High in the Heavens, comfortable in his throne, Lord Zurianie sat scrolling through a particular segment of his Book of Greatness, analyzing events that would soon unfold. He would, in his distraction, and as a force of habit, skim his fingers through his white and remarkably distinguished beard. Being so long, it occasionally intertwined resulting in a rather unkempt aesthetic—very un-lordly, indeed. In the midst of his reverie, he felt a presence approaching his domain.
“Who goes there?” he asked in his deep, mighty voice that thundered through the universe like three hundred million supernovas. When there was no response, he became belligerent. “Who dare enter my dominion?” he shouted.
“Must you yell?” The man’s voice thundered in the same vein, causing the Yapila galaxy to shift off its axis. This resulted in magnificent devastation, though neither Zurianie nor this mysterious entity would be too concerned, seeing as they had no hand in Yapila’s existence. “It is just I,” the intruder continued. “Lord Vumanor.”
“Ah! Lord Vumanor, creator of Muchuqua, the seventy-fourth universe in the Brantu realm! Please, do reveal yourself! It has been ages!”
In the distance, through a thick screen of mist, dust, and the Elements of Actuality, Lord Vumanor approached. He, thought Zurianie, had not changed at all since his last visit. His beard was so long that it became difficult to distinguish its continual growth. He looked well, being amongst the second generation of his kind.
“Ages!” Zurianie again exclaimed. He did not pay much attention to the ramifications of his excitement, though they were utterly devastating; like a man who constructed some devise and, through negligence, accidentally set his creation alight. Vumanor’s expression and essence reflected similar excitement, though, as was his tendency, he maintained his solemn demeanor.
“Yes, I must admit that I have longed for our thoughtful discourse. You do have the most brilliant views.”
“If my views are brilliant, it is only due to my mentor, Yarara, who you, unfortunately, had not had the chance of meeting yet. A magnificent Lord with magnificent creation! You must request a talk with him soon. It is well worth the torment. He will put your every notion into question and tear a hole through your entire essence, so to speak. Then he will allow you to recreate yourself. It’s a remarkable experience and you will emerge with the wisdom of three eternities!”
Lord Vumanor remained silent, nodding in acknowledgment. After seventeen years, he spoke.
“I must say, Zurianie, your humility far supersedes that of most Lords. I admire you greatly. Tell me, what exploits have you recently donated your energy to?” As he asked this, he paid particular attention to the book in the Lord’s grasp.
“Ah, yes. I call this the Book of Greatness. I have cataloged my each creation, thought, endeavor, and such, including a timeline of events that starts at the beginning and courses all the way to the end, which, as you know, does not exist; yet, at least.”
Vumanor’s expression was attentive, reflecting a desire to hear more of his colleague’s work. Zurianie satiated this want.
“Before your most welcoming visit, I was pondering the lineage of a particular life-form on my life-planet, Quershi. Like other dimensions, containing incalculable existence, it is my only world with life on it. Excuse me!” At this moment, Zurianie placed his hand on his forehead as if to remedy a pain of some sort. He stood up from his throne and paced about as he continued. “Vumanor! Vumanor! I apologize for debasing your wisdom. As much as I attempt to exist in humility, I occasionally overstep boundaries! There is little reason for me to illuminate any corridors for you. You have achieved great wonders already! Such greatness can only be accompanied by contemporaneous wisdom! Please forgive me! You forgive me? Good. I knew you would! This life-form is soon coming to its end. It is a funny little creature, seemingly redundant; pointless; clumsy! In reality, I created it out of sheer boredom! But it plays a very important role. A balance of sorts to the remaining life on that little world. Its extinction, if you will, has great consequences: the extinction of countless other creatures. It is a nutritional source for many, you understand. I’m sure you’ve already studied Quershi in the Book of She-Bang. It’s well documented, as you might already know. I can see your thought. You knew this already! You are probably familiar with the cascade of extinction that will soon follow. You do? Ha! A magnificent spectacle, really. I am waiting in anticipation for the moment to arrive. It has been 256,985 years now; but it seems that excitement can make even ten thousand years last forever! Wait! Hush! Listen!”
