Where are they? Where is where, anyways? This is Nothing. And in Nothing, a meeting has been called. Death, the shadow; Six, the number so close to the name; Change, a constant alteration, which always stays the same; Imperfection, a paradigm of a paradox in a conundrum’s enigma and Universe, a playground for these powers.
Doubtless, your question is still unsettled; regardless, the gathering advances. The powers crept into the infinite span of the chamber. The dodecahedron shape was intricately carved of luminous blue stones. Its walls hummed to a tune unbeknownst to the guests. The floor of this heavenly room was as white as a Universe’s supernova, sparkling with several freckles of black, iridescent spots. Each entity, which had arrived, with each their own inherent arrogance, took their seats behind the designated desks. By an unknown power, these powerful beings had been forced to arrive in this… abysmal cell. And as an added insult, not one of them could see the face owned by their despised others. It was a zoo of madness, waiting to erupt.
“Does anyone know what we are here for?” the first thing spoke. The voice came from all across the Brobdingnagian walls. And only after the conceited beings saw the billions of eyes reveal themselves across the surfaces of these walls, did anything stir.
“Are you Universe?” Imperfection sneered to the army of eyeballs. The being looked around the room again. Several thousand light years to his left, was a gold, candle on a desk.
“What sort of fool does not know the realm in which he dwells?” came Universe’s reply.
Death, the shadow, was eerily plastered to one of the colossal walls. His candle, Uriel, stood sentinel on his appointed desk, while her son, the dancing flame, quivered his best in order to cast Grim on the wall. For now, Death would take the form of human. He had decided that anything more capable-looking, would place him in a tight spot with the other fools.
“How dare you call me a fool,” blared the impulsive Imperfection. “Watch your tongue, Starbanner. Unlike you, I am not glued to a single spot.”
Change had arrived as well. On his mind was not the squabble between the shapeshifter, Imperfection, and the infinite, marble chamber that was Universe. Change had his mind on other things. On the origins.
Several eons had spoken of coming to the Valhalla, and surely, Change’s form would please whichever force beckoned him and the others. Thanks to the finely polished surfaces, his omniscient field of vision could make out his appearance that had been donned for the congregation – a bubbling cloud of quicksilver, which continued to flow upwards and to the floor simultaneously. Change’s liquid innards – and outards – swelled and sloshed to create a vaguely hourglass-like shape that stood vicariously behind his appointed desk.
“Will someone please tell me why I have to make room for such a useless entity,” Universe sneered from his myriad eyeballs.
Meanwhile, Six watched on as the trivial scuffle between the two continued. The contestants of the verbal clash were both interesting colleagues of Six. With the twelve eyes in its possession, Six analyzed the first faction of the debate – Imperfection. Each of the six bodies of Six, could not perceive the same figure to associate with Imperfection’s appearance. Mind, the most stable of Six, saw intelligence incarnate.
Soul saw hope in place of the harrowing being. Heart noticed eternal love and Body found the pinnacle of health. ‘What is this?’ Six thought in unison. The other two pieces of Six, Belief and Drive, saw truth and inspiration, respectively. ‘Surely, something with the power to alter its form to suit another being’s desire… is all-powerful.’ Again, Six continued to dwell in the well of their thoughts. But sadly, they could not contemplate for long – the other side of the ongoing argument had features just as amusing.
As always, Universe had shirked the decision to appear as a being, and instead turned itself into the entire meeting room.
Stars sparkled within the atoms and molecules of the glistening cobalt walls… and in between the billion blinking eyes.
‘But does Universe have to materialize so many eyes into the walls? If he were the container of all our power, then even one eye would be too many. No?’
“Do you believe in perfection?” another voice echoed across the confines of Universe’s form.
Each of the beings present – Death, Universe, Change, Imperfection and the six of Six – turned their figures all over in an attempt to locate the source of the sound.
“What is it you search for?” the sound came again. What was most peculiar of the event, was not the absence of an origin or speaker… but the apparent confusion of Universe, the vessel of everything. And truthfully, Universe was every bit as confused as each of the other entities.
Once more, the voice came: “Is it to best each other? Or is it to best everything?”
