I. The Lunatic's Threshold
A glacial, foamy moon floated forlornly over a gelid valley of nothingness. The place seemed all very delicate and filmy, as if it were straight from the land of sleep. It seemed very blue and lonesome; no animals or creatures grazed about, and no souls of flesh and sinew filled the blank air with mirthful chatter. Clusters of silver energies hung about eerily, curling through the unwelcoming air. It appeared to be real, but it seemed more to the likes of the many realms of a lunatic's vivid hallucinations.
No trees swayed in this strange land, nor grasses. It was not a sad place, but it was not homely or welcoming. To the eyes of mortal men it would be frightfully alien; although they would take comfort in dangling their feet over the bubbling seafoam by the shore. The lonely land never sheltered company, and it would not for a long time. It was, however, familiar to the builder, who graced its land with visits now and then. As of now, the builder was crouched over his newest creation.
The builder was not human. It was a lanky, airy figure with brooding, glazed eyes which sat upon a protruding maw. The builder had no definite gender, as humans did, although when traveling it did morph into a human male form; thus we may call the builder a he. Builders were allowed to customize themselves as they so wished, and so he had taken on a sort of canine mouth, but nothing more animalistic. He had curved, feathery white hands and hollow opal eyes which conveyed more pain than a human's ever would.
The builder was once electric, full of vitality and swelling hope that overrode his entire will. Nature was so compelling and beautiful to him, and so were the humans, even with their many pigheaded and foolish actions. It was love that tore him apart. It was his obligation as one of the universe's various builders to wrench girl's beating hearts out of their chests. It was his driving exsistence that allowed the builder to transfer life from one mortal to the next, from his beloved to his creation.
It was unbearable for passings of time, but when human emotions strayed from him, the builder was empty again. But when he was not empty, and when he was human, his oval eyes sunk into his angled face and shed droplets of water called tears. The builder would brush the rhueminess away, and heave himself up back to his own little refuge. He called it Sweet Dream, a word he'd picked up from his many travels. If a mortal crossed the land's threshold, they would think of it more of a nightmare than a peaceful sleep.
Humans were only afraid of what they could not prove, or something that defied their belief of what was real and what was not. It was not a godawful place. Sweet Dream was down and blue, not inviting or joyful, but never frightening. In a way the foggy balls of energies that lurked around the land and brushed happily along the builder's flanks was a comfort.
The gel-like atmosphere was quite soothing and gentle. Anything that was stroked by the builder's nimble fingers could be compressed, and felt like a cool, jelly type of substance.
The builder stared at his creation with a pressing apathy. His creation was a male adolescent, with polished, russet clay skin and curly jet-black hair that stuck close to his forehead. The boy sported a few black freckles from when the builder's grip slipped and splattered and dropped a few droplets of inky paint. He had an oblong face, pointed cheekbones, and a determined chin. He had created the boy to be lanky with a narrow figure; clumsy, sure, but his speed would outpace others. The mold's eyes were yet to be put in, although they were fit for being deep set, shadowed, and slanted.
There was a slight uneveness about his creation's face, which was intended. It gave the creation uniqueness, and a drawing curiousity that would be sure to grab the attention of other mortals. His nose was long, and expanded only somewhat at the bottom. Below it was his thick-set mouth, which curved upward at the ends into a natural, albeit blank smirk. Drifting brume obscured the rest of his features.
The builder edged his creation closer, aching to feel any warmth from the boy's mold. It pleased him to make contact with humans, to touch their hand or shoulder, and let their warmth ebb from their body to his. He was immune and unfeeling to the elements, but it was a comfort when he was traveling into the mortal worlds nonetheless. The builder had brought thousands of creations to life, some invented with less care, and others with prolonged time and perfection. The mold laying limply next to him was the latter.
He kneeled quietly over his creation, his head hanging limply and his arms folded about his waist. The builder rocked back and forth slowly, trying to alleviate some sort of feeling that poked its way through his impregnable mind. The builder had no name for it, but he noticed in the mortal world how people oftentimes seemed withdrawn, untalkative, and sad. Maybe he was experiencing something familiar.
He begun to breathe manually, exhaling milky energies that shuddered their way out of his maw. They escaped into the air with joy, darting excitedly about Sweet Dream.
The builder had breathed life into his land, into his creations, but never himself. Over the expanses of time it stole away from him, but it seemed to not take much of a toll from the builder. Perhaps now it was becoming more evident. It was good in a way, though, because he grieved less over those he had to thieve life away from in order to power his creations. Ah, but such is the way of life, the builder often mused to himself.
Take away a mortal's right to breathe and exsist so their life may be transferred to another. It was the universe's cycle of death and rebirth, as disgustingly twisted as it may seem. In a way, it was a gift passed from one stranger to another stranger. The builder tried to look at it all in that perspective, so he may not rest on the fact they never agreed to die and leave their mates and family broods.
The builder let out a shaky, forced breath. All this time he had fashioned and built humans with his enduring endeavors, but now he felt like nothing more than a cog whose oils had run out. He desperately needed someone to build him back up again. The builder was immortal, yea, but it was not as if fate smiled kindly upon him. Rather, it grinned snarkily at him. He had taken pieces of who he wanted to be and stored them in his creations.
In that prospect, he was keeping himself alive through the souls and bodies of humans. Hadn't the universe ever thought that maybe builders would tire of endlessly creating? It would be dizzingly foreign to forever rest with the humans and act like them. Pretend like he was never a builder. That in itself would too be stressful and saddening. When he explored mortal lands it gave him a sense of adventure coursing through his human veins. A sense of importance and impending danger.
As a human, he could lose himself in a void of rapture and jubilation. It was like the drugs mortal used - he had experimented with them before - which left its user with a sense of forgetfulness and calmness until it wore off. It was the same for the builder. He would make friends in thousands, if not millions of different worlds, only to abandon them with no explanation. They probably hated him for leaving, but the builder had no other viable option.
It was being a builder, a creator, or nothing at all. It overpowered every single human, primalistic desire. Clutching the boy's mold to his chest, the builder closed his liquid eyes. In his mind's eye a pathway opened up before him, beckoning him to come close, to come further. A flash of blinding white light seared the builder's mind, forcing a grimace out of him.
It was time to travel again.