Chapter 21

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Every time…

Every time I die in one of those dimensions…

Every time I come back… Those first few seconds, they…
They’re spent re-living- No. No, re-remembering my memories of the life I’d just lived.

And I just…

I guess the First Nav was… “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” I guess? ‘Cause…

Or maybe it’d be better to call it the “trigger.” ‘Cause…

Because I hadn’t- no. No, I had.
I’d been planning on doing this. Or… It felt that way…?

Maybe it was a decision I kept coming to while in other worlds?
… It must have been. Because I don’t remember coming to it consciously, but it was definitely a decision I must have come to at some point.

I… I just wanted to see if it-

… No. That’s a lie.
-I mean. Who would turn down a chance at paradise?! I HAD that!

And all those worlds… It just… It wasn’t FAIR, DAMMIT!!!



Then why couldn’t I? … Right?!

‘Cause… After I’d figured out how to navigate- how to choose
What was stopping me?!

One thing. There was ONE other thing stopping me.


I’m a demon-eater.


“Demonic” energy.
What that means. Is. Well… surprisingly easy to explain in this world.

It’s “unhealthy.”
… That’s it.

I have to absorb unhealthy energy to survive.

And a paradise, by definition, doesn’t have any. And isn’t the idea of that beautiful?


I learned quickly, during my first few travels, that the Crossroad gives the Keeper a new material body and a new prizmal one — but NOT a new spirit.
I had to learn the difference; that, while one’s prizmal body is part of their spirit, the reverse is not true. My new prizmal bodies might have been new containers for my spirit — with new limbs, abilities, and even needs…

But my demon-eater nature was part of my spirit.
And I didn’t want to admit that. If I did, then…

I told myself: “I just haven’t found the right one, yet. Eventually, if I look enough, I’ll find a Place, a dimension, a world- where I won’t need to absorb demonic energy anymore! I’ll find my Paradise — and I’ll live in those worlds forever!”


… I came close, several times.
Found worlds where there didn’t seem to be any demonic energy.

-Except I’d find it, somehow.
Would draw it out. Make people who’d never experienced anything Bad like that go through suffering for the first time —

I’ll tell you about The One Time…

… It Was Worse.

And yeah. Only once.
In a situation where I have only the barest summary of my memories — where I could live multiple, FULL lives, and think they were nothing more than hallucinations — I only needed to experience this ONCE…

To decide not to look for “paradise” anymore.


I’m sorry this is getting so dark.
But… This is something you need to understand about me. Why, out of everything, THIS is my greatest fear.

Please, just…

… Please keep reading. I promise it gets better.

I swear, most of the stories I have of my travels are happy things. Pleasant ones. It’s just-
-I can’t tell them yet.
Not really.

Not until I tell this one first.
So, I’m sorry but…

Please keep reading…?

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