Thought of Death

Thought by a being unknown to mortals, the thought of death is seldom seen. Only a select few ever find themselves within it— typically those afflicted by a storyteller's curse, occultists, or unlucky victims.  

An Alien Mind

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The thought of death has existed at least as long as humanity— though it is quite likely that it has existed for aeons beforehand. Its landscape is unlike anything witnessed within the typical plane inhabited by mortals— up is down, right is left, in is out, dark is light. Those who have managed to return from the thought have spoken of a dark, yet bright vista— filled with myriad fractal geometries in various shades of blue and made of even more varied textures and materials.   On occasion, these geometric structures may combine and form into somewhat recognizable shapes such as towers, buildings, trees, or hills— though twisted and distorted. The thought can only be visited as a thought oneself, meaning one cannot bring their physical body. All of those with a storyteller's curse find themselves trapped within following their bodily deaths.   Visitors float within the great space, almost freely— save for currents of ever-changing thought-winds that blow to an unseen rhythm. Depending on the strength of these thought-winds, one may simply be guided along towards their destination, or find themselves violently crushed against a fractal structure.  

Denizens of Death

An array of various beings live within the thought— some, trapped forever within its expanse, others having been born there through unknown means.   These typically take thought-forms— which are usually amorphous smokey shapes, though on occasion, the fractals within the thought may be drawn to these thought-forms and form a carapace resembling a piece of their living visage.   These beings are seldom hostile— not that many possess the means to be so— and are typically quite delighted to engage in conversation with visitors.  
I lived always, in fear of death. The curse— at first— was quite welcome, who wouldn't be seduced by the promise of immortality? But I was even more afraid of losing what it asked of me to return.
— A lost thought

Escape

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Leaving the Thought of Death is often difficult for those who find themselves trapped within it— though what it asks in return is fairly simple. Choose a piece of yourself to give up. A skill, a memory, a scar— you cannot leave the thought as the same person you came in. Where, exactly, these tolls go is unknown— those who have made return visits have been unable to find what they previously gave up.   After escaping the thought, one will find their consciousness returned to their physical bodies— wherever they may have been left, their most recent injuries miraculously healed.   For the cursed, this may be where they died, unless their bodies were moved afterwards. Some face the unfortunate circumstance of immediate expiration upon return— finding themselves once more within the thought. For those who, say, drown at the bottom of a lake, fall into an endless chasm, or die of thirst in a vast desert— their only hope is that some other force may move their bodies before they return. Some find themselves waiting years in the thought for just such an occasion.
  After enough deaths and trips into the thought, one may find their consciousness gradually weakened— to the point where they may be completely unable to return to their body.  
I wish I could weep, for I am immortal— though not with joy. I am confined forever to this alien space.
— A trapped being


Cover image: by Garrett Lewis (Timepool)

Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


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Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
9 Nov, 2020 16:58

This sounds like a very confusing place to end up. I really like the idea, especially of the toll. I wonder what I would choose to give up, if I had to give up something.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
9 Nov, 2020 18:02

What is death but a big confusing mess, anyway?

28 Nov, 2020 02:28

Very interesting! If you can leave behind a scar though...why wouldn't you just scar yourself each time before you went in or after you escaped? (and what would happen if people started commonly doing that?)

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
28 Nov, 2020 02:44

No idea why I wrote "scar" there, it's supposed to be that you'd leave scarred— by removing a piece of your body.

28 Nov, 2020 05:11

haha oh I see. well, very nice job on the rest. very cool idea

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