Anodyne was floating through one of the universes that had been created, he muttered to himself under his breath until his forehead collided with a stone wall. He stopped moving, his brow creasing.
“I don’t remember putting a rock here.” He said out loud.
Anodyne floated back slightly, then looked at the wall. He looked it up and down and left to right. But it did not matter which way he looked; it extended to the end of his universe. He tried punching it, but it failed to chip, let alone crack.
“A wall.” He said, frustrated. “Why is there a wall in my universe?” There was a long pause then he cried out again. “Who put this shit in my universe?”
“Oh, that was me.”
He turned to see a dishevelled-looking individual; he was eating an ice block and licking his lips as he stared at Anodyne without cause.
“Why did you build a wall through the middle of my universe?” Anodyne asked,
“Hey, that ain’t no way to greet.” The man said, closing the distance between Anodyne and the stranger. “I am Rune.” He said with his hand outstretched. “I own this fine wall.”
Anodyne ignored the hand as he looked at the man.
“I am confused.”
“It is simple, you say your name, then shake my hand. It is a simple greeting in most universes.”
“Not that; I am confused as to not only how, but why you built this wall. I can’t get past it, and it happens to be running through my universe, and I need something on the other side, so get rid of it.”
“Well, I am confused as to how someone can claim to not be confused by my customs, then not acknowledge them.” Rune said as he puffed out his upper lip and looked down to his hand, then back to Anodyne.
Anodyne rolled his eyes and groaned.
“I am Anodyne, now will…” Anodyne tried to continue, but his hand was grabbed with vigor; the man smiled and interrupted.
“It is a great pleasure to meet your acquaintance Mr. Anodyne; what can I do for you, sir?”
Anodyne’s arm jolted still as he stalled the vigor’s shaking.
“I want to know how and why you built this wall.”
“That is simple, mister; I really wanted a wall there, so I put it up because I thought it might be fun.”
“This is my universe; get it out.”
The man laughed to himself.
“No, can do. Sorry. But I built it out of some special material that gets stronger the more of it that is attached to it. Damn, that was a weird sentence”.
“Are you saying you made something that you can’t un-make?”
Rune pressed his lips together as he looked about the wall.
“Looks like that to be the case, kind, sir.”
Anodyne’s eye twitched as he looked at the wall, then turned back to Rune. Anodyne tried to slam his fist into Rune, but his fist was stopped by a barrier of light. There was the sound of cracking glass as layers of the light seemed to shed. But despite the layers removed, Rune stood smiling.
“Oh ho, ho. That is not going to work, sir. You are nowhere near strong enough to touch me.”
“Why am I surrounded by other deities that are far beyond my level of strength?”
“Well, to be fair, there are at least twenty gods in the Eternaverse; what is the likely hood you can beat all of them up?”
“I have literally met thousands of other deities.” Anodyne said as he felt something in his brain twinge.
“Yeah, that is at least twenty.”
“I need this wall moved; move the wall. I need to be on the other side.”
Rune walked up to the wall and slammed his fist into it. Small pieces of powder came back with his fist, but no visible damage was done to the wall.
“Well, I think it may just be permanent. Better luck next time, friend.” Rune looked at his watch and shrugged. “Well, I gotta go; I have a date with a very pretty star that has been flirting with me every time I go past her.”
Anodyne turned around to look at Rune, but he was already gone.
“I can’t believe that this is my life; how is this always my life?”
Anodyne closed his eyes and breathed deeply and calmly.
“I swear, Ompti must be testing or punishing me for something.”
Anodyne rested his hand against the wall, and he slowly sunk into it; his eyes opened, and when his vision returned, his hand was buried up to his wrist in the stone. But trying to push it in further did nothing; Anodyne’s panic crept in when he failed to remove his hand from the stone.
“Why? How?” Anodyne said as all expression fell from his face.
He remained floating in space and looked around. There was sadly nothing on this side of the wall that Anodyne had made; there was no life or any significant astronomical events that caught his attention.
“I guess I am just here now.” He said, defeated.
His whole body slumped as he kept his body as far from the wall as he could.
Decades went by as he remained stuck to the wall; he tried everything he could think of to remove his hand from it, then eventually to push it further in. Despite his best efforts, his situation did not change.
Anodyne looked to the stars as time went on without him. Eons went by as his mind started to slip once again; the agony of being held in place sent his mind racing to the edges of what was possible. His body went through every emotion he was capable of expressing, and still, none of them gave him insight on how to fix his situation. He screamed to the Eternaverse for answers to his situation, but everything was still, and no one answered him. Then one day, Rune returned.
“Well, looks like this is quite the pickle, isn’t it?” He said with his hands on his hips.
Anodyne looked at Rune, barely noticing his existence, before looking back at the wall.
“Oh, come on, don’t be so glum.” Rune floated to the wall and pressed his hands against it as he hummed to himself.
“Ha, I know how to fix this.” He yelled.
