“Why does man abhor his truth?” asked the Tower. “Was the world so wanton that it crafted man’s mask—
Molded by the darkest obsidian through millennia of discord?”
I peered back at the door, its handle rotting, ungraspable. I froze.
It was clear that I could not beguile my way out of this. An overspilling mirror hung above the stairs, creaking.
I had found it amidst the trailing vines, the veins of self-reproach.
Though unfamiliar, this ardent province smelled of stardust.
A distant song guided my heart through indelible memories
That adorned an otherwise austere pallet of ice and murk.
While unthreatening, the spire told of feckless men, whose
Legacy rendered us useless, fleeting, and without valor.
“But you believe yourself to be immune—unsullied by the cruel jest of your fathers? Laughably so, you are worse.”
What could it gain from eviscerating my certainty, I thought.
I’ve lived my life bound by the chains of weariness, not misbelief.
What of this banter? I loathed such dissension as the walls
Taunted and prodded the primordial instability of my mind.
“This is not to say that you are infantile or trivial!” it bellowed.
“What is humanity if not a volatile enigma, fueled by mishaps,
contention, and lost desires that culminate in futility?”
Was it toying with me? My ego cannibalized itself, and
The ground on which I stood, seemingly astute, gave in.
In trepidation, I grabbed the mirror as the world collapsed.
I could have given in, allowed myself to be consumed—
But this wasn’t its endgame—no, it couldn’t have been.
Dangling above an endless maelstrom of noise,
I could have sworn that the noise became a word, and that word
Knew me better than I’d known myself. It was the Tower.
And in the mirror, in that juncture, I saw nothing-save a pair of hollow eyes, following me as I finally let go.