I'll Try Living Like This
rating: +35+x















Year 2,999,763


"Ah, if only it were that simple though." I heard that voice again, speak into the nothingness where I floated. It came when there was nothing else to harm me, just like the time before that.

Oh, it's you again. What do you want?

"So I guess you've put two and two together yourself."

Yeah. I uh, I got it when I saw you. Why are you doing this to me?

"I'm not trying to do anything to intentionally hurt you." She lied. "I just had something to tell people. And you were the —"

I don't have any actual ████████ right now. How do I know that what I'm saying is what I want to say? For all I know, I'm just [REDACTED]. Remember when I saw Dr. Yamada and Dr. Glass?

"Like I said, you came to me. I'm just relaying what information you shared to me."

Did that include this?

"Yes."

Fuck. I floated away from the voice, trying to find a way out. There weren't too many options I had. Well, do I even bother doing anything? You'll just drag me along for the ride. How does this end?

"What do you mean?"

Will I just die a cruel and deserving death? Do you want me to hold onto insanity? Will it just be one of us jacking off about life's cruel machinations for us, you goddamned… fucking… fuck. I floated even faster, searching for an end to this void. I so desperately wanted to cry, but that wouldn't do good in a place with no one to latch onto.

"Truth be told, I don't know. I have an idea but never any solid plans."

Right.

"…"

"It's been hours on my end."

Time flies, huh.

"Yeah."

"…"

At least give me some good news.

"I don't know what will happen to you." Her voice softened.

How is this a good thing?

"When you came to me… you told me what you wanted the world to know. I didn't know a lot of the details. Even now, I feel foggy on it. Up to now, all I've shared was stuff I knew exactly. And recently with this one, and the next one, I'm not so sure anymore."

So you lost control of what's going on, huh.

"I never had control to begin with. You're just as real as I am, as far as I'm concerned."

But you [REDACTED]. You get what's being said here. This doesn't go on official documentation. Ever.

"Technically, no. And even then, who cares? Anything ███████ that affects ███████ is just as true." She sighed. It sounded a little bit annoyed at me, even.

I…. I guess? Not that I even want to think of it in those terms. What does that mean for me then?

"You get to make your own ending. I won't have a clue what you want to do."

What do you mean?

"…I'm saying it's out of my hands now. I think it always was out of my hands. I just always felt like the messenger. Using you as my vessel, my way to feel out what I want to do and handle. But now you can decide, fully and completely on your own.”

Uh… maybe. Won’t it just be the same as usual though?

“Hey, I’m just letting you speak through me. I have way less to do with this than you think.”

There were walls at what seemed to be the edge of the void. The moment it got touched, it started to float away from me. There was no way I'd let it slip by me, not at that moment. I had to chase it.

Can't we at least walk through this slower, more naturally? We're not being rushed here. I'd love ten minutes to at least just… process this shit.

"I've already been here for hours trying to continue the conversation. Plus, —"

Yeah, I get it. I don't know though…

"…"

Did you ever struggle with mental illness?

"…"

"Yeah, all the time. Life's a bitch with that." It was oddly comforting, at least. My God, my ███████, nothing more than a similarly confused and lost soul. "How did you deal with it?"

Hah, how funny. I guess ███ herself doesn't know my life. The answer is; I didn't. Help helps, but it only does so much, you know. Draven helped, Dr. Yamada helped, Dr. Glass helped, Mr. Kondraki helped in his… own weird way. But help is just help. I think I needed more than help but like, actual long-lasting uh… what's the word.

"Treatment."

Yeah, that one.

"Yeah. I've been getting treatment in the past couple years for my shit. Mental illness is like… it's death's dynamic shroud." She giggled. I didn't get the joke; I didn't bother to ask. "It's something to try and conquer a step at a time, you know?"

Yeah.

During a break in the conversation, I caught up to the walls. When I touched them, they stood still. It was finally a way for me to escape; the end of something had to mean the beginning of a new thing, right?

