The Writers of the Universe
— The ending has been changed! Through their words written in stories and books, The Writers of the Universe control the lives of us all. A struggling human author and quite possibly the most unlucky person in existence is about to leap from the page and journey to realms unknown in order to bring back chaos and free will to the universe. For without uncertainty, without fear of the unknown, there is no point in going through life if its only purpose is to get to the end of the book. —
This is it folks, the final chapter of the Writers of the Universe. I hope you all liked it, cause there is more to come in the near future.
Listen to the music behind the story here: https://fanburst.com/stew-stunes/album/the-writers-of-the-universe
18. The Last Chapter
“Quickly now, my son,” the hologram of his father spoke.
Jeremy did not move. He heard them and wanted to walk towards them, but his mind stalled. Was it really over, he dared himself to believe what his eyes saw. There had been so many tricks of Radfewx’s that he wasn’t ready to accept the possibility that they had defeated him.
“Jeremy,” His father asked again.
“Is he really gone?” he asked bewildered.
“Eh,” his mother began. “We like to view it as more of a joining the infinite as opposed to dying. He is now a part of Fate and can do no more damage than can a light breeze on a summer day. His will is not the will of the collective Fate of the universe and so his power is no more.”
Jeremy shook his head, still in disbelief. His eyes found his three remaining friends huddled together. It didn’t take longer than a first glance to tell that the curse Radfewx had put over them was gone. Their eyes were clear and their natural personalities were back and on display. Cis and Mai ran over to him and pulled him into a friendly embrace.
“Jeremy,” his father summoned once again.
This time he did turn to his father and walk towards his parents, releasing the comfort of his friends. As he drew closer to the still flapping pages of the book, he could see that there were tears in his mother’s and father’s eyes.
“We’re so proud of you,” Ellen repeated with a shallowness to her voice.
“Why are you sad?” Jeremy asked. “You put an end to Radfewx. You can come back and we can sever the writer’s control forever. We can do it as a family.”
His father was the one to answer. “I’m so sorry son, but we can’t go with you. You have no idea how badly we wish we could come back and be a family, the three of us.”
“You’re not? You’re not coming back. But it’s over. We won.” Jeremy could tell that the book’s wild page flapping was losing speed causing the once solid portrait of his parents to blink and stutter.
“We made our decision long ago to join Fate in order to save so many more than ourselves. We cannot come back to you. We are forever a part of Fate as is Radfewx. The collective heeded our plea for help and allowed us to save you this night, but the price was and is our eternal contribution to Fate.” his father explained through misty eyes.
Jeremy wasn’t ready to lose his parents. There had to be a way to set things right for his parents, for all the lives destroyed by this war, and for Saesha. Overwhelmed by the swell of emotions and questions, Jeremy felt the world start to spin again.
“No, Jeremy. You cannot lose yourself to despair,” his father commanded. “I promise you there will be a time to mourn and to recover. But in this moment, you must listen to us before it is too late.”
“When we go,” his mother began but stopped quickly. “When it is time for us to depart, you will no longer be protected by Fate. It is possible that things written in this book may now have more of a lasting impact on your life. The future is so unknown. We’ve only been able to gather bits of information about the true source of the writer’s tie to a single person, but it is widely regarded that once the writing has begun it cannot be permanently removed.”
“What are you saying?” Jeremy’s eyes were growing wide with fright.
Ellen continued. “I’m saying that because your book was the one that killed Radfewx and thus will result in a major change for all others, your book will turn to stone. The events will be unchangeable and permanent. All other stories that you have entered will also be fixed.”
“That’s a good thing right? That means Radfewx and the like of his can never come back. We can destroy the links to our worlds and be done with them forever.”
It was his father’s turn to explain, the strobing light was getting so sporadic that their images were now hard to recognize. “It very well might be the greatest thing, but it could end up being a terrible responsibility to hold. We do not know how long it will take for the book to become stone, but you have the chance to affect how the story is told of the Universe’s freeing for years to come. Before you put anything down on paper understand that your changes could have untold effects. You may want to go back and save her, but trust me when I say it. Do not attempt to change life events. If you begin an edit but are unable to finish before the book becomes stone you could leave a plot hole so big that ALL the universes might stop existing. This book of yours is destined to become THE story of the Universe.”