Snapping his fingers found himself surrounded by Darkness.
“Oh, oh, that was wrong.” Rune said as he floated around the now cube of strange material.
“it seems I have taken the wall and made it into a box. This literally makes your situation worse because now the mass of the material is concentrated, so it will be even stronger. I hope you have space in there. I’ll come back if I think of anything.”
With that, Rune left again; this time, Anodyne was cramped into a small cube where he was incapable of standing. His body was pushed against itself as it struggled to fit into the space. He sighed and shrunk himself to fit in the space better, but as he did, the material expanded, filling the space he made. No matter how small he made himself, the box would shrink with him.
Anodyne sat in the box, terrified that this would be the fourth and last time that he would be forced into isolation. He could not see a way out, and no matter how much energy he expended, he was incapable of doing anything to the walls around him.
He remained in the cube for so long that his thoughts started to repeat; he ran out of contentment in his mind to explore, and everything in his head became as dark as the cube that he was trapped in. Nothing but silence as Anodyne gave up on moving, screaming, and crying.
His body was cramped, and he could feel his bones starting to fuse together. He kept his biological body from faltering out of self-preservation, but once his mind turned black, he let it slip away. Outside the cube, Rune was pushing it through the Eternaverse, crossing universes, and multiverses, stretching beyond the created content to the naturally spawning creations of the Eternaverse, until eventually, he arrived at the throne where another deity sat. Their visage was so powerful that those who dared to look upon them had their eyes burnt from their skulls, and despite deities’ abilities to create and even alter selves, they were incapable of seeing or even remembering what sight was as if they were born into darkness.
Rune kept their head bowed to avoid the image of the deity before them and spoke through the cube, his voice just loud enough for Anodyne to hear.
“Hey buddy, so I wasn’t just a wandering dude who built a wall, but I am sure you figured that out by now. But I have delivered you to your new owner, so have fun, buddy. They like to collect crazy gods, so I just make them and get paid well for it, nothing personal.”
Rune slapped the top of the cube twice before standing back from it.
The sound of Rune’s voice was enough to scare Anodyne. The first sounds he had heard in millions of eons. His ears tingled as the vibrations bounced around his ears.
The deity that sat on the throne stood, grabbing the cube in both their hands. They pried it apart as if it were warm bread straight from the oven. From it, Anodyne’s mangled body floated in space.
Rune nudged Anodyne and spoke to him.
“Come on, guy, Your new master is waiting for you to introduce yourself, I don’t know if you remember, but I showed you how to do that. Although I would not recommend looking them in the eye, or the foot, or anything. Not pleasant.”
Rune continued to nudge Anodyne as he talked to the deity by the throne.
“Sorry, friend, this one seems to be a dud. I can’t imagine this one would be fun to rule. I do know how you like to play with your toys.”
“I am not a slave.” Anodyne muttered through petrified vocal cords.
“What was that?” Rune asked as he leaned in closer.
“No one is my master.”
“Well, that is where you are wrong, buddy. This one is they own you now, just as they own this whole sector of the Eternaverse. Hell, they even own me. It ain’t a bad life, really. Can’t complain, well I could, it is horrible, but it could be worse, probably.”
Anodyne spent their energy unfurling their body, slowly correcting their form until they were nearly standing normally, still hunched, with a whisper quiet voice.
“I am no slave to no master. No one owns me.”
“You can’t even stop me from doing things to you. How are you going to stop them?”
Anodyne turned to the entity; his head was cocked low as his body was still to regenerate fully.
“I am no slave.” He said as he looked up to the deity.
Anodyne’s vision of the ground was the base of a marble throne; as he looked upwards, it started to warble, and everything became blurry. He could see shapes of what appeared to be an individual sitting upon a throne, but no details. It felt as if there was an immense pressure against his eyes, not pushing them in but pulling from the inside like the other deity was already in his mind.
Rune watched as Anodyne looked up in horror, shocked that anyone would willingly peer upon his master. He knew from experience that even catching his master on the edge of his peripheral vision was enough to feel like he had a fire in his skull. But the thing that caught Rune’s eye with Anodyne was despite the fact he was staring at his master, his eyes had not erupted into flames and cooked from his skull yet.
Anodyne couldn’t see clearly, he could barely move, and his whole body was in more pain than he had ever known physically. Despite this, he stared and refused to back down. Unblinking, he looked at this rival deity with all his might, straining through the intense energies that were bombarding his eyes, until there was a brief flash, and his vision started to return. His body began to loosen, and the pain started to disappear as his vision returned.
Before him was an empty marble throne, and to his left was a terrified Rune, staring with his jar slack.
“No one has ever done that before. I, I, I don’t even know where they have gone or if they are coming back. Who are you?”
Anodyne was struggling to breathe as his body was dealing with shock; he turned slowly to Rune and slurred out a single line.
“Don’t you dare touch my multiverse again?”