“What lies do you present before us?” the brash Universe roared. He would have none of this young foolishness, taking place in his embrace.
“What of you, Death?” the enigmatic sound pulsed. “Or Change?”
Silence crept in for a blink of a second.
And then it spoke: “Wouldn’t any of you… want to be – Perfect?”
He had their attention.
“Perfection was discarded as impossible,” Death whispered from his ghastly apparition.
“It was never discarded as impossible,” the voice lulled. “It was accepted.”
“And what do you propose?” the six of Six questioned.
“Here and now, each of the candidates of perfection that have ever existed in the Universe, sit together.”
“Hmm?” the eyes of Universe each raised an eyebrow in condescending question.
“And Universe as well,” the voice included confidently.
“That’s more like it,” Universe grumbled.
“So… what do you say?” the voice questioned.
“Explain it more,” Imperfection ordered with keen interest. If anyone wanted to be perfect, it would have to be this one.
“Time has told me, that not much of him remains. We are to decide upon the pinnacle of reality… before reality comes.”
“Then make us all perfect,” Six, the wisest of the beings, suggested.
“Too much unfiltered Perfection is lethal,” the voice explained. “I need a fair agreement between the five of you present now. Each one of you must firmly concur to the wishes of every other.”
If the space between the members present, wasn’t in light years, a bustle of murmurs may have been heard at that instant.
“I nominate Death,” Change declared proudly.
“And for what?” the crisp voice interrogated tonelessly.
“If life is lost from anything, its end must be perfect. It should not be possible to cheat Death.”
“I agree,” Universe responded. “If your life ends, a second chance shouldn’t be granted. Think of a reality where nothing ends…”
Six, seated farthest from Death, could only agree with the other two opinions. Many things died… and frankly, if Death wasn’t Perfect, then several other features of reality would be lost.
Death had to be Perfect.
“Does anyone disagree?” the sound bounced. Silence was the answer.
Some minutes later, the voice came back. “And what of you, Universe? Does this pique your interest?”
“I have no understanding of this ‘perfection’ of which you speak. My eyes have seen many, many things, but this ideal that you talk about… is not one of them.”
“Are you sure?” came a quick reply. “Are you sure you do not seek this?”
“Then I shall nominate Change,” Death, the shadow, called to the rest of us.
The billions of eyes in the room, all stared and focused on the bubbling silver cloud.
“Change is a necessity in any organism’s life,” Death began. “It -- ”
“Change is not perfect,” Imperfection, the haughty one, scoffed. “I am perfect.”
“Your very name says otherwise,” the six voices of Six, spoke. “But unfortunately, I also take your stand against Change.”
“Explain,” the voice ordered.
The six fingers of the figures of Six, each tapped their chins in thought. After some time had passed, they said in unison: “Change is a constant. Nothing can exist without Change…”
“Hmm…” the omniscient voice thought audibly. “Where are you taking this, Six?”
Change shuffled nervously behind her desk. She had been genuinely excited to appear in the meeting. But as the discussion dragged, she began to realize just how imperfect she was. As her liquid self continued to churn, so to did Six resume their explanation.
“Perfection is not a necessity in an organism’s life. Change is.” Six declared. “I ask you, Death, what would a perfect Change look like to you?”
The shadow moved uneasily, but failed to utter a peep.
“Then it is declared,” the voice said again, “Change is not -- ”
“Is this discussion not a change?” the icy sound of Death, questioned. “And wouldn’t the best outcome of this meeting to find Perfection, not be a Perfect Change?”
“It would be a development,” Universe said.
“But that is what I mean!” the shadow jumped on the wall. “Progress is Change!”
“You’re defeating yourself, Death,” Six groaned. “For now, I can ask you this – ‘Have you ever witnessed Perfect Progress?’.”
“I agree,” a new person said. It was Change.
“Change?” Death asked in surprise.
“I’m terribly sorry, Death. Thank you for the nomination, but a necessity can not be a perfection.”
“Does anyone object?” the all-seeing voice asked.
No one, not even Death, had anything to say.
“Then Change will not be perfect.”
“Universe, Imperfection, and me,” Change said. “Death has already been accepted… so then, what about you, Six?”
