On the Path Nobody Knows

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For the most part, my memory eluded me. Still, I can remember who I was in the Old World. I was Nobody, someone who existed to no one but myself and carried myself through the same routine day in and day out.

This lasted until Armageddon came upon us and washed over our heads like raging waves on a windy day. The world left behind was a quiet one, free of the crowds of faceless people I used to blend into so easily. It's been so long since I've seen someone else.

Yet I'm still Nobody, going down the same ambling routine.

I've been here for what might as well have been eternity. I don't remember the first time I found my purpose, nestled behind that damn door. Once I read the final messages from beyond the horizon, I knew what I had to do. I had to preserve what had been left to collect dust in a chapel that was only partially of this world.

Today, I found my sanctuary as a slight doorway; it was carved into one of the rocky outcroppings just off the trail I'd beaten into the lake shore over the years. It had another dusty path winding up towards it and culminated in a ramshackle old door painted a dark green. The door had been long since left to the mercy of nature; I could smell the rot eating away at it from the inside even before I pushed past it. It was an almost calming scent in its familiarity.

It took only an experimental push for the door to swing open before me; I found myself again encased by stony chapel walls, cool and dry to the touch. There was never any windows but the noontime sun shone overhead through holes in the rock-pile, scattering little beams of light all throughout the chamber. It was almost empty, the only real furnishing being a dust-caked burgundy carpet on the middle of the chapel floor.

Finally, a battered hulk of metal and glass was slumped over sideways at the room's far end. My fingers danced over its shell and the screen lit up a faded white after a few moments. There was a familiar picture on the glass, the face of a bright sky-god.

What was left of the Old World's words flashed onto the screen as I begun my daily rites.


Verifying Horizon Initiative credentials…

Accessing Universal Texts…

Error retrieving general database; accessing saved files…

Two text(s) found.

  • The Travels of St. Dracios To the Lands of Jarad, Chapter 16;
  • The Fourth Letter of Nayvidius.

With a flash of light my eyes passed over the Final Words. I did not know who left them here, or why these survived when others didn't. All I knew is that I must take care to preserve them. It is my duty to record them, for they might be the last glimpses back to the Old World from before.

I've tried to treat them well, just as whoever came before did. I tried my best to dust the hulk, to cleanse its haggard surface with the lake water. Once, I tried to fix the door— long before I realized the nature of this chamber.

I read the first part of the Final Words aloud and they came out as haphazard noises away into the breeze.

The Baptism of the Beggar-King of Virgil

16 Once the Saint made his way down to the town center and came upon a great marketplace. 2 The stands were lined with a great plenty of fine foods and drink and filled with many tradesmen and warriors. Yet St. Dracios could only see one man through the crowd. 3 He was a haggard figure coated in the rags of his past; a simple beggar. His emaciated arms held out an empty wooden bowl but the men of Virgil walked past him as if he was a spirit, casting him nary a glare.

4 St. Dracios moved through the crowds, parting the market-goers of Virgil until he could reach this pauper. The tradesmen paid him no gestures as he approached him. It was as if even approaching the beggar brought Dracios to the edge of Heaven. 5 "What is your name, humble one?" The good Saint asked onto the beggar. "I have no name but the King of Beggars." The pauper of the Virgil marketplace responded. "My name has been lost unto history."6 The Saint lingered before Virgil's Beggar-King, and to him he asked. "Why do the men of Virgil treat you this way?" "History has tried to claim me as it has my name. They cannot see me, just as they cannot see you now." He spoke back, his voice tinged with the sighs of age. 7 The good Saint Dracios preached onto him the wisdom of Abraham, and dubbed the pauper אף אחד and commanded of him to spread the Lord’s words unto the men of Virgil. 8 Finally, he poured out his water onto the Beggar-King's forehead and the dust and dirt was cleansed off his forehead with the Lord's will. With that, the good Saint moved on, through the marketplace and onto the Easterly road to Jarad.

9 On his way back towards the sea, St. Dracios made his way back through the town of Virgil once more. He found no signs of אף אחד, though a young boy told the saint Virgil's Beggar-King preached to the village for seven years until he left up the Northern road towards Anatolia.

The summertime wind whistled through the trees outside the chapel, rustling the leaves as it ran through the sky. The lake's waves lapped gently up onto the shore; for a moment I could feel the outside reality slip past me, slip through me. My arms became dictated by the Northern winds above. My fingers darted across the rusted electronic prophet before me. It was as if there was another presence in the chapel, sat beside me guiding my movements.

The sunlight on my periphery became brighter and brighter behind my eyes. My hand swiped my archived scripture back; I watched as a new set took their place.

I let the winds and currents of nature flow through me as I began to read again.

The Fourth Letter of Nayvidius

5 As I wandered down the Southerly roads, surrounded by paupers and tradesmen, I came upon a man with no name.2 He claimed to have been taught by a great emperor of the paupers and preached the words of Saints Abraham and Dracios from generations past.

3 He was bound Northwards, towards the great city of Damascus to spread his gospel; his ancestor's great teachings of going beyond the self. 4 Indeed, he said that those like him were known only as אף אחד and that he sought naught but to spread the teachings of this great emperor. Once his disciples had let these teachings into their hearts, then he would cease to be as אף אחד was and they would spread the gospel to the world. 5 I wished him well upon his travels and watched as he disappeared down the Northern pathways. I do not know what befell him on his pilgrimage, as I never returned to Damascus.

Once the last word passed through my lips, I saw that the sun had passed over the rockpile and left the rays of Helios dappled over the rusted casing. The screen faded out to black. I could feel the presence around me dissipated back into the cosmos, the whistles of the wind and rush of lake-water silenced themselves in my head.

It's time to go now.

I pulled the rotten door open, leaving it to swing quietly shut behind me as I ambled back down my path. I didn't look back, I know my chapel would already be gone. Perhaps I shall find it tomorrow, lodged into the beach as a rusting trapdoor. I'll find it, though. I always do.

One day I'll finally understand what it was all supposed to mean. Maybe, I'll soon understand what the whispers of the Old World have been trying to say.

Perhaps I am just another אף אחד, a beggar-priest like in the stories. If this is true, then like my forebears I shall preserve those Words we still have left until I can tell them to another.

Until then, I'll still be Nobody, walking alone through a young world.

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