“We’re so sorry, Jeremy. We wish we could tell you to go save her but it is imperative that you do not change things. You must ensure that the book remains shut and far away from a quill until it seals.”
“We love you, Jeremy,” they said together as the book wound down to a point that they were no more than a hint of what remained.
“I won’t change anything I promise,” Jeremy yelled back. ”I love you too.”
Jeremy watched as his mother sent a silent, teary-eyed kiss to him and dissolved completely from the image. His father tried to say more but was quick to follow. They were gone and Jeremy felt a sense of numbness fill him. They had won, but to him, it felt like it made no difference. The only people that might have ever loved him were gone.
The world began to spin around Jeremy as he became overwhelmed with emotion and exhaustion. His soul wanted to cry, his heart wanted to break, and his brain gave up on trying to make sense of anything that had transpired. Letting go, he nearly toppled over, but his friends were quick to catch him and save his head from a harsh landing.
“Come on buddy, up on your feet,” Cis said pulling Jeremy back up and steadying him with his shoulder.
“Why?” Jeremy groaned. “There’s nothing we can do.”
“We need end finish now,” Tal-sen croaked.
Jeremy turned his face to Cis and Mai to explain Tal-sen’s cryptic words.
“We need to finish this war now. There are still writers fighting with Fifth worlders and others. We need to break their links to our worlds and then I think we can save your girlfriend,” Mai said with a small smile.
“Don’t tease me. I can’t handle it right now. What are you talking about? She’s dead,” Jeremy shouted a little too loudly at Mai.
“I’m not teasing,” the sparkle in her eye was something Jeremy desperately wanted to believe, but his gut wouldn’t let him trust it.
“She’s right,” Cis agreed with Mai.
“But how? You heard my parents. We can’t go back and change anything,” as Jeremy was talking, he realized that the book was still laying on the ground opened at its middle, pages completely still. He abruptly detached himself from the conversation and picked up the book.
His eyes ran over the words as he fluttered through the pages to the end. He wasn’t sure why he wanted to read the end but felt compelled to see it.
“Jeremy don’t, just close it and come over here. We have a plan and it will work,” Mai pleaded with him.
Ignoring her, he continued till his eyes found the passage where Saesha had died. As the story was not Saesha’s all his book had to say on the event was a simple, Lost love, died defending. That was it. That was the only memorial for Saesha in this book that would become permanent history for the entire universe. It didn’t feel right to Jeremy. He wanted her memory to be known and her sacrifice to be remembered.
“Germy,” Tal-sen nudged him.
Stealing his eyes away from the text, Jeremy met Tal-sen’s equivalent to a sad face. His wood carved features and horns looked softer and worn after such a hard journey. But even as disfigured and haggard as his exterior looked, his eyes shone with an immense compassion that forced Jeremy to bow his head to the creature.
“Not good way to fix alive princess. Take her with me to machine of our life. Rebuild to new princess but not original. May work may…may work none.”
As if a light bulb went off in Jeremy’s head, he finally understood what Tal-sen was trying to tell him. Tal-sen would take the remaining feathers and dust of what remained of Saesha and the machine might be able to restore her, as it had countless others for millenniums for their people. Jeremy’s smile faded as quickly as it had sprung up. “But the Dog-crab said that if a Fifth-worlder dies outside of the Fifth world then they die for good.”
Tal-sen shrugged, his exposed bones rattling. “Only way is try.”
Cis stepped in. “Okay here’s the plan. Tal-sen, you take whatever you need. Go fix the princess for all of our sake’s. Us three have some loose ends to tie up.”
Jeremy snapped the book shut and agreed to the plan. He brought out his quill for what he hoped was the last time and opened a portal to the fifth world. Tal-sen jumped through and then it was three.
All three of them turned their attention to the many rows of the hive above them. Far above stood hundreds of writers who had fled from Jeremy’s firestorm. Still too uncertain of the events they had just witnessed, they growled down at them, showing that the fight was still very much from being totally over.
