This piece is by Nicolas Knight.
There was a vile creature that lived in the bottoms of virtue and walked among death itself named Claiborne. He fathomed nothing but pain, so once he said to himself that if the world is pain and the world is cruel, he must be to by nature. “Pain is the universe!” He proclaimed. “From the ground beneath my feet to the stars above, everything is but cruel to me, so this must be forgiving. “There was a voice in his head that would ring to expand his horizon, but he would always ignore it until the end. He would hate what he did not know, and though he would have wanted to be loved once upon a time, love would not have wanted him. He made his existence meaningful when it had no meaning and decided to strut down this path with death alone, but death warned him that one day the pain would take his soul. Knowing this, Claiborne started to build a machine for which his mind would reside, and here he would exist forever, trapped in pain.
Traveling down to the place of lost souls, Claiborne found a girl, and she was not forgiving. He hated what he did not know and cursed her at first until she decided to pick up a flower and give it to him. She did not blame him for being this way and thought to herself, why would a man who needs love turn himself into a machine? He told her of the voice inside his head and said he was only part machine warning her that he would ignore her just as him soon. She said to him that the voice in his head was wise and told never to accept pain even when it is inside your soul. He said back to her, “what if the pain doesn’t just consume you but becomes your fate?” She thought about it for another second and said, “well, as long as you’re nice.” And let him go. From then on, Claiborne knew more than pain and was taught things from the voice like how to behave and get his way. Claiborne wanted to twist this for his own making and told death about the voice in his head. She then replied and said to not listen to it or expand his mind to his detriment and fall from her grace.
From the pain of this, Claiborne thought it was very forgiving but went on to keep these things and get his way until the next day when he saw the most incredible thing. He had cried out to the voice and said that if you are true to me, give me a sign you will not take from me, my only friend! There were a dancer and a martial artist both alongside each other, showing pure strength and power and beauty and awe. He said to the martial artist that he was astonished by his power and ability from his trained mind and body, and he said the same to the dancer. Both agreed that they were not entirely different regarding Claiborne in one small fact. That is, if Claiborne could learn to dance through the pain with the spirit of the martial artist and fight through the pain with the beauty of the dancer. Claiborne asked what this meant, and the dancer replied, “that even the monster can be beautiful and amid his pain, he could expand his mind to a bigger horizon.”
Claiborne was shocked and took three steps back, looking upon the face of the voice that he had once heard all those times. “Don’t I have a right to feel this way?” Asked Claiborne. The martial artist replied and said that everyone has the right to feel, but only we are the masters of our fates. They both then vanished, and he was among the other lost souls again but shining with a brilliant light. He looked down at his metal hands, asked what he had done, and went back to the girl. Claiborne wanted to know anything he could about how to be normal, like everyone else. The girl said that no one was normal and that is why he was sitting there. Claiborne asked what he should do about his body the way it was, and she just smiled and picked up a flower and handed it to him. She told him he would only have a magnificent story to tell everyone and the severe scars to prove it.
Death then saw this and came to take him, but Claiborne had already acted. The girl ran off, and the skies turned black, but Claiborne had already endured so much that he was too powerful against her. She screamed and asked how come such a pitiful, sad, and vile creature could hold so much power against her, and he thought about it for a second and then replied, “through all my pains I have had miniature defeats that I did not accept but instead let me become stronger.” “Then, fine! Be all alone and suffer even more but keep your scars and so-called victories.” Death admitted that Claiborne had won and left him to himself until, from back in the distance, the girl came running back to greet him. “So, death didn’t take you?” Said the girl. “NO!” said Claiborne, and from that day, he became more aware, but the voice was still there.
He asked the voice what more it could want, and it replied, “create LIFE, not death.” Claiborne had manifested death from his journey that entire time from what appeared, and the voice was his conscious. He then took an enormous breath in, and as he breathed out, he then looked around and saw that as he gave pain for pain and death for death, so did the universe. He created an embodiment of life, and this life then freed the lost souls and the universe. There was now light inside the darkness.