Sylvan was one of the few remaining. His whereabouts were unknown and there was nothing secretive about it. It was 73 P.A. (Post Armageddon). The conflagration that burned unbridled after all conflict had ended had been doused for some twenty-three years. The remnant of the world as it was known was plunged into deep and unfathomable darkness. The supreme weapon had been an ally since the world began. But, its detonation changed everything they had known about this almost barren piece of rock once known as earth. The fools blew up the sun.

He was one of the last elders to survive. Sylvan was one of the “true minds” that lasted well past that final blast of energy. And he held the key to whatever “future” could be fashioned from this dire desolation.

Many wandered in the chasm of shadow, hungry, cold and, praying for the angel of death to show them mercy. But mercy was not given.

Sylvan sat encamped in a hovel hidden within the hollowed trunks of what were called trees. The blackness of perpetual night engulfed him as well. But as long as he held the key, there remained hope. Every elder had been given a key with the instruction; “Man will seek you. When they have found you, it is a sign that they will be ready to learn of your power”. All that Sylvan possessed was closely guarded.

In this twenty-third year, Sylvan had encountered no one, and so his power languished, being resigned to the inner reaches of his mind, his one “true mind”. The burden sat heavily on Sylvan’s shoulders. He had come to learn that darkness is silence. And the silence deafened his ears in as much as the darkness deafened Sylvan’s eyes.

Something invaded his solitude. His pulse raced; his senses heightened.

“Greetings” a voice called out. “We are searching for Sylvan the Elder.”

“It is me you have found.” Sylvan replied in great relief. “What seek you?”

“Legend has it that you are of “one true mind” and possess the key.”

“And what do you want with this… key?” the Elder was required to ask.

“We are ready for its power!” the stranger answered.

Sylvan felt about for the containment vessel; its lid tightly secured. He held the container in both hands, clutching it for perhaps the last time.

“I must ask” Sylvan continued, “are you sure of what it is you desire?”

“We are old man! The key, please.”

Sylvan fumbled for the latch and lifted it away from its hasp. As he raised the lid, he heard their anguished cries and laments. They covered their eyes, wailing in distress.


Sylvan blindly held forth the contents of the box. It illuminated the spaces around them.

“This IS the key” Sylvan explained. “This is truth. This is wisdom. This is meant to enlighten the world once again”

The small crowd descended upon Sylvan, clubbing him with whatever rock or rubble they could find. Sylvan fell, landing on the last piece of the sun left burning, extinguishing it’s flame.

The world was relegated to eternal darkness again. For they did not know the entire legend. It stated:

“Man will seek you. When they have found you, it is a sign that they will be ready to learn of your power. For this is the key. It is truth. It is wisdom. It lives within the light. But, those who refuse to accept this, will die in the darkness of their ignorance.”

Sylvan was dead, and now so was the world. The rest were soon to follow.


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