The Nothingness

He stood at the edge of the world looking out into the dark endless nothing that seemed to go on forever, though it might have only stretched mere feet. It's blackness swallowed any light that ventured near. It resembled all of the universe’s death and despair. Even to a crow, the sight of it was chilling.

That day, the crow flew higher than any bird ever dared. It was a goal, a feat, an accomplishment for which he longed. Alone he climbed up into the heavens. As he flew higher the edge of the sky slowly turned into a wall. It was a thick structure that bore no markings other than the mortar between the large concrete slabs that created it. His flight already tired him, but his curiosity was peaked. He just needed to climb higher, so he fought his aching wings and continued ascending.

He flew along the wall until he reached the top. Exhausted from his long journey, the crow decided to rest on the wall until he had the energy to make it back to the ground. The sun still shined behind him, so he sat and spread his wings to bask in its rays. The warmth felt good on his weary limbs.

He looked down on the opposite side of the wall and saw a disembodied light that surrounded the perimeter. This light was made by the sun for the sun was not high enough and it could not penetrate the wall. Beyond the unusual light was pure nothingness—a darkness that sent chills through the crow’s body by the sheer sight of it. The awe it struck in him kept the crow peering out into the nothingness for hours.

The light in front of him, despite its brightness, cast no shadow behind him. However, the light that beat on his back from the sun etched his common shadow down the wall into the mysterious light. As time passed, the sun began to dive further into the horizon behind him casting his shadow deeper through the otherworldly light and into the nothingness.

He felt a strange pull on the outlines of his body as though someone was tugging at his skin. When the pull became pain, the crow tried to jump from the edge and descend back to the ground, but his talons were fixed to the wall of concrete.

His shadow overstepped the boundary of light and dark and the nothingness began to pull it in little by little. Trying as hard as he could to fly away, the crow could do nothing but flap. Feverishly his wings threw feathers in every direction. Without notice the majority of his black feathers were sucked into the nothingness and quickly disappeared from sight.

Fear gripped him as though he were in the jaws of an alligator. Excruciating pain ripped through the outside of his body. Still he fought frantically, but there was nothing he could do. He was planted where he stood as his shadow continued to tear away. With no understanding of what was happening he continued to thrash out of control. He summoned every muscle, every once of energy to free him, but still his feet did not move.

Finally the last piece of his shadow tore away from him and sunk into the nothingness. As it did the crows feet released from the wall and he shot into the sky. As fast as he could he flew down to the ground, almost falling the entire way. He flapped only enough to keep from plunging to his death. When he was only feet from the ground he pulled his wings into his body and fell the rest of the way into a lush green field. Reeling from the pain, he turned over and over again in the grass as though trying to put out engulfing flames.

After what seemed like an eternity of thrashing the merciful sun set and the moon rose to cool his pains. He lay motionless on the ground with the pains of burning flesh extinguishing. He fell asleep quickly from exhaustion, too injured to fly up and rest in a tree.

He awoke in the morning as the sun made its way over the hills, and hopped to his feet. The pain was gone, but he felt different. He spread his wings to bask them in the sun, but could not feel its warmth. He looked into the sun, but it did not burn his eyes. He turned from the sun, but he saw no shadow. It was now part of the nothingness and the sun simply passed through him. He was not dead, nor was he a ghost, but never again did he feel alive.

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