There was a woman who lived in the woods. She was the greatest witch who had ever lived, with powers and knowledge beyond the comprehension of all but herself. She had lived through the entire history of the universe from birth to death many times, and learned of it something more each time, for it was endlessly changing and vaster than infinity, and as her knowledge of the world increased so did her knowledge of herself.
She had lived recently not just in the woods but as the woods, her consciousness spread through every root and branch and leaf of it, from birth and growth and now its gradual death. To understand the causes of its decline she concentrated an aspect of her mind into the form of a single human, and lived as her and died many times, understanding slightly more of the ways of humans with each new life, and each new death.
Eventually the forest died, and her entire mind came to reside in the latest manifestation of her human form, and she stepped out from the shadow of the final tree and into the town and walked out among its people for the first time.
“Nice tits!” shouted the first of them, but she could not answer, for she did not understand fully the complexities of their language.
“I’ve seen nicer,” said the next one. “She’s not all that.”
“A tit’s a tit,” said a third. “And those are some tits.”
She shifted her consciousness across from her body to touch upon their minds, in the hope of learning from them their language and their ways, and alighted upon the mind of the first. At first she was struck by the vast emptiness of what she found there, an emptiness greater by far than even the final days of the universe, when entropy had fully wrought its way and all lay in silence and stasis and a single thought took longer to form than the lifespans of all that we know and have known and shall ever know. Then, as she tried to leap from the first mind to the second, she discovered that it was not a void but a hole, a great dense immensity of concentrated ignorance that compressed all intellectual thought into a single point and let nothing of worth escape.
All her knowledge and compassion and soul was lost to the universe forever. As her old body fell like a tree to the floor one of the men said, “Hey look she’s a fucking spazz an’ all,” as they filmed her last few autonomic twitches with their phones.
1. Written in the summer of 2014
2. And unused till now
3. In lieu of a howling rage of despair
4. That is too inarticulate to bear