And Jill Came Tumbling After

Fiction by Sarah Alden

Fate lies in my hands. My brothers were given useless gifts, like death, like life, like time. But only I was given truly the most powerful element to be conceived. I have undisputed, total control. And I am bored.

There is no challenge for such a perfect goddess such as myself. With the ability to control fate, I am unstoppable. Life has already succumbed to me. He stubbornly confronted me, ME, upon my onyx throne, about the stillborn human child who was meant to grow and be a good man, to change their world. It was not Death’s doing, he can only take life once life has been given. He has always been the family runt.

Life asked why I continuously and recklessly changed the course of events, the fool. I responded that it was my job. Life would not take that for an answer. His teal hair had lifted in a pretentious gust of wind when he accused me of using humanity’s suffering as a means of pleasure. While, to be honest, that was in fact my motive, I was not about to be controlled by this sad little man. Leaning forward so that my golden curtains of hair tickled his face, I stared into his eyes ravenously. The ignoramus had no idea what I was even doing until it was too late, of course. I had made sure it was like that. With just a blink, he fell backwards, like a board of wood balanced precariously on its thinnest end when a child walks by, waving his arms and smacking the plank so that it finally gives into gravity. A pitiful death for a pitiful force.

Death could do nothing to save his brother; I had had him wrapped for far too long. He simply collected the soul as he did with any mortal being. of course, life was not mortal. At least not until I made him that way. With life gone, there was no life. Everything was still borne of mother, and everything still lived their lives as had been done before. No one even noticed Life was gone. What they did notice, however, was the lack of will, of spirit. The drive of all humans and mortal creatures was absent. Every single being after the death of Life simply moved along their path I created like a marble.

Barely sentient creatures just followed their routes, and they did not experience one bit of it. The life was gone.

It was all a veiled experience after that day. Shrouded in nothingness, the entire world lost entertainment. So I took it upon myself to make my own. I built expectations. I crushed dreams, with a sudden assassination, or an accident. I gifted the shells of people with hope, and then I made them give it back. That is how I work. Everything is mine, and when I give it away, it’s only temporary.

The only sibling of mine that I should be worried of is Time. When everything is yours, everything begins to lose value over ages. My brother Time, with his ink-black skin and cloud pale hair, is the only being capable of making me suffer. With his foully patient eyes, he can create eternities. Everything will become meaningless if he can torture me for that long. And he can. When nothing has a point, there is, as expected, essentially nothing. and what has no fate? Nothing.

My only hope is to take out Time. But I can’t do that without destroying myself in the process. I have mapped out every single plot to murder Time, and every single one has ended up with me eradicated as well. The end of time is the end of fate, the end of fate is the end of existence, the end of existence is the end of time. I’m sure he has come to the same conclusion I have. We stare each other down every waking hour, me carving my mazes and he, steadily clicking his tongue. I in my white and golden robes and residing upon my onyx throne, and him perched on a wooden stool, across from me, wearing a simple white tunic.

When I ended life, he just glanced down at his sundial, at his feet. There was no shadow cast. There never was, never has been a shadow. Every time I kill a mortal being, or twist humanity for my own benefit, he glances at the infinite sundial, and lifts his head back up to stare at me again.

Our brother Death does not even enter our chamber, although he has his own graphite bench, across from Life’s marble pillar and cold, golden cushions. He is terrified of our tension. He knows what I can do to him if he acts wrongfully. And he knows that if I do nothing, time will. He fears Time’s silent powers that can crush the strongest empires and dissolve the largest galaxies in a matter of patience. He may also avoid the throne room because of the coffin in the center. Our mother Cosmos lives there, unconscious. She is damaged every time her children use our gifts, although only Time causes consistent pain. Eventually, I will call on Death to finish her. I control her fate, after all.

When that day comes, it marks the end of everything. We all fall down the hill, our crowns shattering like our bones. So I wait. I will keep myself going as long as I can bear, and my brother Time will not be making that a simple task. It is so disgustingly boring, being the best. And it makes me wonder, is living to avoid demise really, truly worth it?

About Sarah Alden 249 Articles

Sarah Alden is a Junior at Clayton A. Bouton. She enjoys writing, drawing, and hearing her own voice. Catch her listening to weird music and talking about history to anyone willing to deal with it.