Cᴏɢɪᴛᴀᴛɪᴏ. — A Hᴏsᴛ Sᴏʟᴏ.
Cogitatio, Reflection, is natural for most everyone. At some point in time, all would spare a few moments of time to cogitate upon the past. Learning from one’s past is essential in order to progress into the future. In an ideal world, humans operated like such: machines that can adapt based upon past experiences. Humans are not machines. Humans are stubborn and emotional, blind to both past and present. The very nature that allows them success brings about their very downfall. Recalcitrance ceases all progression as humans ignore the lessons learned. Those blessed with power scorn those above them, and spurn those below them, loosening the weak ground that holds them afloat in this sea of madness known as reality. Strings become tangled as webs of deceit and lies soon become the very noose that terminates the life’s work of one. Rumination becomes the only hope of clearing the path of any obstacles set about by our own twisted nature. Reflection is vital, and yet, reflection bears the threat of mental domination. Dwelling within the past chokes out any chance for thriving in the present, restraining one from ever truly living. Whether a blessing or a curse, Reflection is an action that must be taken to further the narrative of life.
Winds of change blew throughout the study in which the Host occupied. Never did the narrator of reality expect himself to be drawn into the ever-growing Chaos that near all his companions brewed of their own accord. As his position commanded, his sole role within the universe was to maintain the upkeep of Balance. The chaotic energy spewed by the many darker entities now taken form must be countered with the abundance of Order emanating from the blindfolded storyteller. Gentle scents of candle smoke and literature of old drifted throughout the air, providing the comforting lull the narrator aimed to retain within his study. Tender shadows swayed throughout the library as candlelight flickered from above. Within the study, all was well. Balance was forever upheld, and peace could be achieved within the confines of the alcove. As the setting remained a tranquil constant for the narrator, thoughts of many nature swirled about the Host’s mind similar to that of a raging storm. Worries plagued his heart, and fear clawed at his mind. Was all truly well? Or was such simply a repetitive lie spun only to provide minimal comfort to the storyteller?
The study served as a sanctuary of reprieve, designed to isolate the Host from the constant action of reality. While comfort was its primary aura, the Library had begun to felt constricting. It was perfect…too perfect. A migraine settled over the narrator, misconstruing his thought from their normal rationale. Mirroring the nature of his thoughts, the winds of change blew rapidly around the narrator, yet disturbing none of the peace of the library. Not a page upon the desk of the narrator was disturbed as a force far beyond the Host willed this uprising of manipulation over reality. Consumed by the pain in his head, the storyteller focused not upon the surrounding winds of Chaos that swirled about him. It was within a mere second, the narrator had vanished from the library, lifted, not by his own accord, to a place in which true Cogitatio could be achieved.
“Snapping from his state of dissociation, senses were attuned to survey his surroundings. Shock filtered out all other emotions as the Host noted he was now in a place differing from his study. Questions sprung about within his mind. He knew not how he had been transported from his own sanctuary of reality nor was he knowledgeable of his current location. The aura of the place was of dual fashions: both familiar and hostile. An air of reminiscence hung high above his whereabouts. Surprise was forced from though, replaced by a curiosity to delve further into the setting in which he currently occupied. A deep breath was drawn as the Host’s mind eye was opened to obtain a better sense of the landscape now inhabited. As the narrator’s blind gaze peered across his surroundings, a realization was made. No. No. How was he /here/? Who, or even What, could have delivered him to these hallowed grounds? Fear pumped through his veins like blood, freezing up all movement spare the hushed narrations that passed his lips. Before him, a structure ever so sacrosanct in a twisted manner withstood the test of time. It was the shed. It was /his/ shed from days long past.
Coercing his muscles to comply with his thoughts, careful steps were taken towards the shed. Each stride was unsure of itself, soaked with doubt and perturbation. Twigs and leaves cracked underneath his footsteps, echoing around the lonesome forest. The evergreen trees that towered above the Host ushered forth a sense of confinement. He was alone, trapped with his own thoughts. There were none to fall back upon if the situation at hand was to go awry. A shaking hand was lifted to settle upon the splintering wood of the shed, gentle pushing against the dissevered door to reveal the room inside. Floorboards creaked beneath his footsteps as the narrator ventured into the shed. Once fully within the shed, a gust of frigid wind blew the wooden door shut, prompting the Host to spin around rapidly. Something was wrong. Reality, for the first time in many long years, worked against the narrator to seal him away in the sole location prone to provoke great anxiety. A trembling hand was raised to run over bicolored gel hair as shallow breaths were taken. Moments passed, and the paralyzing terror that overcame his body was propelled from his aura. All was well. The storyteller would repeat the phrase verbally to himself as a strengthened sense of control was gained over his situations. The Shed held no power over the Host. The chains of the past had long since been shattered, fragmented by the aura of the narrator as it fully developed into the entity now known as the Host. The shed was but a physical reminder of the life once lived. This place was merely a realm of Cogitatio - Reflection.