Both Lords stood silent, not moving lest they should cause any disturbance. A tiny sound could be heard emanating through the Seventh Wave Frequency. Vumanor produced a magnificent smile.
“Your people are singing praise!” He felt delighted to have come at such a wonderful moment. “They must adore you!”
“Ah, yes!” He ran to his throne and picked up the Book of Greatness and turned it to page 9,335,098,123 and read in silence. “Brilliant! Year 4,234,233: I gave them a new world leader; one they have been praying for so diligently. It has been eons now, living under oppressive rule. Liberty! Ha! They all fight for liberty, don’t they? Now they believe they finally have liberty! But wait, Vumanor, wait! This one will turn out to be a real monster! Ten thousand years of oppression will shortly follow. They are so foolish sometimes, throwing all of their little hopes and little dreams into the most absurd little things! Leaders! Ha!”
Vumanor was entranced and still smiling. “Intriguing. Their music. What a fantastic creation. Seems like every planet has some form of music. My life-planet Poruma has the most magnificent music. I sometimes sit for ages, reading out of my Book of Muchuqua and listen to their music. It is usually secular, however. I am delighted to hear such magnificently pious music coming from your people! They really are rather talented. There is so much talent in every universe! But it really works both ways. Doesn’t it? There are some horrendous songs being sung on Poruma. Mostly modern music. Ghastly voice. Ghastly rhythm. Ghastly words. I will soon destroy Poruma. The people there have no taste anymore. They once did. Magnificent work. Brilliant artistry! You must see their sacred murals and songs! Fabulous. Even the secular work had its flair. But now, it’s all rubbish. Of course, some are still keeping the old art alive. But they are few and far between; little following or respect, really. The vast majority is concerned mostly with the modern, and despicable forms. It was all deliberate, actually. I do fancy them very much. Great, hospitable people, by and large. Occasionally decrepit; lying, cheating, murdering and so on. So I designed the terrible art forms to give me a good reason to destroy Poruma. Otherwise, I would, out of my sheer admiration for their music, keep them in existence for nineteen eternities, which far supersedes my initial plan.”
“That’s really quite fascinating! Vumanor, you are brilliant, indeed. I cannot forgive myself for speaking down to you. But you already forgave me. I don’t, though. It’s a brilliant design you have. I suppose my design is actually quite inferior to yours. See, I usually play games with my creations. And I derive great enjoyment from such games. For instance, I sometimes put a man or woman to ruin, and wait to see if they still hold high regard for me, their creator. I find it utterly hysterical when their faith and praise amplifies after such circumstances! Foolish, foolish people. Their insatiable desire to find meaning. Their insatiable desire to seek truth. Ha! If only they knew that truth has its many forms—forms they will never in their entire existence become acquainted with!”
Lord Zurianie began to laugh hysterically, as if he admired his own treachery. Vumanor remained silent and was not amused by Zurianie’s behavior. Soon the latter grew silent and somewhat bitter by his colleague’s judgment.
“You chastise me.”
“Your thoughts, I can see some of them. You think I am wicked. Don’t you?”
“We are all wicked as much as we are good.”
“This is making sense now. You did not come out of longing to pay me, Lord Zurianie, creator of Quazanta, the twenty-third realm of Babakaka, a visit. Such yearning was not the source of your visit, was it?”
“No.” He remained silent for 542,245 years. “It really is rather strange,” Vumanor said as he finally broke the silence.
“What is it?”
“Well, the other millennia, I was sitting in silent ennui. I hadn’t spoken to any of our colleagues for ages. During this time, my thoughts became intolerable. I was filled with a form of anguish that I had never before experienced.”
“What in the three thousand universes are you speaking of?”
“Zurianie. Tell me: how far back can you remember?”
“What has that to do with anything?”
“Please, Lord! Humor me!”
“Well then!” Zurianie was beginning to consult his Book of Greatness.
“No, Zurianie! From memory, only!
“Right, right. Well, I do recall the last meal I’ve had.”
“How long ago was this?”
“Well, it was just in the last millennia, actually.”
“Tell me, what did you eat exactly?”
