else. But I know… I’ve always known…”

“Well, I’m just not prepared to let anyone into my personal space… I’m sorry for lying to you.”

“Anything else?” she giggles.

I face her.

“I knew you were crying,” she says, reaching for my face.

I extend my arm emphasizing my space. “Can’t get any closer.” 

“Sorry,” Roslyn says. She’s smiling and crying at the same time. “Take your time.”

“I’m going to grab a plate of food. Do you want anything from downstairs?”

“Just you.”

We smile at each other and walk in opposite directions. 

I take my phone out when I get downstairs.

“Does this mean we’re going out?” I text.

(Roslyn is typing…)

Roslyn: “YES! \(^o^ ) /”

I slide my phone into the right pocket of my jeans and go astral. How do I feel right now? I feel like I should be happy… ecstatic, maybe? But, I can’t feel anything; I know how this is going to end.  I zip through the roof.

Kanti appears next to me when I reach the clouds.  He gives me a concerned look.  “Eventually, I will have to erase this moment from her mind…”

“It’s fine,” I say. “I understand.  I’m just glad you let that happen.”

“It has been a rather enjoyable evening, Young Emery. I do not want it to end on a bad note for you,” Kanti whimpers.

I guess if anyone can relate to having a special moment taken away, it would be him.  And, it’s not like I didn’t know Roslyn and I couldn’t be together.  Dammit… “Kanti, what was Enlil like?” I ask, sighing.

Kanti pauses and stares into the distance.

“I didn’t mean to cut you off or anything, I just started thinking while you were talking.”

“I can read your mind and your intent, Young Emery. Do not feel obliged to apologize for your curiosity; it is, after all, one of your remaining human traits. As for Enlil, she was like the sunrise over the horizon. Even when I did not enjoy her presence, I was glad she was there.”

“I’m sorry.”

“What for, Young Emery?” Kanti asks complacently.

“I’m sorry your best friend killed her.”

“Ah yes… well, we must all perish. Though I lament her passing, I have come to terms with it. When one passes, the only tribute to their existence is what those who cherished them do with their own lives.  I dedicated myself even more to the cloak bearer and helping the human race as a whole to pay homage to my beloved Enlil and what life meant to her.”

I lie back, hovering and staring at the Moon. “You were both one being right? Until Te’Viel.”

“Something like that. Many of the higher gods were divided before Te’Viel occurred; long before Aemon devised his plan. There was a time that all higher gods were equal; it was a time when Sha-ik’Tael and Aemon were also one. Something happened and the gods above us, who for the life of me I cannot recall, simply vanished and humans came into being. Enlil and I, like many others, then ceased to be the one. Until that point, we were the entity called Anubis.”

“Were you part of the myth?” I hope I don’t sound like a jackass.

“I cannot remember.  Perhaps. But, if I were to guess, that transpired well before we discovered the first soul.  The myth of Anubis could have been a tale of me spread by the first Nothing to possess someone. Only a jack…ass avoids asking questions out of fear, Young Emery. Even if it is inappropriate, voice your concern, ask questions, seek answers.”

“Thanks… but, please, Kanti… my mind is my private space.”

“Well then, Cloak Bearer, learn to shield your thoughts from me.”

“It’s my mind; I shouldn’t have to safeguard it.  You should just respect it. Besides, if anyone should be worried about you reading my mind, it should be you.”  I think of two elephants eating wads of poop while vividly imagining the taste and smell.

“Disgusting,” Kanti says, shaking his head. 

I laugh and get back to the original topic. “So you and Enlil were soulmates…” I sigh. 

Kanti laughs. “Well, Young Emery, certainly ethereal beings who shared an ethereal body cannot be body mates.”

“Point taken,” I sit up above the clouds. “What’d you do right after you separated? Did you know she was your other half?”

“Naturally. Seeing that which is you, and yet is not you, transcends all that one can experience before that point; you see, it is more difficult to ignore such a powerful moment than it is to recognize it… Despite our bond, for a while, I chose simply to be alone.  The Divine Source was one pillar of light in those times.  All I would do was stare at it and wonder why we existed, why we had been divided and what the nature of our unified existence was.  I only remember life as Anubis as a dream; there are deep rooted memories that haunt me, but the rest is a blur of voices and emotions.  I thought that if I were to stare at the source of existence long enough, then I would have found meaning.  A purpose, a reason… anything.  But alas, the Divine Source provided no answer.”   

That’s a shitty way to live… “I know this is kind of random, but what happens in the divine source anyway? Does anything in the Divine Source gain infinite knowledge or wisdom or anything like that?” 

“No,” Kanti responds. “The Divine Source is a combination of every energy in existence, from all realms, including those we cannot begin to fathom.  Energy arises from it, and energy returns to it.  If the Divine Source is conscious, which I surmise it is, the only entity that can hold council with it is Sha-ik’Tael.  Think of the Divine Source as the waters of existence.”

“That’s profound, but kind of intimidating… What happens when souls cross it to reach the zenith or the depths? There has to be some kind of effect since they aren’t actually returning to the Divine Source, they’re just travelling through it to purge…”

“Every energy is the structure of the Divine Source; however, human souls keep the structure from collapsing on itself.  For example, a balloon needs air to inflate, right?” 

