“You idiot! Do you realize what you have done?”
Christian couldn’t see anything. He knew it was Shadow who spoke, but couldn’t tell where he was. The voice seemed to surround him. A soft glow began to illuminate the area around him, but there was still nothing to see. This must be Shadow’s home, he thought.
“Where are we,” Christian asked.
“This is the Shadow Realm, and you, my friend, have made a huge mistake.”
“Oh really? And what’s that?”
He felt a force throw him up against a very solid wall of darkness. Pain erupted inside his head. The room was spinning. What was going on? He hadn’t felt pain like that in a long time. It wasn’t something he wanted to experience again.
“You have destroyed the world and everything with it.”
“Bullshit! How could I do that?”
“Imbecile! This is the Shadow Realm. It exists in a different reality than that of Earth. By leaving, you have taken life out of that reality. Without life, it has become an endless void, a place of nothingness. All people, places, and things have vanished as if they were never there.”
“You’re lying,” Christian argued, but he knew that Shadow was right. He recalled the conversation the eternals had when they first arrived on Earth.
“Be wary, my children,” the Creator advised. “The balance must be maintained. I leave you here to forever oversee this planet.”
“Yes, Creator,” they replied in unison.
The Creator pulled Shadow, Light, and Gray aside, giving them their final instructions. When that was finished, he walked over to the remaining two. “Look around you,” he instructed Christian. “What do you see?”
“Nothing, Creator. This planet is nothing more than a giant rock.”
“You shall change that. You are Life. With the powers that I have given to you, you will create all forms of living beings on this planet. You shall cover it with plants, animals, and people like us. I give you the freedom to do this as you see fit. Make me proud.”
“And you,” he said to Death, “will ensure that the balance is maintained. You are Death, the end of life. That which is weak, you shall eliminate. You shall be there to ensure that there is never too much life.”
“But, Creator,” Death pleaded, “taking life is wrong. How do you expect me to be able to do such a thing?”
“You will find a way. It is your duty.”
“What of the others,” Christian asked.
“They are to watch from afar. In order to maintain the balance, they have been instructed to not interfere. You two, however, must remain here. If you leave, the world will perish. I do not wish for this world to die. If either of you breaks this simple rule, you shall feel my wrath.”
With that, the Creator vanished.
“You have angered the Creator, Life. You may get your wish soon enough.”
“No, I won’t. He’ll spend eternity torturing me, and you know it.”
“That is true. I would love to see him do that to you, but I digress. The way I see it, you have two choices. You can go to the Creator and be tortured for eternity, or you can go back to Earth and make everything as it once was.”
“Option three: kill you and stay here.”
“Have you learned nothing, Life? I am all-powerful here.”
The dim light, that once illuminated, vanished. When the darkness enveloped Christian, pain coursed through his body. “Welcome to my world,” Shadow laughed. Every fiber of Christian’s being burned as if on fire. He tried to fight it with his anger, his hatred, but nothing worked. Never giving up, he kept fighting until he lost consciousness.
When he awoke, he was no longer surrounded by darkness, but by light. “You know what you must do,” came a voice.
“What? Trade one torture for another? Either way, I’m screwed.”
“What happened to you, Life? You once loved what you did. What has changed to make that a thing of the past?”
“You would never understand, Light.”
“Then explain it to me so that I can try to understand.”
“You have had the luxury of watching from afar, never influencing. I had to interact. I had to be life. There is no life without love, so I have loved. There is no love without pain, so I have felt pain. Pain has been building up inside of me since the beginning of time. There is only so much pain a person can take, and I’ve had enough.”
“No,” Christian screamed. “I’ve had enough! I’m tired of this shit! I’m tired of everything! There’s no more world left, so just kill me!”
Before he could respond, Christian punched Light across the jaw, sending him falling backwards. “Kill me or I swear I’ll break your fuckin neck!”