“A galactic omelet or sorts: a couple stars—Xenitia and Tanairu, both of which were scheduled to die; garnished with the dust of the Blythian solar system. A delicious meal! A little recipe I picked up from Lord God, the maker of Heaven and Earth! He’s quite the gourmand, actually! A great fellow with a great sense of humor. You should see his life-planet and the dominant life-form on it. Hilarious! A magnificently stupid creature! Violent and with horrible tastes, much like the tastes of the creatures on your planet, Poruma. So tell me, Vumanor, why would you ask me such a seemingly irrelevant question?”
“It is by no means irrelevant. It is perfectly pertinent to this discussion. It is what brought me here in the first place.” He stopped speaking for a time. He appeared to be humiliated by his own devise. Zurianie, a busy Lord, grew impatient.
“What is it then? You are not being explicit and I am growing weary of your excessive continence!”
“What’s the point?”
“What’s the point of it all?”
“This!” He began flailing his arms around, and accidentally smashed into a nebula that was soon to become a great star system.
“Vumanor! Control yourself! Have you gone mad?”
“I do apologize! You must understand that I have been exercising great strength in subduing my hysteria. I simply do not see the point of our toiling.”
“Well then. Is that what has been causing you great anguish? A lack of meaning? You’re just like my little Quershians: silly; flippant; occasionally insolent; utterly ignorant.”
“Your contempt is, I feel, unwarranted.”
“What do you expect with your asinine inquiries? Sympathy?”
“Have you no remarks other than scorn? No advice, perhaps?”
“Read the Book of She-Bang again. You have obviously allowed its teachings to escape your memory. And all this time, I thought you were clever! Ha!”
“I am well versed in the She-Bang. It is not a question of memory; it’s a question of truth.”
“Yes! The truth behind the She-Bang!”
“You dare question the She-Bang?” He said this quietly, as if someone were to hear his statement.
“Well. Zurianie, you must understand that the reason I came here is to have my concerns relinquished. I wanted some advise.”
“You really must consult Lord Yarara. You have much to learn in the ways of Actuality! Here, I will tell you how to approach him, for he is notoriously inhospitable.”
And thus, Lord Zurianie provided Lord Vumanor with a detailed direction to Lord Yarara’s domain. During this time, Zurianie was thinking of how foolish his old friend was being. Vumanor could sense these thoughts and was feeling especially humiliated, which brought him further towards a place of self-doubt. After a somewhat cold parting with his friend, Vumanor ventured forth to meet with the great Yarara. His anxiety was suffocating and he felt very small in the grand realms of Actuality. In fact, he felt rather despondent, feeling that perhaps everything was futile. He, nevertheless, hoped Yarara would help him overcome his current miseries.
As he entered the ambiguous boundaries of Yarara’s domain, he felt a remarkably powerful essence. As he moved through the empty space of this strange universe, he felt an increasing degree of resistance in his motion. It was the same feeling that one would experience while trudging through a highly viscous liquid; or moving against a strong current of wind. Though, being a vacuum, the only substance that could create such a force was the Ninth Essence of Actuality—the energy that commands everything, of which Yarara had in great abundance. As the strength of this force grew to a plateau, Vumanor heard a loud, rumbling exclamation, with a strength that nearly dissolved him into his original elements.
“Foolish inquirer! You dare consult the great Yarara, Lord of the mighty Ascetanic Universe, creator of the Quiquishaw realm! I knew you were coming since the beginning of Actuality! You needn’t explicate your concerns! Your lack of confidence stinks of the putrid waste of all physical beings! Sheer excrement! You are a disgrace to the Kingdom of She-Bang!”
Vumanor understood through Zurianie’s instructions that Yarara would attempt to discourage visitors from stepping forth towards the heart of his universe. In reality, Vumanor was at the margins of Quiquishaw and had quite a distance to travel before even catching sight of Lord Yarara. He was a mighty Lord and existed before Vumanor’s generation came to being. His wisdom was accumulated over twenty-seven eternities, which is a daunting degree of insight.