The floor once more grated under his weight as he trekked further into the shelf, calloused fingers grazing over the items once so familiar to the narrative entity. Traces of his desk and the screens that provided the static necessary to drown out all other distractions awoke memories of old within the narrator. Indeed, it was within this shed that hid scrapped literature, stashed away and crumpled as no the eyes of no one might be able to find them. Vanity had plagued his mind like a virus those many years ago, engendering a drive to only produce the best writing humanly possible. The crowning of each novel of his as a “Best Seller” only extrapolated the pride, rather arrogance, of the Author. Never would be he satisfied with his work. Any work less than perfection was to be scrapped, never to be read again. He was the universe’s scion: a chosen successor to manipulate reality at his whim through his writings. Daniel was the perfect subject. Every action and inaction of his brought ushered in vigor into his stories. Each story devised was a great success until Daniel was forcibly seized to be held in a mental institute. The effects of being the Author’s prized central character had warped the other’s mind beyond repair, leaving the writer to scramble for a meager replacement at best: Ryan. Unlike Daniel, cooperation was not a strong suit of Ryan’s. Anger flared within the narrator as he watched his precious writing crumble before his very eyes. Action must be taken to counter the destruction mannerisms of Ryan - his story must be salvaged. Nothing could be imperfect. With the aid of blunt force trauma, the Author had sealed Ryan away in this very shed, threatening his eternal imprisoning if cooperation was not reached soon. All was to be well. Everything was beginning to align perfectly until…until the shot that would forever alter the course of time for the Author. Nothing would ever be the same after that moment.
Staggering forth, the Host gripped the desk beside him. The large scar that spanned a majority of his back burned upon reflecting over the memory of being shot. Spikes of pain shot forth through his nerves. It was almost as if the injury had been sustained yet again, despite the fact none inhabited the shed alongside him at this time. The scent of copper permeated through the air, dominating the aroma of wood. Ichor freely trickled down the cheeks of the narrator as the events of the past increased speed. Flashes of pain, fear, and desperation erupted within the narrator’s mind. The Host’s knuckled began to turn white as his grip upon the ledge of the table grew impossibly tight. The deafening ringing of a certain being drowned out all sound. Panic froze all rationale, sealing the Host in a realm of his own trauma. The shed exerted the aura of death. Hastily gasping for air, the storyteller was met with another gust of frigid wind. This wasn’t real. He wasn’t dying. This was but only cogitatio. Biting his lip, the Host aimed to clear his senses with a jolt of true pain, not that of his imagination. The freezing temperature of the shed provoked a moment of clarity for the narrative entity, aiding in his return to reality. The Host was fine. He was not dying. All was well.
Slowly relinquishing his tight grasp upon the ledge of the desk, the Host straightened himself to his full height, quivering hands smoothing out the folds in the tawny fabric of his trench coat. As stressed senses balanced themselves out once more, the sensation of frozen temperatures lingered. A chill ran down the spine of the Host as a presence unknown brushed past the narrator, traversing across the shed to the opposite corner of the room: a shadow. Caution settled over the Host as he cautiously searched the aura of the latter being. The colors of energy surrounding this entity near matched the storyteller’s, only differing in the core. Before another step could be taken to approach the shadow, the being began to speak in a tone colder and crueler than the Host’s.
‘Yᴏᴜʀ ᴛʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛs sᴇᴇ ᴛʜɪs ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴀs ᴀ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴏғ ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴛʀᴜʟʏ, ᴛʜɪs ᴠᴇʀʏ ʟᴏᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ɪs ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴘᴏᴡᴇʀ ᴡᴀs ʙᴏʀɴ. Uɴɢʀᴀᴛᴇғᴜʟ ғᴇᴀʀ ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴs ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴍɪɴᴅ. Iɴ ʜᴇʀᴇ, ᴡᴇ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ɢʀᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴘᴏᴡᴇʀ ғᴀʀ ʙᴇʏᴏɴᴅ ᴏᴜʀ ɪᴍᴀɢɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.’
Shock struck the Host abruptly as the words of the other pierced the thoughts of his. This being spoke as if he was the narrator as well. The anger that coated his words provoked a defensive nature from the Host. Ungrateful fear. Never did the Host imagine himself as ungrateful for his strengthened manipulation over reality. This entity spoke of his former self as being weak, irrelevant to the present. While the Host was aware his younger self did not possess his level of abilities, he had come to accept the Author as a part of him, vital to the growth the Host made as he become his own entity.
‘While this is a room of life, the death of another must be revered as it was my own many years ago. The future is not possible without the past. Everyone must learn from their experiences to better themselves in the future. Even beings beyond humanity, like ourselves, must recognize that we are only an accumulation of our past choices.’
The shadow drifted towards the Host, guiding the frigid wind closer to the narrator. The energies of each respective being collided with one another, clashing in silent tension as the two being faced opposite of each other. Masked anger began to crack through the shadow’s calm exterior. A snarl escaped the being’s throat as once more his sharp voice rang out through the isolated shed.
