Gia is brought back to the end of time by a friend to investigate the new windows at The Last House.
“I think we should kill it.”
Gia crossed her arms and rolled her eyes at Slayer. “That’s your solution to everything.”
Slayer floated in front of Gia. Slayer’s ghostly, black-draped crystalline form would’ve given anyone the chills from its presence. However, being a fellow end-timer herself, Gia was able to turn that feeling off. In contrast to Slayer’s form, Gia took the appearance of a human with the charming beauty of an actress dressed in a black cocktail dress with matching stockings, a short leather jacket, a jade bracelet, and red sneakers. She also only had two arms compared to Slayer’s four.
“Why are we here?” Gia inquisitively asked. “There’s nothing left for us here.”
There was almost nothing left. All the stars had burnt out. All the planets had been destroyed or withered away ages ago. All the end-timers born on this rock floating through an endless black swamp of rolling midnight had all scattered back in time to periods where there was still life. What did remain was a structure they referred to as The Last House, which stood before the two end-timers.
The Last House was a dilapidated three-story mansion. Gia was always impressed that the building had managed to be still standing and retained its purple exterior paint. As Gia looked at the house, she had a feeling the structure had changed since her last visit.
“Do you notice it?” Slayer asked.
“I’m not sure,” Gia replied. “Is there something different about it?”
“The windows. They’re solid red now.”
“They are. How’d you notice this?”
“I like to come back here from time to time to see if anything is different – if any one of us had managed to change the end.”
Gia always liked to think of endings as the start of a new act, a new story, but being here, Gia felt the true grim weight of the end. She shifted the subject. “Why bring me?”
“You’re the most creative of us,” Slayer unashamedly admitted. “If I investigate The Last House with anyone, I want it to be with you because if something does go awry, you’ll find a solution.”
“Aww, that’s so sweet of you, Slayer.”
“Don’t make me regret this,” Slayer said as they led the way to the front door with Gia following beside him. “When was the last time you were here?”
Gia sighed. “It would’ve been lifetimes ago.”
Gia stepped on the wooden porch. The porch responded with a creaky hollow that she ignored as she opened the eggplant-colored door. To Gia’s surprise, the golden door handle had a pristine shine. The inside was a chaotic collage of architectural styles from various time-periods from numerous planets. Her eyes darted all over the place, trying to make sense of the building. She ran her finger on the red glass windows. The color wiped away with her stoke, leaving a tacky reside on her fingertip.
Slayer did the same with one of their hands. “This is blood. Fresh blood.”
“How is that possible? Are there any other end-timers around?”
“No, we’re the only ones here.”
Gia flicked the blood off her finger. “I don’t think we’re alone.”
The ceiling began to pour down with blood. It washed over every surface of the walls, reaching the Milky Way color marbled floor. It drifted around them, as if it was sentient, and pooled together in the center of the room. From the ground, the blood stood up, taking a humanoid form with dragon-like wings.
“Freedom is mine,” the blood creator roared as it bolted out the open front door.
Gia and Slayer looked at each and shrugged.
“Not very many places for it to go,” Slayer commented, unworried.
“Yeah, you said it,” Gia added. “The question remains, which one of us locked it up here and why?”
“It could even have been us, but it hasn’t happened in our timeline yet.”
Gia and Slayer casually strolled out of The Last House, with Gia closing the door behind. In the foggy field before them stood two free-standing doors. One was green and the other red, with the green one being Gia’s time machine and the other belonging to Slayer. The blood creature was nowhere in sight.
Slayer opened his door. On the other side was a sunny, sandy desert. “Until our paths cross again.”
Gia nodded goodbye as Slayer went through their door. The moment the door closed, it blinked out of existence as if it was never there. Gia opened her door, leading to a theatre stage. As Gia closed her door, a small puddle of blood slipped its way through.
This week’s short story was inspired by the following writing prompt: “Creation is no more. What remains is an endless black swamp of rolling midnight. Terrible and boundless. The only thing that persists, that continues on into the darkness, is the Last House, an old construct that harbors all those that are left from the feast of Night.”