MUSING THE TWELFTH

Claudia vanished in the night. And I don't even miss her.

Am I even capable of love?

I thought I might be, at one point in time, but I wonder.

I wonder when the last person actually mattered to me.

I want somebody to mean something, but they don't.

And I'm running out of people to blame.

Because I've gotten into this nasty little habit of killing the people that I blame.

So many people.

The ground is full.

No room for any more.

A kindness, for those left.

And Claudia, even though she knew the ground was full and that she was safe, she vanished.

In the night.

Like an animal.

Like a rat.

If I could send more people after her, I would.

As it is, there were only two.

But they are good, and they are loyal, and they will bring her back.

In chains or in pieces.

She will be returned.

This is her home, after all.

This is where she belongs.

The Voices have stopped speaking with me.

They lay silent, in terrible disappointment.

With me, assuredly, because who else could deserve their judgment?

I am the leader, and I let it all fall away.

It wasn't my intention.

Of course, it never is.

I blamed who I could.

I even blamed people that I shouldn't have, just to see if I could get away with it.

Keep myself going longer.

And it worked.

But the Voices saw everything.

They saw everything, and they decided I was not worthy, and they have withdrawn their Voices.

Maybe this means humanity is done.

Not now, not tomorrow, but eventually.

Maybe we...

Maybe I.

Maybe I have sealed the fates of all who come after us.

There's a chance they will speak to somebody new, but will that person even be able to hear?

Will they be able to do anything more than I've done?

Or is humanity simply destined to try and fail and try again and fail again until there is nothing left to try?

I wish I felt anything for those that have given up their lives or had them taken for the good of the Organization.

I think there's a connection there, between my inability to feel for the fallen and the unwillingness of the Voices to speak anymore.

I can see the ending.

It's coming fast.

Faster than any of us might've thought.

We'll be done before we see the New Year.

I'm almost sure of it.

I'm depressingly certain.

I don't know exactly how we'll end though.

Maybe with a bang.

Maybe with violence in our hearts and on our hands.

Maybe simply coming down from our great height will finish us off.

Maybe we'll just pass on what we know and try to hang on as long as possible.

That seems the most likely end.

Or maybe, in a way, we'll do all of them.

And it'll just depend on when you consider the end to have truly begun.

And some still say nothing ever started at all.

And you can't have an ending without a beginning.

That's not how the universe works.

Then again, what do I know?

I've made so many mistakes.

I don't even know what I'm doing in this world.

I just want to be done.