One Mighty Blow
rating: +13+x

“Disgusting… Depraved… Detestable…”, Price mutters under his breath while looking through a telescope at a shining symbol of the detestable present.

Price had watched that squalid little seed become a mighty oak. He wished that he could go into that town and kill every one of them himself–slit throats, bash heads, tear all of them limb from limb. But his ambitions are halted by his flesh; he has been watching this tree become strong and he has become weak. Just like all humans in the scope of these interweaving paradises, weak and frail. It will all be worth it though when he gets to see that disgusting town brought back to the past.

Price knows that time is approaching. He may have been cut off from his brothers and sisters, not that they matter in the grand scheme, but Price knows that he can feel it, he can feel this horrid disturbance in paradise. He will deliver upon this shining symbol of the detestable present a reckoning of the past that is long deserved.

Price walks down the stairs of his watchtower, slowly descending to make sure he does not fall. His legs ache as he reaches the ground. He is disgusted with himself, a sorry excuse of the detestable present. In the just and harmonious past he would be easy, well-deserved prey for an entity. As Price gazes out at the field, he hears something behind him, a sound all too familiar, and his embitterment turns into exuberance.

Price swings around, addressing the individual before him with a kneel, “My pleading has been answered! The Past Made in Flesh, The Arbiter of the Harmonious Past, The Bringer of Paradise, Ambrose.”

Ambrose towers over Price even with his slightly hunched posture. Ambrose’s grey skin and featureless grey cloak give him a homogeneous appearance with, his completely white eyes being the only feature that stands out. His face is expressionless, with no hair to speak of.

“Show me.”, he says in a completely mono and flat tone.

Price immediately stands up and hurriedly rushes to his watchtower as Ambrose follows slowly behind. In his haste, Price trips on one of the steps and falls. Price, hurt from the fall, slowly gets up in pain. Ambrose passes him by to attend to the task at hand. Price knows that Ambrose can see the present staining his whole body. He doesn't even deserve to be in his presence.

Price, in a pained voice, mutters, “Through the telescope, you will see it.”

Ambrose leans forward to briefly look through the telescope. As he looks, Price notices that his once expressionless face has an almost imperceptible scowl. Price knew he would see what needs to be done.

Ambrose, having regained his composure, says, “Come, it is time.”, and walks down the stairs to the field below.

Price is ecstatic, knowing that he is finally going to get to see the past in its true glory. He follows Ambrose to the field below, ready for him to usher in paradise.

Ambrose looks around, his face remaining expressionless. He looks at the fields, the sky, and the watchtower in eerie silence. After a minute, he breaks the silence, “I can see it all around, the past’s glory marking the ground and blotting the sky. This is the way things are meant to be.” Ambrose coldly reaches a hand towards Price.

Price, without a second thought, takes Ambrose’s hand. Price feels ice-cold skin for only a moment before his eyes flash and the once green fields around him are brown. The colorful flowers are wilted and dead. The blue sky is grey and dark. He can barely contain himself at such overwhelming beauty. Ambrose lets go, and Price drops to his knees, tears streaming down his face. Price looks around, the fields and sky having returned to normal. “Please, please, bring me that paradise, bring us all that paradise…”

Ambrose, unfazed by Price’s emotions, replies, “So I shall.”

Ambrose reaches out to Price’s face, but this time Price feels intense pain. His eyes flash with images of his past, his childhood, his school years, his job, his time here. It feels as if his brain is on fire, but he is unable, and unwilling, to escape. Ambrose continues to stare at Price, no emotion crossing his face. Then, without hesitation, Ambrose plunges his fingers deep into Price’s eyes. As he does this, Price is temporally rended from existence and a tear in the fabric of time strikes the spot on which he stands.

Ambrose wakes up moments later, now lying at the bottom of a massive crater. He sits on his hands and knees, weakened by what had just transpired. His breathing is heavy and his once clear vision is dulled. He gives the smallest indication of a smile and proclaims, “The past has returned once more…”

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