One more step. That’s all it would take.
One more step and I won't have anything else to worry about. No more pain or competitions with Oliveer or staring at the others and wondering why we even are in the first place.
One more step and everything’ll turn white and black and blurry and whatever else it turns when you go through the Transcendental Door. But first I need to go through this door.
Pay no attention to the sounds coming from the other side. That’s not moaning; it’s laughter. It’s a choir singing praise songs, not a group of people crying. Remember the promises of things better. What did Ranhii say? Focus.
It takes faith, Jamos-vin. Faith without action is dead, though, and you must act to transcend. The greater the act, the greater your reward, Jamos-vin. And when you doubt, know that you are not alone. We’ve all questioned, and been made stronger because of it.
His words are soothing, despite their rasp. Calming. Familiar...
They’ve been locked in there for almost two days now. Seven people, all nameless faces, complete strangers to me and, likely, to each other. They’ve all been stripped of their clothing and chained to each other, with one man’s leg chained to a structural column in the center of the room. Deprived of food and water and left alone in near darkness. Other than this, they’ve not been harmed. Yet.
I turn the handle and step through.
The room smells like human waste, but it doesn’t bother me. The crying dies. A few brave eyes flicker to me but most look away. It’s the first time they’ve seen me. I was a shadow in the darkness when I collected them, swift and intentional. None had a chance.
They still don’t. Before tonight ends, I will transcend and these people will bear witness. They will be mine, just as I was Ranhii’s before I took his place, and just like one of these will one day rise up and take mine. It is the way of things.
If they could see my face now they would see me smiling. The years of pain are over. How could I have been unsure just moments ago? This has always been my purpose, to procreate and transcend. Slowly we are infiltrating them, becoming human in our appearance. One day the tide will shift, and our race will no longer be confined to shadows. By then, when they realize what has happened, if they ever even do, it will be too late.
I stand in the doorway for a moment longer, letting the back light shine on me as I release my tendrils. The ones that are looking at me begin to weep, and their hysteria spreads to the others who can’t help but look and see what’s happening. For one glorious instant I am revealed to them. Their mind’s can’t comprehend what they’re seeing, but it’s no matter. They don’t have to understand to know what’s about to happen to them. They can hear it in my laugh. See it on my appendages.
I gently close the door behind me, and we’re once again consumed by darkness. I can’t help it. The laugh erupts from me, a cackle of pure delight. I can feel it in my soul as the process begins. It’s beautiful.
That’s when the screaming starts.
Word Count: 563