“How do ya’ll think we should go about this destroying the writer’s power once and for all,” Cis asked the group as the writers began to encroach on them.
Jeremy had no clue but could tell that they did not have any time to spare as the writers were quickly reorganizing and would soon decide that it was in their best interest to simply kill them.
“Well I for one think the worst thing we could do is be backed into a corner from all sides,” Mai observed. “Like we currently are.”
“Come on man, draw on the pad and get us out of here,” Cis urged Jeremy.
“And go where? I don’t know how to shut this thing down. Did you two think I had some magical plan that was going to solve everything? ”
“We just hoped,” Mai started.
“Chill bro, you’re freaking out. We only thought maybe Noal might have told you something to help us,” Cis explained.
Throwing his hands up to indicate his lack of knowledge, Jeremy responded. “I got nothing.”
Mai cursed under her breath as the writers began steadily marching from every direction, down the many levels of the hive. They were trapping them in.
They were running out of time and Jeremy was starting to panic. “It can’t end like this.”
“We’ll if you don’t want it to, I suggest you pull out some far out magical plan of yours to solve everything,” Mai taunted as the three of them pressed together so that their backs were touching and they could each see a different section of the flood of six-armed giants pressing towards them.
Jeremy made mumbling noises as he racked his brain. Even getting so desperate that he smacked the book on his head a few times to attempt to juggle his mind for some clue or memory that would help them. The fourth time he forcefully pounded his head against the book actually hurt and made him consider the object in his hands.
“Ahhh damn!” Cis exploded.
“What?” They both yelled.
“We have to use the book,” Cis shouted back.
“I don’t know man. I think you were all right. Just keep it closed. Even if we die it’s still better than screwing up the universe,” Jeremy backpedaled.
“I’m not saying do it to save us. I’m saying use the time you might have left to write an ending that shuts down the writers.”
“He’s right,” Mai confirmed. “It’s what your parents were trying to tell you. Don’t try to save anyone. No one person is worth saving the universe for, but it is worth saving the universe for everyone.”
There was no time to argue. Jeremy was out of ideas and the writers were only ten rows above. He tossed Cis his fire sword and handed the laser gun to Mai. “Make a wall. Keep them away for as long as you can. I don’t know how much time I have left until this book is sealed, but hopefully, I can finish before they get through.”
The fire sword roared to life and Cis set off to whirling it around in a circle, creating a temporary force field from the writers.
Mai patted Jeremy on the back. “Remember you don’t have much time. Don’t get emotionally attached. You can do this. You can stop the screaming that oozes from every corner of the universe’s psyche. Go to the end and destroy their connection to us all.”
The quill was in his hand and he found the last entry in the book. “Thank you all.”
There was no more time left to talk. It was Jeremy’s turn to step up and finish this once and for all. Nervously, he licked his fingers and flipped to the desired point of entry and touched his quill to the paper.
Jeremy blinked as he adjusted to the strange double mirrored way of viewing the world. At once in first and third person view, he studied the actions of his parents. They were at the part where Radfewx tried to kill them with his death ray.
He groaned as he realized that in order to get any information on how to shut down the writers, he would have to get it from Radfewx.
Before his parents could pull out the dandelion and dissolve him into the Universe, Jeremy scratched out the death part and started writing fast and furiously.
Radfewx turned his knife on Jeremy and shouted. “I’m tired of listening to this mumbo jumbo fanciful bull crap.”
I jumped and ran as the blast of white light illuminated the entire hive with its brilliant ferocity. “Radfewx. I’ll spare your life if you tell me the secret of the writers.”
The buffoonish giant laughed at the proposal. “I’ll tell you our secret if you allow me to put our little writer’s hooks into you and your family. It’s a fair trade. You could stop all of this pain, but we still get to make your entire life a living hell.”
“I’ll do it.”
“No way. Let’s have your secrets. Fate will not interfere with this. I promise,” I convinced him.
Radfewx, the foolish director, agreed. “The pillars that dot the landscape of our planet. They are our universe engines or the other side of black holes. If they were to be destroyed then we would lose our ability to communicate with and warp those universes into how we see fit. Destroy those and all of our stories will become just empty words on paper.”
“I’ll destroy those now.”