I nod.

“The Divine Source is like a balloon made of energy and human souls are like the air the Divine Source needs to keep its shape intact.  Unlike a balloon, however, the Divine Source constantly needs air circulating through it.  The traffic from human souls also keeps the Meta intact which, as you know, protects souls from the Nothing while awaiting purging and reincarnation.”

That’s kind of lame. “That’s hard to believe… I thought, or at least hoped, something cool would happen.”

“Well, Young Emery, something cool does occur. Souls, being that they are peculiar forms of energy, only mix with other souls travelling the Divine Source. Such mixing can alter, and in most cases does alter, a person’s perception, predisposition and even attraction in their next life. Every soul has a gender and every soul has other souls tied to it.”

“What do you mean alter a person’s perception, predisposition and attraction?”

“All souls have an inherent way of being; their mind, so to speak. However, when mixing with other souls, your behaviors, moods and thoughts in your next life may pick up traits you did not previously possess. As for predispositions, you may be inclined to certain concepts or things in your current life, and depending on your level of mixing with others, and who you mix with, that may alter in your next life. Your love for Vanilla Coke may have come from your previous life or another soul you intertwined with.” 

“Wouldn’t purging make that impossible?”

“Not at all, Young Emery. Purging only removes good and evil, meaning all resonances above or below absolute neutrality, in order to give humans a fresh spiritual start, since humans attract energies at their same resonance.  However, that does not mean that humans lose who they are; which, does not necessarily mean you are who you were, nor that you will be who you are. In fact, despite what happens to the human soul, a living human can always choose who they want to be.”

“I see. What about attraction? Unless you meant attraction in the sense of, like, calling things to you.”

“No stone unturned,” Kanti laughs. “Well, some men will feel as though they are women, or be attracted to other men.  Likewise, some women will feel like men, or be attracted to other women; it is a completely natural phenomenon due to the nature of the soul’s existence and the simple fact that souls mix in the afterlife.  Every soul has a gender, but if you, a male soul, were to mix with nothing but female souls, then it is only logical that you would be more feminine; there is nothing wrong with that.  Aiven for example is a soul who mixed with women during his previous purging.  The converse is also true for women.  And, there can be others who are both men and women, and those who are neither. It is simply the makeup of their souls; the essence of who they are.”

“I feel like I kind of knew that about souls. My parents taught me that people are born the way they are, in terms of being gay, straight, feminine, masculine, and all that other stuff…  Are human bodies—I mean physical bodies, special?  Like our souls I mean.” 

“No.  Like I said, gender begins with the soul; all creatures are male, female, both or neither. The physical body is a construct of nature’s diagram, serving as a husk that each spirit has the right to treat and convert as they see fit.  Thus, all consequences of how one chooses to treat the physical body, are one’s own. In addition, some physical bodies, and some minds, are born with a natural alteration; it is not a defect.  Nature simply fails to capture the proper appearance of the soul, or nature fails to make a brain that can encompass that mind.  In either case, it is simply the body nature has given.” 

“Hmmm. Makes sense. So, like my friend who was born with different blotches of color on his skin…. It’s just his body, nothing tied to his soul.  No past life atrocity.”  

Kanti nods. “You only carry you over into the next life.”

“Hmmm. So, is there a meaning to life…?”

“I cannot say for certain, Young Emery. But, there are chances, circumstances created by chance, and the options available from those circumstances; and lastly, the choices which span beyond the circumstances, assuming one were to take it upon themselves to think beyond their circumstances… Simply put, anyone who is capable, is capable of anything. Though not necessarily everything.”  

“How’s the soulmate stuff work if our souls are mixed a billion ways?”

“Such a healthy curiosity. You’re an interesting one, Young Emery.”

I look up at the stars, waiting for Kanti’s answer.

“Mixed souls encountering each other in the physical plane will have a strong attachment, hence soul mates.  A soul mate, regardless of your [soul’s] gender and orientation, can be anyone, even humans of other planets. Animals. Insects. Anything, since the vessel of one’s rebirth is never pre-determined. It also does not mean that you love, will love, need to marry, or even like your soul mate, but the connection, not always sexual mind you, will be there.  A human has hundreds, possibly thousands, even millions, of soul mates, but there is a small chance that soul mates live on the physical plane within the same time frame, within the same cosmic structure, on the same planet or even speak the same language.” 

Roslyn… I suppose even if we are soul mates, this time around we don’t have the luxury of being together forever… “Kanti, I wanted to ask before…” I begin hovering around the clouds. “The topside… the meta… the abyss… the zenith… the below… you guys couldn’t come up with better names… I mean I understand their function… but, I don’t know… I’d expect a little more from gods…” 

“Of course. Everything has to be grandiose, even if it has existed before you walked on two feet. In our tongue that is what they mean. To keep everything simple, we use human speech among humans; it would make no sense for me to instruct you in another language. Now, if you wish to learn the tongue of divinity, then I can certainly teach you; however, there will be words and concepts you cannot hear or comprehend because they have no human equivalent.”

“That’s alright.  I’m fine with English. Maybe some Spanish too. But, I would like to learn Japanese and German if you can teach me.”

Kanti laughs. “Perhaps we should return to the festivities.”

I nod. “Thanks for helping me feel better.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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