“Ha!” Yarara ejaculated. “You continue your journey! Persistent failure, I see. Very well! I will see you in 321,555,429 years!” This was the time it would take for Vumanor to reach Yarara’s territory. It would provide the former with ample time to collect his thoughts, inquiries, and perhaps even arrive at a conclusion on his own, allowing him to return without ever needing to trouble Lord Yarara whatsoever. This, however, would not be the case, and he was determined to have his questions answered. After great struggle, battling universal expansion, and the overwhelming cosmic forces of this Lord’s reality, he finally reached a portion where all became still and inanimate, as if the galactic storms have come to a halt entirely. He moved through with great caution, for he heard that Yarara was a devastating prankster and remarkably mean-spirited, deriving great pleasure from inflicting pain unto others. Then, breaking the silence of nothingness, Yarara came shooting from a thick cloud of universal dust and delivered a swift blow to Vumanor’s chest with his staff and continued to bludgeon his face with his other fist for a period of seventy-five years. When he was through with the torment, Yarara stood firm and laughed hysterically, causing a good portion of his universe to shift and shatter from the mighty vibrations of his voice. Vumanor, prostrate for a moment, felt humiliated, yet ambitious. He knew this peculiar entity would help guide him through his uncertainties. He looked up at his superior in subservience.
“You have no anger. Ha! I can sense that in you. You are a good semideus being! You know your place in the Actuality! You know I am much wiser and you know to respect the wise!” He said this as he put his mighty foot on Vumanor, who laid down in a bundle of galactic dust. Yarara began grinding his heel into Vumanor’s chest, inflicting great paint unto him. “Your questions are utterly absurd! I had written in my Book of Illustriousness that you would come for guidance under the suggestion of Lord Zurianie, who I mentored eons past. You have much to learn. For now, you are naught but a petty imbecile.”
“I, Lord Yarara, accept your criticism for I know your wisdom is infinite; though, I would be much obliged if you—”
“—skipped the ceremonial torment? You needn’t say a word, fool! It is all calculated! You wonder how I became so great. I have achieved completion with my deep understanding of the Book of She-Bang! I understand you question its authority!”
Vumanor quietly nodded accordingly.
“Insolence! Disrespectful cad! A real universal schlub, you are! A pitiful deity. I’m amazed that you even manage to be clever in your creations! Ha! An anomaly, indeed! Let me demonstrate my regard for you.” As he said this, he removed his foot from Vumanor’s chest as if to release him from his restraint. Then, as Vumanor began to feel a sense of warmth from Lord Yarara, the latter delivered a mighty kick to his subject’s side, which projected him an incalculable distance. As he was reaching the margins of the inner domain, Yarara summoned him back with his keen Ninth Essence of Actuality. When they were reunited, Yarara shouted close to Vumanor’s ears, causing great pain.
“Childlike fool! Questions are reserved for the weak—those who cannot arrive at their own conclusions! So, being pathetic and boorish, you come to me, the mighty Yarara! Good! You show me how strong I truly am! You show me my own superiority! Ha!”
Vumanor was beginning to grow weary and impatient with this arrogant display. Perhaps, he began to think, this mean-spirited fiend uses bruit force to distract from his lack of knowledge.
“You question my wisdom! Ha! I can see your every thought!”
“Do you blame me? We have been engaged in this ceremony of yours for nearly four-hundred-thousand years and you have yet to answer my question or provide me with any guidance whatsoever!”
“Well then! You want my guidance?”
“Then let me guide you to the answer.” He picked Vumanor up by the neck and swiftly moved through a brilliantly empty portion of universe towards the true heart of his realm. Upon their arrival, Vumanor noticed a large throne, much like that of Zurianie. On it sat a spool of thread, fabric, and two rather large books. One was titled the Book of Illustriousness. The other simply read She-Bang. The latter was enormous. He could not imagine how Yarara could even read the book without exercising a great deal of strength. He then noticed that the adjacent fabric was in the shape of tiny undergarments. Yarara was much less aggressive than before and said few words. One would almost sense a hint of embarrassment in his essence. He quickly grabbed the thread and undergarments to stow elsewhere.