“I stand as Universe,” Six declared softly. “Maybe another may find me to be… perfect. But amongst you – my peers – I cannot take myself to be so high.”
“Well, I say that I’m quite capable of being Perfect,” Imperfection scoffed loudly.
Not a word was spoken. And sadly, Imperfection saw this as a sign to continue.
“Look at me, each of you! Do you not see the thing you desire, whenever your eyes cast towards me?”
“What I want is not perfection,” Change cut curtly.
“Neither do I,” Universe added.
“But don’t you understand. I’m what you madly desire! Surely, what you want cannot be a flawed entity?”
“Silence!” the ambient voice bellowed. “Imperfection, I say you are not worthy to be Perfect.”
The figure of Imperfection glanced frantically around the room. Surely, such blasphemy couldn’t be happening to him. He became whatever you wanted. How could anything not consider him perfect? Whatever this voice was, it was not sane. ‘No’, thought Imperfection. ‘I will discover just what this voice really is. And when this foolish meeting is over, I will declare myself Perfect.’
Imperfection, the instant Perfection had been brought into the conversation, had been convinced that his calling had arrived. But now, like a sick joke, this novel, and evidently daft, voice, was trying to strip him of it. Well, if no one would realize his potential with him, then it appeared Imperfection would have to achieve it without them.
“On what?” Imperfection sneered to the voice, “do you assume that I’m not good enough?”
“You are perfect,” the voice said with renewed calm.
The tone of the statement, coupled with the actual meaning, nearly threw Imperfection out of his seat.
“And you are missing a brain,” Imperfection sneered. “Or is contradiction your name?”
“Do you have any flaws, Imperfection?” the voice asked, “if you always become what I, or anyone else wants?”
“Well, of course not,” Imperfection smirked. Around him, the other entities sat close-lipped and focused. They, as much as him, wanted to know where this was going.
“And I suppose you have no weaknesses, either?”
“Nothing holding you back?”
“Not a thing,” Imperfection smiled proudly. ‘If that was a test, then there’s no way I got less than perfect scores,’ Imperfection grinned in his thoughts.
“Then that is why you fail.”
“What?” Imperfection’s… ever-changing… face, twisted into a mix of confusion and anger. In his fit, the entity rose to his feet and did his best to appear imposing. “Where are you? Come out now!”
“This is why you are not Perfect,” the voice stated sorrowfully. “It is because you have no flaw. It is because there is nothing wrong with you, that you cannot be Perfect.”
Now, everyone in the meeting room was confused. Change began to bubble with slightly more force. And four of Six, rose from their seats.
“On what,” Universe questioned with opened eyes, “is your basis?”
“Perfection must have flaws. To be perfect, you must be complete. And you cannot be complete, if you only have excellence in you. To reach the top, you must’ve faced the bottom. Imperfection cannot be Perfect, because Imperfection, is not imperfect.”
“What?” Imperfection spat in disbelief.
“Imperfection is perfect. But is not Perfect, because he has no imperfections. Thus, Imperfection is imperfect… because he is perfect. But he needs a defect, a blemish, something wrong with him. Only then will he change from perfect, to Perfect.”
Imperfection, fully fed up, and immensely furious, left the room. His perfect form faded into black and finally, was lost in the numerous other shades in Universe’s confines.
“So who are you?” Six asked with a stutter. They didn’t want to know the answer, but Six knew that they needed to.
“I am Nothing,” the voice responded. “And I have called this meeting to a close.”
“And what exactly did you get from this meeting?” Change asked.
“Probably a good laugh,” Universe muttered.
“I have decided what shall be Perfect in reality,” Nothing stated. “Death, and Me.”
“But where is Death?”
The members of the congregation glanced to the table of the shadow. But all they found was a candle, and numerous grey tendrils of silver smoke licking the air – the candle had burned out.
“Is he still Perfect?” Change muttered.
“I – I…” Nothing had nothing to say.
Instead, Six spoke: “It would appear, that until he returns… Death cannot be Perfect.”
© Copyright 2016 Dediek. All rights reserved.
Book / Fantasy
Short Story / Fantasy
Short Story / Flash Fiction
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