Charlie, Impact Day
I didn’t know where I was. Nothing around me felt real. It wasn’t darkness, it was just… nothing. Void. Absence.
My bedroom? Similar, but wrong. Not quite what I remembered. Or rather, perfectly what I remembered. Not the reality. A fake.
“Charlie,” a voice whispered. I turned.
It was standing there, dark and hulking, insubstantial but very present. Destructive energy radiated from it, hot and cold and vibrant.
“What the… Where am I?” I asked.
“Inside,” it said. Great. That doesn’t answer anything.
“And you are…?”
“The Destroyer,” it told me.
“That’s some title,” I said, looking around. It was the only real thing here.
The creature seemed amused. It moved closer, without any physical motion. It was simply closer.
“You’re not as intimidated by me as I’d have expected,” it said.
“I get that a lot. I guess I forgot how to be intimidated this past year.”
“Perhaps you don’t understand what I am,” it said.
“I know you’re a part of me,” I said, taking myself by surprise. I did know that, but how?
“No, Charlie,” it said. “You are me. Just another in a long line.”
I tried to wrap my head around that. I couldn’t quite manage it. Rachel would have understood it, but Rachel wasn’t here. Nobody was here, except me.
“You’re the reason I’m immortal,” I said, again without realising I was going to speak.
“You’re not immortal,” it said, trying to correct me. Then, it corrected itself. “Or, you weren’t. What you were was inviolable. You would have died of old age.”
Inviolable. I liked that.
“What changed?” I asked. “Wendy’s blood?”
“It’s what was in that blood,” it told me. “You should never have brought that here.”
By here, I instinctively knew it was referring to the void we both occupied. It meant I should never have brought it inside myself.
I looked down. There was a shard of broken glass on the… well, it wasn’t ground. But it was what I was standing on. And the shard, it wasn’t glass. It was a mirror.
“What am I looking at, here?” I asked, not particularly concerned.
“Heresy,” it said, in a tone that sent a chill down my spine.
“Cool,” I said, though I didn’t feel it.
“Charlie, you’ve ruined everything,” it said, and for the first time, it sounded desperate.
“What, afraid of your own reflection?” I joked.
“You’ve broken the cycle,” it said, in a mixture of anger and pain. “You’ve corrupted us. You’ve brought the impossible into our world. Charlie, you—”
“Don’t care,” I interrupted. And in that moment, in that tiny, insignificant moment, it was true.
“Do you know what the world out there is like?” I asked.
“Intimately,” it replied.
“So you know why I need this power,” I said. “It’s the only way to make a difference.”
“You really believe that… I knew there was something about you. I knew I shouldn’t have chosen you. I thought…”
The creature, whatever it was, shuddered, blinking in and out of sight. When I couldn’t see it, I felt unsettled.
“You know what, how about you start answering some of my questions,” I said. “Who are you? What are you?”
It didn’t answer. It just disappeared, leaving me alone, in an empty space, save for a shard of mirror.
I looked down at the mirror.
I didn’t see my own face reflected. I saw another face, an unfamiliar face. A face I couldn’t begin to describe, because it fitted every description, and none. It wasn’t changing, but it wasn’t static, either.
Next Week: Impact Day