Is this the way out then, O [REDACTED]? Yeah, that fits. O High and Mighty Goddess.

"I genuinely don't know by this point. I think you'll have to find out."

I guess. There was a moment's hesitation. What do I do if I manage to escape this prison then? I'll still be thrown back into a world with all my baggage, and I'm just gonna be suffering in smaller, more meaningful ways.

"I think that's up to you. If I gave any advice, I'd be a hypocrite for sure. Just do your best to cope and wish for the best while working towards a manageable goal. Strengthen your will. That's how I've been dealing with shit."

Yeah. I'll do my best.

"Good luck. Go impress me."

I guess so? Thanks. I just want to know if it's still worth trying though. Right?

Hello?

I think she left me to my own will after that moment. We'd only talked twice, and I think both times were more helpful for her than they were for me. But it didn't matter, I think. God. I wonder what Draven would have thought of this. He might have actually had an existential crisis.

There was no time to waste though. Admittedly, I was still scared of what was waiting for me. I just hoped it was a way out. I really needed a way out by this point. It was so long. All I needed was a single reward for this absurd bullshit. I was gonna get out. I was gonna win this fucking nightmare of a trial. So I pushed the wall.

And my body shattered.













Year 2,999,764


Talloran woke up, bound in quicksand. They were drowning very slowly (a rate of 0.05 mm per hour). All the while, the Despised cut off their cartilage. It looked more bored than Talloran ever did.

"Hey, wait, I thought I was finally —" Sand was poured into their mouth as It kept slicing away, cut by cut, as their body.

"This is the first time in… eternities. You've finally shown fear again. Do you understand yet, what I am? Why is it do you fight me then? Why not simply concede to the truth? Why keep fighting for something greater and better?" The Despised's voice was softer and more accepting in tone, but still shook with malice for every breath it took, and still bled vulgarities with every syllable spoken.

Talloran tried to respond, but the sand slithered down their throat. They'd eternally choke on sand as they took their time to drown. Exsanguination, if they ever did die, would be the last thing to kill them.

"Talloran, if I could, I would not be content to simply torture you forever. I would make sure you knew death in its permanency, in every single worst way. When you tried to end your life the handful of times… you figured you could escape. When you tried to leave my rule by your own hand… it was as if you thought you knew the answers. The Foundation learns from what it contains, but its weak-willed employees… those clinging onto the abnormal and the fantastical as their identity… that was your way out of reality, wasn't it?"

They could feel the air pocketing in their blood now, as images swirled over their head, taunting them with relief. It was all-consuming in their vision, and it stung. They swung their arms to the side, attempting to crawl out, but the energy simply left them.

"I hate you. Of all those I hate, none have made me feel as vile as you. You are the reason why I exist to do this… and it is abhorrent. Talloran, do you understand yet, why I do what I do? It's not simply because of your personality, or your will. Do you understand yet? When your will sinks again…" The Despised slowly creates a shallow cut on Talloran's neck and slithers onto their chest. "That is when I truly delight in all of this."

Talloran drowned, but not without cause for celebration. It reminded them of how they felt eternities ago. To hear an actual corporeal thing tell them, instead of it just rattling around in their brain? It created a whole new meaning to what was happening. All that had to be done, as a wise psychologist once told them, was simply shift perspective.

It was a scary thing, but nothing was more scary than the fact that this had been the normal once. And now? When you make it all physical… it was pretty wild. Nothing more than that, nothing less. It almost made them feel like a badass, even. How proud would Draven be if he saw them struggle back, resisting against some brutish force? Maybe that was the key. Get out of here, become a Mobile Task Force agent? That'd be a refreshing walk in the park.

It came together. Ahh. How nice. Maybe that Goddess wasn't so wrong after all.

They'll try living like this.


Talloran concentrated all their energy into one thought:

"Fuck you."

Everything was smashed.

And everything crumbled.




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