|Into This Wild Abyss
Author: Queen PM
The very last moments of the Silver Millenium, seen through the eyes of the Soldier of Silence.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Hotaru T./Sailor Saturn - Words: 1,948 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 6 - Published: 02-14-01 - id: 209022
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Those who live, are the cursed.
And as I yet draw breath, my life is cursed.
It has been assumed that the silence would be but an instant, a swift, painless death. That the sky would scream, and the lightning tear down from the heavens as the world was torn from within, an instantaneous flash of terror and then nothing.
How simple that would be.
Death, as swift and silent as a breath of air. But there are many kinds of death, not only the gentle passing into the realm beyond. There is the quiet wasting away that drains the strength of the living. The slow and uncertain aging of the body. Such is the sigh of the world now. It has been awake through all the silver millennia, and now it wishes for sleep.
I step among the remains, my feet echoing in the emptiness. Some cataclysm? No, that would be glorious. Eons pass and I grow old in my young body. The end result of life is death, and that cannot be changed fully. Time wears away all things, even the beauty and eternity of life.
There are ruins cast through the universe, the crumbling remains of our glory. Their empty shadow husks and silhouettes of the millennia of human labor. The stars summoned us. Called to us like a siren, gleaming in the distance.
And we spread and grew and thrived.
And wasted and destroyed and died.
Hand in hand. Always.
Cold, I watch from my perch, lit on the stone wall of the garden. An elegant, solitary figure emerges into the blackness, her black velvet cloak of mist swirling around her. I hide myself behind the trellis, observing. I lean my head upon my hand, casting a shadowed glance in this place. It is lined with fables from the past, stories of such glory and beauty that I cannot express in any few words. The stately woman in the empty garden is watching the silence as I am, her shoulders still straight and chin still held high despite these far flung and empty times. Yet I see the same image reflected in her face as there is in mine. A simple aura of weariness and age.
Once this garden was full of life. I remember a young girl who laughed as she played with her pretty mother and handsome father here. Orchids and roses bloomed in fragrance in the spring, filling the air with their rich scent, stretching to the sun so distant, uncut and alive as they dug into the earth.
That girl grew, as did I. And in the infinite time that stretches, accepted into her hands a crystal scepter.
These times are gone now.
I emerge and join the lonely woman, who stands resolutely at the garden's edge. A path wanders through, and we step onto it, each silent in the other's presence. Neither of us have ever been much for words, and they would only dishonor the memories we have of this palace. There is no wind here, as there once was. There are still primeval trees that loft to either side of us, and they, too, are silent in the still air.
"Do you remember?" my companion glances to the sky.
I turn my gaze aside, and look to the marsh beside me. There were the dried, blackened curls of water lily pads lying in the dust. Cattails once waved here, stretching their necks towards the ghastly brightness of the sun gone black. I remember that the pool had been reflective, and once I could have seen what she did in its waters.
Instead, I turn my eyes to the night sky, where I see through the gathering night mist. My vision picks out the thinnest sliver of the moon above.
It still remains silver, even after all this time. But now its weak glow makes the shadows here ghostly and ethereal, a realm of undead spirits. The phases of the moon turn and change with the days, and I remember the old legends of the three phases of life. First a maiden, young and innocent. Then a mother, caring and strong. And in the final stage, a crone, ancient and infinite and wise. And as the moon cycles, the crone dies, and is reborn again as the maiden. The image of death reborn.
Yet in these days, the world had become a ghost.
I had lived my dream, a pretty house and a love and a child. Small gifts of infinite worth. The nightmares have passed, but still the darkness returns.
And now we are aware.
There were other faces, ones I saw pass away into the void as I lived. There are only two of us who could not truly die, for they themselves are death. Other faces, warm and young and beautiful and gone.
We sit upon an old set of swings, swaying lightly, saying nothing as we quietly looked outward.
It was such a void, and I could see the faces that were gone from me and my companion. Such infinite lengths of time since our story began.
And as in all stories, they must come to an end. But they always end with "Happily Ever After". The sweet fairy tales where the prince and princess wed, sealing their fate with a kiss. How much is our tale a tale of the faerie? How easily is our story told as "Once Upon A Time"? And what happens when even the great grandchildren of the prince and princess are long in the world of the dead? Will such love and beauty be lost to the oblivion?
Who will open the book of tales and whisper our stories into the minds of the young? I stand on the threshold of immortality, and yet it is the memory of the past that ensures eternal life. Where do legends go when they die? Destroy the past, and those who created it die even though they have already been gone.
Such things happen in the silence, and pass into the Silence.
I miss sitting on my child's bed, her straight, black hair falling over her closed eyelids as her lips move sleepily in protest for another story from her mama. I remember standing as I always did, brushing the hair aside, kissing her forehead lightly as my beloved came and placed his hand on my shoulder.
I also remember seeing each age and grow and change, slowly, for the power that flows in me also flows in them. But I am not as they. I remember seeing my love placed into the dust. I remember seeing my daughter grow old and bent, passing through age more swiftly than I. I miss my love and child, and this has made my heart desolate.
These are the things I mourn.
"It is now," my companion says as she stands.
"Will you miss it?" I ask her. She remembers the beginnings of time. Old as I am, she is far older, and I once did call her my mother.
"Nothing lasts forever," she tells me, then closes her eyes and whispers her command quietly. Such fearsome power, both sister and twin to my own.
The effect of time is death and rebirth. I sense the pathways through time becoming sealed, as my companion completes her ancient duty at last.
It is my turn now.
"I will miss you, Setsuna-mama."
She smiles at me.
"I will miss you, Hotaru-chan."
With this, I loosen my grip on my glaive.
And then there was only the Silence.
Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage.…
-John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II
Like it? Hate it? Think I've been reading way too many depressing books??? Please review! Or Saturn really will let her glaive drop!! (Okay, I'll just be depressed, but still.)
Okay, the usual. Sailormoon, and all things relating to it, do not belong to me, but to the wonderful Naoko Takeuchi, Toei, and many other people. I am merely using her characters, so please do not sue, because I have no money, it all goes to books and anime.