“A skill I picked up from God, the creator of Heaven and Earth. He’s very masterful, you know, talented in many arts. He got me into crochet, also. So,” he abruptly said, changing the subject, “this is your answer.” He grabbed both books off the seat of his throne and handed them to Vumanor. “The She-Bang, of which you already read, though continue to scrutinize; and this, my notes on the She-Bang meticulously written in my Book of Illustriousness.”
Vumanor was silent as he looked over Yarara’s notes. His handwriting was awful, and barely legible. The mighty god stood silently and somewhat nervously as he watched Vumanor glance at the document.
“Does there seem to be a problem?”
“Well,” Vumanor said without removing his eyes from the pages. “I can hardly make sense of your penmanship.”
“Here,” he said defensively as he yanked the book from the other’s hands. “Give it to me.” He held it open, cleared his throat, and, while squinting, read the first line. “‘The glorious She-Bang provides the most logical explanation of Actuality in a most concise and elegant manner: What is, IS. What is not, IS NOT.’ Well,” he said, slamming the book shut, “there you have it! You can go now.” He was beginning to walk to his throne when he turned around slightly and noticed that Vumanor stood in the same place as before.
“Well?” he said peevishly. “What more do you want?”
“I want to know who created you? Who created me?”
“Bah! That’s absurd! We, we, we simply came into existence from the Essence of Actuality. The Essence of Actuality!” He said this nearly triumphantly.
“You persistent fool! You inconvenience me and have the nerve to perpetuate your foolishness! All the answers are in the She-Bang!” He set his own book down on the throne and briskly turned to the page in the She-Bang that he was referring to and read aloud. “‘…and from it came the proverb: thou art to create…’ Hold on a moment, that’s not it.” He nervously flipped through a few million pages, until reaching the desired line. “Ah-ha! Here: ‘…and then the first beings were formed from the eternal essence. This became the first class; the first order; the first generation of creators. The second class was begotten further on, resulting in the semideus; the second generation.’ You see! That’s you, Lord Vumanor! The second generation! My generation was created first, which is why my wisdom is so superior to yours! And there you have it. Your inquisitions emanate from your inferiority! Ha!”
“Who wrote that, exactly?”
“The Council of the Wise who derived their wisdom from the original elements! Have you never read the She-Bang’s preface?”
“Of course I have.”
“Then, I am preaching to the choir, as they say. What is it? You don’t look satisfied. Your expression reflects your lack of wisdom. Your desire to be guided. Your weakness.”
“Don’t you ever question anything in the text whatsoever?”
Yarara yelled with thundering might: “Not in the least! What has been foretold, is! What has been written, IS. And vice-versa, of course.”
“That makes no sense and does not explain the meaning of our existence and toiling.”
Yarara blurted out the most horrifying laughter with a shriek that nearly encroached into the neighboring universe, which would have been catastrophic, setting the balance of Actuality into disequilibrium. “You are beyond my help! You are far more foolish than I expected! Too much for my hands! That is not to undermine my credibility, of course. It simply means that, although I am of the first order, I cannot manage to penetrate through your thick, narrow-minded, asinine thoughts. I cannot, for some reason, come to any terms with you! In most instances, I would simply eradicate you altogether; however, it is against She-Bang doctrine to eradicate lordly subordinates. A shame, really. I would erase you from all existence in an instant! And I would do so with great pleasure. So, before I change my mind, here is who you must consult. She was on the Council of the Wise, who compiled the Book of She-Bang. Her name is Haramantura.”
Yarara then gave Vumanor explicit instructions—far more definite than his mentoring, which frustrated Vumanor, whose beard was now enormous, reflecting the time he had spent seeking truth. He was now beginning to gain a great deal of confidence, knowing now that he was not alone in his ignorance, and that those around him were just as foolish, if not worse than he was, for they not only knew little of the truth, they treated those who sought truth with scorn. He thus continued on his voyage and sought Haramantura who was said to be much more jovial than most first generation entities.
