When first I arrived, they made believe at being happy. Living meaningless lives, doing trivial deeds for small moments of levity. Truly loving no one but themselves. In their vanity, they all looked right through me, as if I were nothing more than metaphysical dust, sprinkled far and loose in the dark unseen spaces.
So I took away the sun.
Their reaction was swift, yet impotent. And how could it be anything more? They cannot fight what they do not see. What they do not even truly believe.
They came in droves with their war machines, wasting away their precious fuels in search of a cosmic Kraken. They found only death. Of course, they did not need me to serve it. I merely laughed at their impudence.
Such pathetic creatures, with their weapons of carbon and metal. What are these to me? A joke. Nothing more.
But I was merciful. I left them light, though it was a dark, bleak memory of sunshine. And I left them heat, though it was a faint cousin of warmth.
Their world grew cold, dark, and withdrawn.
For a time, there was respect. And for respect, properly shown, I do grant small favors. I am not unkind. A precious few became my blessed ones. I gave them far-seeing eyes, with which to enjoy the slow death-march of their kind.
But in others, there remained discontent. After several centuries, they adapted their infantile technology in an absurd attempt to master their lessened world. For them, their achievements were remarkable. Their lives approached a past normalcy and I was nearly forgotten.
So I took away the rest of the fuel.
How amusing, as the once-proud masses huddled in their once-proud homes for some last vestige of warmth. Seeking refuge from an unforgiving landscape in the only way they remembered how. Many did not remember. Their hands and their minds were too soft, and they withered away on the vine of their former lives.
But I am not unforgiving. I left them their wind. How amusing to watch their futile attempts to capture its energy, to warm themselves by the very thing making them cold.
For a time, their fear sustained them. A few blessed ones again found small favors of my affection. To them I granted heightened hearing, so that they could delight in the death-rattle of industry.
For a millennium, the tales of my power rang strong and true. Until an insolent few found their errant courage again. Though they did not know my name, they sailed out in massive ships of wood to lay me low, with vague ideas of recapturing their pathetic former glory. They screamed at the skies and stabbed with their knives. How silly they are. I stagnated the wind, but they rowed on. In search of what? Death? I was happy to provide it. But only on my terms.
So I poisoned the great seas.
I watched with rapturous delight as their boats slowly sprang leaks, disintegrated by the acidwater. They sank as they rowed to nowhere, and their cries of anguish turned to shrieks of pain and terror as their flesh melted away into the once life-giving water.
Those left behind on the shores were mostly the young, the weak, the infirm. Driven by the stagnant, fetid air and the evil waters, they sought shelter, cowering in the deep crypts of the world. There, they felt safe. Protected from the soured world by their comforting walls of dirt. So there I left them, minds and bodies rotting while they repented.
And I am merciful. I did not sentence them to death. I left them their underground aquifers.
For a time, there was respect. To a blessed few I granted unnatural sense of smell, so that they may sniff out the last gasps of civilization, and watch as it crumbled.
After two millennia, they again forgot my lessons. A few dug deep into the ground, hoping to find me unawares. They had not lost their senses of humor. I let them dig for a long time, enjoying the show as they dug tunnels deep, far, and wide. Rudimentary tools and conviction they had, but it was a slow affair, with thousands of meaningless deaths. At length, I grew bored of their pointless display.
So I sent the worms.
Great monstrous beasts of slime, hair, and scales, they woke from the depths and swallowed everything in their paths. The degenerates were driven from their precious earthen holes and back into the fetid air from which they’d sheltered. They found the air thick, and impenetrable. Many perished, lungs unable to cope with the prolonged effort.
But I am not unmerciful. I left their bodies intact, with which to enjoy the bleak, poisoned world that I allowed them to keep, in my generosity. To properly take in the fruits of their foul efforts against me.
But still some looked with disdain on the landscape. Unable to appreciate the world I had left them. They were blind to the brilliant gift of life that I allowed.
So I took their eyes.
How hilarious their dead, milky orbs looked, gazing aimlessly about. They would see no more. Do not think me unkind. I left them their ears, with which to hear each other speak to my glory.
But still some spoke out against me. Seeking to do with words what their creations could not. To defile my aura.
So I took their tongues.
I observed their sightless stumbles and as their shapeless cries of anguish faded into shapeless resigned mumbles, I knew that they had finally learned.
Then, they knew me as Mother.