's 2020 Horror Write-off:

Four words of importance

Submitted by Madamoiselle Medb Alma

Thump. Thump.
His fists were banging against the counter, out of frustration. The automated reruns had run out, meaning he had to dip into his recordings, after what he had hoped to be a Kalpa. Which meant nothing new. Ever.
Outside was an expanse. Dark. Cold. Lifeless. Deathless.
All that was outside was Nothing. A living nothing, perhaps? But nothing, None-the-less.
He sat in his armchair, watching Televangelists, imams, and all other religious literature recorded that he could find. Hope, after all, was his last resource, because in all cruel irony he didn't hunger enough to die.
But Hope was pointless. Who was he to pray to, himself?
After all
If he was all that there was in the void
then was he not a god?
Was he Not THE god?
Well, of course he wasn't. He was watching old christian TV, he'd been alive too long to remember when he started, but...
He had many thoughts to entertain. For a thousand years, He deconstructed and reconstructed his neighbor's room. Of course, he HAD no neighbor. So, as he stacked the second tv on top of his own, he wondered why he had a tv.
To see what people used to be, He supposed.
To see what they will be, if he would let go of his mind.
For a century he danced, he heard once that that would end the universe, but perhaps it'd end him in absence of one? No such luck.

What was he, back in his society? an artist, perhaps. In his room, he had paintings, and easels, and sculptures and towers and Trees and Birds. He also had physics books, Not that physics applied after the end. Maybe his paintings would need them.

The light-bulb in his room flickered, and sputtered back on.
He'd need to replace it, soon. When he had the energy.
He thought he may once have had a wife, as he braided his beard, for lack of a hobby. Perhaps she was wild, fierce like a storm.
Perhaps she was a farmer.
Perhaps she never was, and he was always by himself?
Why did he refer to himself with any sort of gender? That was an idea that only existed in humans, and if it was alive, still, it was no longer human.
So it was no longer he, but above that.

It found itself piling dirt and pebbles on its counter, as TV now meant nothing, after all of human knowledge had been expended. It found itself bemused that if it had died, it would have to bury itself, and then mourn itself. But to do that, it'd first have to kill it's neighbor, nothingness. Loneliness.

It knew how to do that, but first, it needed it's dim bulb to burn out.

Salt was precious to it, for preserving whatever was in it's fridge, or perhaps jar, now, if it got to choose the words. Vessel.

But with this nothingness, there was no salt. Nor food. It'd have to ask for some, someday.

It grew patient. Then, it grew Impatient, Turning on all the taps that it could, letting the water flood it's home. it's gnarled, overlong fingers, would have struggled to do so, but struggle was an idea that was irrelevant. it waded in this sea of water and nothing, as the walls had all but rotted away long ago.

And this flood shorted it's electricity for a moment, breaking the bulb.

And it simply unscrewed the shattered glass, and screwed in another bulb.

and it, an artist, a creator, knew the right words. Perhaps, of course, in a new language. But the first words of legend.
They need not be repeated.

And there was an expanse.