As Vumanor ventured across innumerable galaxies, various realms and dimensions, he finally approached the dwelling place of Goddess Haramantura. He could sense her warmth and presence from a considerable distance. She was one of the few Goddesses of Love. She, incidentally, was said to be mentored by Lord God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, but that is beside the point. Over 700,000 years had passed until she spoke, but when she did, Lord Vumanor instantaneously succumbed to her soft and delicate voice.
“You are right on time, Lord Vumanor.” She laughed a little when she said this.
He could not quite see her. “Where are you?” he asked, quite dumbfounded.
“I am but everywhere. And some would say that I am nowhere.” She said this and giggled. “Don’t’ be so serious, Vumanor. I know why you’ve come. You really are very serious. It’s rather enduring, really. I studied your inquiries now for 3,423,864,978,213 years. They are very complex, Vumanor! And I cannot help but wonder how you arrived at such a, shall we say, interesting state of mind?” She giggled uncontrollably while saying this. Vumanor remained silent for a moment, wondering how and why this entity came to be so incredibly delightful.
“Well, Goddess Haramantura, after great analysis of the Book of She-Bang, I decided that the book, in fact, explains very little of our existence.”
“You will be pleased to know, Vumanor—and I say this because you are evidently one who greatly enjoys inquiry—my responses to your delightful questions will leave you in a perpetual state of inquiry; more so than you are now! But—and you will someday realize this—many of your questions would have actually been answered in the process.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, sweetie, you have wondered why the innumerable creators of the innumerable realms and dimensions exist at all in the first place. Well, I would tell you that, in fact, they do not exist whatsoever! Which means that your questions never existed, and, furthermore, my current response is, in reality, some sort of fluke, in the grand scheme of things, of which—and you will quite enjoy this—don’t really exist either!”
“The grand scheme of things! There is no grand scheme for there are no things!” Haramantura laughed and found this peculiarity quite amusing.
“Look around you, Lord Vumanor.”
“Well? What do you see?”
“Galactic matter. Energy. What are you getting at?”
“What is it all composed of, Lord Vumanor?”
“The Essence of Actuality, of course.”
“And what does that mean, Vumanor?”
“I don’t exactly know.”
“Well, let me explain it all to you.” As she was preparing to deliver her explanation, Lord Vumanor felt warmth surround him as if he were being caressed by a loving mother of sorts. “The Essence of Actuality is all composed of the same substance. The differentiation of everything around you is due to proportions—that is, one substance, say Krumantu, which lights up every star in my universe, is made up of fewer particles than Borura, which is what most life on my life-planet consists of. And, to take this explanation further, the substance that makes up Krumantu and Borura, among other things, can be broken down to smaller substances—building blocks, if you will. Now—and this is most pertinent to my explanation—those blocks are made up of smaller blocks, and so on and so forth. This stretches on and on, and it really would be rather tiresome for me to delve into such matters in full detail. So, to be concise, I will tell you that eventually, at the smallest scale possible, everything vanishes! Which means that nothing truly exists, including both you and I!”
“But that makes no sense.”
“Though, it makes a whole universe of sense! Ha!”
Lord Vumanor grew weary and somewhat disillusioned with Haramantura’s wisdom, or lack there of. Haramantura caught wind of this sentiment.
“You find me rather absurd, don’t you?”
“In fact, it all really is absurd, but concurrently, it is not absurd, for designating something as absurd can only be done under the condition that the subject in question exists, which, as we have just now discussed, is quite impossible, for nothing exists whatsoever!”
“Your explanations are fruitless.”
“But more profound than anything you have yet heard!”
“What is the cause of all this? Who created you? Who created me?”
“Nothing did, for creation assumes that there once existed a creator, and, as you now know, nothing truly exists and therefore deems a grand creator utterly superfluous!” She did not stop giggling after this last statement.
“But that makes no sense! It’s not even in accordance with the Book of She-Bang!” She did not respond but continued giggling. “All you do is laugh and spout out senseless pros! I did not come here to be laughed at! And, to be honest, I don’t think any of you actually know what you are talking about! Not you, Haramantura, not Zurianie, and especially not Yarara!” She virtually ignored his scathing remarks. He decided to leave and return, unsatisfied to his domain. “Fools,” he said to himself as he ventured on his journey. “They are all fools.”