Consumed

jeff-easley-astral-dreadnought-1987

“Astral Dreadnought” by Jeff Easley (1987)

This is a short piece of fantasy flash fiction about another time and another place, and the powerful and inescapable force that resides within its disjointed folds.  Originally written on the 9th September 2016.


Consumed

The Outsider coursed through the astral realms like a virus in the blood. The burning of a dim, spectral light glowing in the thing’s eyes, it traced a serpentine path through the in-between worlds in search of its prey.

Its arrival in the deeplands was announced by an unshakable and powerful dread, the beings in this pool of the void knew well what was approaching. There was no escaping it, no fleeing from the insatiable hunger. It took what it wanted, wherever and whatever that may be. It had done so for all eternity, and would continue to do so until the threads fell apart and time itself was annulled. None would ever halt it in its infinite cycle of travelling and feeding. It was, in some respects, the balance between life and death.

In the vacuum of the ethereal dominions, their screams in negative space formed doorways and entry points to other, unknowable corners. Though none large or powerful enough to escape through.

The feeding began immediately, the tearing of matter heralded the opening of the titan’s mouth. The seers fell apart, their visible screams snaking away into distant recesses of the void, shattering and creating more wormholes. The gnashing of phantasmal teeth, the tolling of massive jaws, rending plasma from tissue and soul from reality.

In a moment, it was over, and the Outsider floated on, snaking its way once more through the random valleys of the other world in search of the next.

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