I needed a break, and I also needed an entry for a writing contest on Boolprop. So here you go, a little Seth interlude featuring World Adventures to enjoy. 🙂
It’s set between Sarah’s death and his return to Sunset Valley. I like to think it’s an anniversary of Sarah’s death – thus the drunkenness. He’s in Egypt researching ambrosia and he’s fairly close to figuring it out. The contest involves your sim telling another sim about something in their past. Only 5-7 pictures allowed. It was fun writing straight text.
Fikry sighed and settled into the chair. The tide of tourists had ebbed, leaving exhaustion in its wake.
A shadow fell across the table. He sighed, looked up. A man in a linen suit stood before him, obviously drunk.
“I’m afraid we’re closed. We open again at eight in the morning if you would like to return.”
The man looked at him. No, the man looked through him. Looked through him to a very dark and lonely place.
“Return? Return? No one returns. Not even her.”
Time stopped. The water fountain nearby went silent. The world faded away and all that was left, all that he could see, was the stranger’s green eyes. They burned.
The man sat down. Fikry could smell the gin on his breath.
“They say that love is wonderful. Beautiful. Splendor in the grass and all that shit. It’s a lie. Love is hate.
“She left me alone. Alone in the dark. And she knew.”
“I was in the library. A place of solitude and repose, one would think. But no. She came, as always, to destroy my peace. She asked what I was reading. How does one answer that? ‘Go away’, perhaps, would have been my best choice. But I was lonely. And she smiled at me.
“One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.
“‘Words’, I answered.
“Words. What are words? Mere toys that we use to while away the empty hours. Distractions from the dark. We name the darkness, label it and categorize it and shove it where it can’t be seen. We hide it under our codes and rituals and cliches. And it grows.”
“I followed the code. I participated in the ritual. I just couldn’t quite handle the cliche.”
In the stranger’s presence Fikry’s self seemed lighter, thinner. Easy to break. This man, this smoldering stranger, had emptied him out.
He thought that maybe he should go. His wife must be worried sick about him by now.
He found that he did not care very much. And so he sat and listened as the stranger crackled and blazed.
“The ritual and the code were enough for a while. I smiled. I laughed. I told her about my day. I asked about hers. Underneath, the monster grew.
“She didn’t understand! She never understood. She made her waffles and thought that was enough.
“Have you ever stared into a waffle as the clock on the wall ticks away the seconds and the hours and the days? As the syrup fills up all the little square holes and there’s nothing to do but drown? But you can’t drown. You just keep breathing. Breathing in the damn syrup.
“And then, and then I saw it. It. Death. Death in life. Life in death. Fire. Death. Alone. All alone. So alone. So empty.
“This, all this here? It means nothing. Nothing! And when this stupid two bit play is over, what do you have? Utter darkness. No reward for suffering in the syrup. No punishment for your sins. Nothing. A void. A complete and utter void.
“And so you have to ask yourself, which is worse? Which is worse?”
Fikry felt light, empty, cold. The stranger kept on talking, his fire burning and burning and consuming all the world.
“And she knew. I knew she knew. She knew how to live forever. How to never grow old. How to escape death. So I asked her. She was my wife. You’d think she’d want to help me.
“But love is hate. Love is hate. Love…love neglected and shoved under ritual and codes and cliches feeds on the darkness and turns to hate.
“I thought…I thought maybe if she didn’t want to save me, she’d want to save herself. Who doesn’t want to live? Who would not avoid that utter darkness, that meaningless black pit, if they could?”
Fikry could not answer. He had become the meaningless black pit. He drifted in the darkness, silent and alone and stretched over the universe.
“So I set her on fire. I thought she would have ambrosia. I couldn’t imagine that she didn’t have ambrosia. I didn’t know. I didn’t know then what it required. She could never have killed anyone. She was gentle and kind and good.
“I killed her. I let her go. But she didn’t love me. She never came back.
“She never came back.”
The fire in the green eyes went out. In the silence, time once again passed. The fountain tinkled. The world came into focus.
Bit by bit, piece by piece, Fikry came back to himself. He came back to a single clear point.
He had to get away from this man.
He stood up, ready to run. A hand reached out and stopped him.
Everything went red and silent.
“She would not tell me what she knew. But I figured life fruit out for myself.”