“Where’s my end of the bargain?” Radfewx questioned.
“Yeah…about that I kinda lied,” I said.
“Funny thing about how this writing thing works. You don’t really get a choice in what happens, you just have to write it down,” Radfewx said directly to Jeremy through both views of the scene.
“I don’t have time for this. My parents will kill you now.”
Jeremy turned to the spot where his parents should have been and in their place was just a scruffy looking book laying open in the middle of the floor. There was no longer a projection or a teary goodbye from his mother.
“I’ve got my hooks in you now and there is nothing you can do about it. Your life will always be suffering. You should have just died like I did, but you couldn’t lay down and admit defeat. I’d feel sorry for you, but you are the abomination in this situation. I’ll keep ruining your life, every one of them throughout all of time and space. I image we’ll be clashing for all of eternity until the final story is written, Lord of Chaos.”
“I’ll fight you. I’ll fight you this time, and every time someone opens this story it might be different, it might be a million years from now, but I’ll fight you just as hard everytime. I might have it worse than before, but none of it will matter. Because your influence will be zero, these writers will be gone, and the universe will be free.”
“Ah, but freedom is an invention! The quill is her nemesis, and boy did the protagonist lose…sadly, they always do in the end, but the story is why we read.”
Radfewx exploded on the spot from my mind bullet.
Mai, Tal-sen, and Cis woke up from their daze. “You have to help me. I’ve really messed this up. Tal-sen take Saesha’s feathers back and try to restore her using your life machine.”
“What are you talking about. Slow down,” Cis argued.
“We don’t have time. The universe doesn’t have time,” I screamed. “Tal-sen take Saesha and bring her back. Can you do that for me please?”
“I do, Germy. I go, you come find love princess at end,” Tal-sen nodded solemnly and escaped through a portal I made him.
“Okay. You two. Follow me,” I started running up the hundreds of levels of the hive to where thousands of writers were huddled together still afraid from the firestorm.
I turned my laser gun on full blast and shot it. The entire column of writers in front of us puffed out of existence. We sprinted the rest of the way and made it to the top of the hive. Bursting through we ran into the forest of pillars that stretch taller than we could see above us.
“We have to destroy these things. All of them. It’s what powers everything. If we break them, the writers won’t be able to control universes anymore,” I told Mai and Cis.
“How the hell we supposed to do that?” Cis asked.
Jeremy didn’t know.
“I can’t believe I forgot to ask that part.”
“Well shoot it or something. Don’t just stand there,” Mai commanded.
I aimed and charged my weapon to its full power. Blasting one off it struck the nearest pillar. The pillar exploded sending shards of concrete and matter in all directions.
Mai appeared on my left. Tears were slowly falling from her milky eyes, “it’s beautiful.”
“The silence. It’s beautiful.”
“Wait? That actually worked?”
“For a very brief moment in time, there was peace and silence in the universe. We just need to figure out…”
“We need something bigger,” Cis’s loud voice echoed across the expanse. “Are these all connected?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well they seem to be positioned in grids, so I believe they most likely have some network of cables underneath them transferring all of that power to something. Sure this might be the way the writers power the universes, but where is the power stored and collected. If we destroy the central hub. It all goes down.”
“That’s it!” I shouted.
“We don’t have to know where it is,” Mai chimed in. “Just hit it with a lot of lightning. The surge of excess energy will be sent from node to node, building and building a huge charge and once it reaches the hub. It’ll overwhelm it and explode.”
I summoned a ball of lightning and unleashed it on the closest node. As soon as the lightning struck, it started glowing the same blue color that was made during a transfer. From base to top, the color of blue rose in intensity and brightness. A loud crack sounded once the overload hit the top of the column and it jumped to the next closest column. The process repeated more and more as each column was overloaded, cracked at the top, and sent balls of energy flying onto the next nearest column. It wasn’t long before every column I could see was glowing full tilt and the constant overloading sounded like fireworks exploding far off in the night.
“I hope this works. We don’t have much time,” I said as the scar of Saesha’s name on my chest started burning.
Mai looked at me with a quizzical expression. “Why don’t we have much time?”
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2014 © Stew Stunes