The Beginning and the End
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My story begins with this world's first death, that of a man named Harold. He was my friend, and I, being the world's first teller of stories, had promised to him, upon his passing, that I would document his time in this world. He that would become Death wished for me to celebrate life, knowing now that it could end.
Though I mourned him, the telling of his story gave closure to us both, and allowed him to move on in peace. It gave comfort to many others that had grown to fear this new unknown end. In the time it had taken to write of Harold's life, others had passed, and I vowed to myself and to those they left behind to also document their lives.
The work was varied and colourful - sometimes filled with light and love, other times with darkness and despair, and every shade in between. Regardless of the tale, the act of writing was one of hope and discovery. I was consumed by the work, yet loved every word. It even allowed those souls that clung on to life, waiting for their tales to be told, to move on, just as Harold had done so long ago.
Yet for each tale told, many more were added to my workload. Over time, their variety waned, and I became overwhelmed by the size of this task I had set myself, though still I saw the comfort it brought to my audience, and in it the worth of the work, and so continued with it until my own death reunited with my friend of old.
He tasked me to continue the work, to collect the stories of the lingering dead, such that they could freely let go of life. The work was a seemingly bottomless pit, and it had become grey and dull, endlessly repeated tales written over and over and over again. I grew resentful of the work, and of the vow I had made to myself all those years ago, and which I had renewed with Harold.
For millennia, the work has drudged onward, now soulless and business-like, and yet I have come to understand a new horror, one that makes me wish the work truly was without end. The truth that one day, just as a single life can end, so too shall all life, and as the tale of that penultimate soul clinging on to life has been written, so shall my great work be finally be complete, and my vow fulfilled.
And yet none shall remain to write the end of my own story, and no audience left to read it - not one soul to bring me the closure I require to move on, as all before me will have managed to achieve.
Thus, shall I remain, a story without end, the very last of the lingering dead...