The new mortal caught in the Void’s vast darkness was a strange one. At least, strange from the Void’s perspective. She did not scream, nor beg, nor rage or cry. She did not ask questions or crumble under the weight of the Void’s being. She did not try to bargain, not that it would have mattered. Nothing was ever out of the Void’s reach. It’s few desires were and would always, be met.
She just sat there, this mortal woman named Mary. The Void was impressed she still remembered her name. The remembered sound of the name echoing in her cracked golden soul. Strangely, the memory voice was not her own, but a mans. The name of which echoed almost as loudly as Mary’s own. Her Partner. Her Husband. Her other half. John was lost here within the dark as well. Fallen first, breaking worse in his isolation. The Void watched him too. Watched him clench his trembling fists in time with hers.
A connection? Strange. A flicker of a connection, a thread stretched too thin. The Void watched as the thread snapped. It watched the Husband lose his name, as he stared and shivered in the nothingness. It watched as madness began creeping in, watched his fragile soul crack and fall apart like fine porcelain. He would not survive long in the dark, would be devoured like all things that fell into the Void’s embrace. But that would come later, for now he sat, trembling and weeping. Staring at his fists, missing a woman he couldn’t remember the name of.
The Void did not try to help, not that anything it did would matter in the long run. The Husband could not hear the Void’s voice, so the Void could do nothing but watch. A pity, he seemed interesting.
But Mary. Oh, Mary could hear. The Void could see it in the tears that ran silently down her cheeks. In the way her mouth twitched. In the way her hand, now blackened and changed by her time in the Void, cupped her broken soul in her hands. Her golden life was so bright in the dark, so alluring. The Void crept closer, placing Mary at the forefront of it’s attention.
Why had she not succumbed to the vast darkness? How had she managed to cling to her own name, the names of her Husband and friends? The children with his features that she claimed as her own? How, how was she not drowning like all the others?
Hazel eyes blinked, clearing, sharpening with shimmers of gold. Mary, sat on her knees, silent and struggling for thought, raised her head, and stared directly into the Void’s eyes. The Void stared back, and saw —
Dimpled smiles with gaps. Calloused, slender hands. The shine of a silver needle. A rainbow of thread. A pile of pillows and blankets laid near a hearth. A sterile, metal lab. A half-finished railing. A chasm. Drowning. Shattering. Darkness.
It saw how Mary mourned yet clung to her fracturing memories despite the pain they caused her. She saw, in her minds eye, her children. The beautiful and brilliant boys that loved her as much as she loved them. How Mary hoped they were alright, that their friends would care for them until she got back.
Mary’s soul cried out in yearning, for her family, most especially her beloved Husband. She longed like the Void hungered for all the matter in reality. Mary stared into the eyes of the Void, cheeks damp not in sorrow, but bittersweet love and hope. Mary would not drown, scared and broken in the dark. She refused. She swore without words as she stared defiantly back at the Void.
The Void heard her. It tasted a desire nearly as vast as it’s own, a previously thought impossible feat. Mary was still mortal, still an finite grain of sand in a vast ocean. But she could hear, and she was willing to do whatever she had to if it meant seeing her Husband and children again. The Void spoke and Mary listened, that brilliant soul shining brightly in her hollowed chest despite it’s cracks and missing pieces.
The Void made an exception for this mortal that had stared and saw the Void. Not one entity in all the endless time of the Void’s existence had ever blinked second. Not one had looked upon the Void unflinchingly. No one had looked at the Void and tried to understand, not out of finding a way out, but as one would try to understand the complexities of a companion.
So, the Void made an exception. It spoke to Mary, filled her veins and repaired her physical form. It helped hold together her broken soul. Then, it showed Mary how to keep existing.