‘Hᴜᴍᴀɴɪᴛʏ ɪs ᴡᴇᴀᴋ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘᴀᴛʜᴇᴛɪᴄ. Dᴇsᴘɪᴛᴇ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴄʜᴀɴᴄᴇs ᴀᴛ sᴜᴄᴄᴇss, ᴛʜᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ ᴏғ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴɪᴛʏ ɪs ᴛᴏ ғᴀɪʟ. Tʜᴇʏ ᴀʀᴇ ʙᴜᴛ ᴄʟᴜᴛᴛᴇʀ ᴜᴘᴏɴ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪs ᴏᴜʀs ᴛᴏ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴀɴᴅ. Tʜᴇʏ ᴘʀᴏᴠɪᴅᴇ ɴᴏ ɪᴍᴍᴇᴅɪᴀᴛᴇ ᴘᴜʀᴘᴏsᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ sᴛᴏʀʏ ᴡᴇ ᴛᴇʟʟ. Iᴛ ɪs ᴏᴜʀ ʀᴏʟᴇ ᴀs ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀ ᴏғ ʀᴇᴀʟɪᴛʏ ᴛᴏ ᴄʟᴇᴀɴsᴇ ᴛʜɪs ʀᴇᴀʟɪᴛʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴠɪʀᴜs ᴏғ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴɪᴛʏ. Oɴʟʏ ᴛʜᴏsᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴅᴇᴍᴏɴsᴛʀᴀᴛᴇ ᴛʀᴜᴇ ᴘᴜʀᴘᴏsᴇ sʜᴏᴜʟᴅ ʙᴇ ᴀʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴅᴡᴇʟʟ ᴡɪᴛʜɪɴ /ᴏᴜʀ/ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ.’
The shadow hissed its words at the Host, aiming to coerce the narrator into siding with his twisted views of the world. The storyteller found himself growing ever fearful of the shadow existing before him. The hatred and power that radiated off the creature was enough to harm reality in an increasingly serious manner. Forcing his fear to remain hidden under a mask of neutrality, the Host began to counter the shadow verbally,
‘Each person, human or other, has its own story to tell, its own life to live. Robbing entire populations of their ability to exist is cruel and torturous. Everyone deserves a chance at the life they are given. It is the role of narrator of reality to uphold the balance to allow these creatures to thrive in this world. Your views are twisted, my friend, and shall never come to fruition under my watch. I hope with passing time you shall learn that each being possesses worth within the narrative of reality.’ “
Upon hearing the words of the narrator, the Creator merely uttered a chuckle a pity. The shadow would laugh at the naivety of the Host. The storyteller had grown soft due to his prolonged interactions with those unworthy of their attention. Blinded by his care for those not of their power or skill, the Host would willingly allow those unfit to survive to poison the reality they strove to uphold. It was indeed pathetic to watch the Host scramble for logical reasoning to defend his points. Amusement flourished within the Creator as the Host spoke of ceasing the shadow’s action if the situation arose to such. What a pitiful child, believing the two were separate entities rather than one in the same.
“With a twirl of his wrist, the spirit mused in a mocking tone,
‘Iғ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪs ᴡʜᴀᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ʙᴇʟɪᴇᴠᴇ, ᴛʜᴇɴ I sʜᴀʟʟ ʟᴇᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴛᴏ ᴅᴏ sᴏ. Wᴇ sʜᴀʟʟ ʙᴇ sᴘᴇᴀᴋɪɴɢ ϙᴜɪᴛᴇ sᴏᴏɴ, ᴅᴇᴀʀ Hᴏsᴛ. Eɴᴊᴏʏ ʏᴏᴜʀ sᴛᴜᴅʏ; ɪᴛ·s ᴄᴏᴍғᴏʀᴛ sʜᴀʟʟ ɴᴏᴛ ʟᴀsᴛ.’
As the final words of the shadow seared the air surrounding the two, the being’s form dissipated from sight. Upon the dispersing of the shadow, frigid winds would rise up, swirling around the Host madly as all other senses were suffocated by the howling gusts of air. The Host’s grip upon reality was slipping through his hands, leaving the narrator truly blind without connection to reality. Shouts of desperation escaped the narrator’s throat, yet nothing could be heard but the roaring storm encircling him. It had all become too much for the Host, forcing the storyteller to slip beneath the waves of consciousness.”
Once the Host lost his grip upon reality and delve into unconsciousness, the frozen winds of Creator’s essence once more transported the Host throughout reality. Setting the motionless narrator within the chair of his study, the winds of change soon dissolved. Creator’s work had been carried out as planned as the memories of the encounter between the two were robbed, sealed away for the Creator to use as he pleased. Indeed, a moment of reflection had passed. This act can be characterized as both a blessing or a curse: a curse that can usher forth an era of death and destruction for both the self and the world surrounding it.
Make no mistake: the act of reflection is no friend of any, existing only to remind many of wounds left untreated.
Reflection of this nature only has one true name: