They had walked and rode for days deep into the heart of the jungle, and their packhorses had become weary as they had become weary, when they came into an unexpected clearing in which a great, old stone pyramid was standing, which the sight of renewed their energy and they decided to go in. At the foot of the pyramid were steps leading not to the top of the pyramid, but into the heart of thd pyramid, about halfway between the top and bottom; they tethered their horses and climbed the steps until they were inside. They were surprised to find it was not dark inside, but dimly lit, and there appeared to be a brighter light emanating from an upwards-leading staircase at the end of the tunnel to the right, while the downward-leading tunnel to the left was dark.
“I say we go up first,” said the expedition leader.
“I think we all agree. I myself would actually rather not go down at all,” said one of the crew.
“I would agree with that,” said another one, and soon all were nodding amongst themselves not to go down.
Thus they headed off to the right, but when they nearly got to the end of the tunnel, each of them felt a tingling jolt like electricity and saw light flash in symbols before them, in a language that none of them recognized but all of them understood, and it was as if those words were experienced through all their senses. Those words meant: You cannot go this way! They still tried to go that way, but they were continuously bombarded by this unnatural verbal blitzkrieg and the light seemed to get further as they walked on, rather than closer, and without end, so they turned back.
When they finally got to where they started the door was gone.
“I could have sworn there was a door here! How are we going to get out?”
At that moment the verbal blitzkrieg came again, although gently and almost pleasantly this time, and said: There is no out but through!
“Did you see the same thing as I did? There is no through here! We’re going to die in here!”
“Well, let’s just try getting out before we give up hope.”
So finally they went down the downward stairway. The descent was easy. At the bottom was pitch black, but not for long, although it felt like long. They started to hear a soft sound, somehow grating despite its gelatinous nature, and as the sound grew they could hear distinctly that it was not-quite human voices and completely alien sounds in an impenetrable web droning, sliding over each other as they went up and down, turning into other sounds, speeding up and slowing down, so that all sense of pitch was distorted and all sense of time was distorted, and they could not even imagine any sort of pleasant music or even the natural flow of human speech, and every sound they imagined took on a demonic quality so they did not even want to hear their own thoughts, although they also could not stop thinking. Faces emerged out of the darkness, although most were disfigured in ways no human face could be, and the least disfigured ones, sometimes even not disfigured, had a not-quite-human appearance that was unsettling at a deep level, in contrast to the highly disfigured ones that were profoundly human. Then they saw strange, organic entities slip past them, emerging from shadows to seep back into shadows, resembling strange parasites, abyssal sea creatures, primordial lifeforms, giant microbes, and organic entities completely unfamiliar. Everything they saw had the same shifting, disorienting quality as the sounds they heard, so that they did not want to imagine images either, and scarcely had a sense of direction, size, or color. They felt tingling and itching sensations in their skin and throughout their whole body, and were bombarded with chemical smells and metallic tastes. Soon all their senses started to merge, although not completely, and they realized that there was no ground underneath their feet, and they were free-falling in the realm they found themselves in, although they were walking and seeming to go forward. At that moment the verbal blitzkrieg came onto them, more unpleasant than ever and completely overpowering their senses: Welcome to the abyss! You brought yourselves here! The flash seemed somehow both like less than a second and many years, but at that moment they spotted a colossal, monstrously intricate, primordial stone structure in the distance that appeared to be free-falling with them, and, having no hope, hurried over to examine it.
Once they got close enough to the structure, they saw it had symbols on it in that language that read: It. Somehow the idea sprung into all their minds at once:
“I don’t know where I’ve heard these words before, but this is It, the Perpetual It,” one said. No one knew where they heard of that before, but they all understood what that meant.
“We must destroy it!” One of them took out a chisel and started to hammer away at the It, but it seemed to be indestructible.
Soon, they noticed what was in the It: the Earth, mankind, the whole cosmos, every god and spirit from every religion that had existed, every abstract concept: everything was in the It. They were overwhelmed with the urge to get everything out of the unearthly It, and at that moment where the man with the chisel was just about to give up hope, in one last burst he made a mighty swing and cried: “I will destroy you!”
It was as if at exactly that last word, you, the It disintegrated. All the things of the Abyss fled and the whole cosmos broke out from the It and expanded to its proper place. After everything went back to its proper place, they found themselves simply in the dark bottom chamber of a pyramid, and turned on their flashlights to look around. There was a black circle with some symbols on the ground where the It had just been moments ago, and it did indeed look as if there were something there that was no longer. There were some demonic-looking statues in the chamber, and strange carvings, but these were a relief compared to what they had seen. They were eager to leave the underground chamber and scampered up the stairs. They saw the exit back where it had been, and all considered simply exiting, but they had a good feeling about going up to the light side this time so went there. Nothing held them back, and they got to the end of the light tunnel and ascended the stairway there, which was much harder than the downward stairway, and it got so bright at the top that at first they were blinded.
“Hello,” they heard a deep but beautiful voice say, in plain English, as their eyes adjusted to the light.
“Who are you?” said the leader as they saw a great old man.
“I am the Eternal You. Would you like to stay here with me a while?” They all felt very at ease, and could hear unearthly chorus singing around them, and birds twittering through the trees in the meadow.
“Well, nice to meet You, then. I think we all would like that.”
The old man lead them all to a table out in the open on which an unbelievable feast lay and they sat down and poured what appeared to be a shining golden mead into gleaming chalices. Fairies and elves chased each other through the woods in the distance, and soon a young man who looked like a hunter came, holding up a horn and playing something that was not quite a hunting call, which summoned people from far and wide to the table. Most of them were instantly recognizable: Mother Earth, Father Time, the Man in the Moon, on and on. They even saw Death, although they did not fear him there and actually found him quite handsome. Everyone sat down and had a toast, and soon there was festive music and much joking and general merry-making. They never wanted to leave.