I am P. A. Wilson, the greatest of all the Ageless, mind reader and espionage expert. Yet as all the Ageless that came before me and all who shall come to be, I’m trapped. My actions are not my own, and never will be. I am enslaved to a tyrant that lives within me; one whose watch never wanes, who is quick in anger and vengeance.
As a mortal, you possess free will…
So why are you still reading? Here are some useful alternative suggestions:
Throw this book out a window. Push it page by page through a paper-shredder. Send it down the river in a boat. Set it on fire. (Everyone loves setting things on fire. I can relate.) Tie it to a rocket and send it to the stars, or at least as high as your model rockets will go. I promise you, this will be the most fun you’ve ever had.
Just don’t read it.
I’m not picky about how you dispose of it. You could just push it far back on a shelf and never touch it again. Put it on a to-do list that you never plan on finishing. Dump it in the library return pile. Return it to the bookstore or casually dunk it into a garbage can.
I presume you are wondering what it is that makes this book so dreadful that the author pleads with you to choose another. So I will tell you, in the hopes that you will heed my words and make the right decision.
It is the maker of prophecies, the one who created the Ageless and monsters to inhabit the Earth, and to rival the native people, the mortals. No matter how wicked any villain may appear in this book, it is inconceivably worse. Remember that.
As Ageless, we do not choose if we are villains or heroes. We do not have the right. Our every move, thought, and ultimately our fates, are meticulously controlled. Our master is known by a simple, one-syllable word.
Can you detect the utter hatred with which I wrote that single word? (Oh. I forgot that mortals do not have that ability. Never mind.)
I am being forced to do the Phi’s will; in this case, conveying a message to you mortals. To do this, I have to take on a mission collecting information on four so-called “heroes.” Many Ageless would be honored to undertake such a quest, and perhaps I would be too if it were not for one small detail:
I have to spy on a bunch of children! With all my unique capabilities, I’m stuck…how do you mortals say it? Sitting on babies! If the Phi thinks I’m going to do such an undignified task as this without a fight, it has something coming.
(Like a silent protest.)
Nevertheless, the Phi has its reasons. Clashes between monsters and Ageless have become more prevalent. Some Ageless believe that we are being tested, and that only one race will survive in the end. Yet we are aware that this has happened before. And at that time four heroes rose from the ashes of their previous lives to change the tide of battle, forever locking away the most dangerous races of monsters in a mountainous prison, as the prophecy demanded.
This would be great, except that recently those nasty beasts have been escaping. So much for “forever.” True, it lasted sixty years or so, but that isn’t very long.
The heroes that will rise to fight them are none other than the children I am…sitting on. (I dislike your odd mortal sayings, but the Phi insists that I adapt to the nuances of your language.)
This is not my story. As I am destined to, I will write an account of the lives of our heroes.
Still, any prophecy contains loopholes. If you venture past the prologue you will endure unceasing aggravation, confusion, and chapters where you will leap off cliffs. I mean hang on cliffs.
Anyway, I will offer you some words of advice, in the form of a familiar mortal saying. For your sake I hope these three words knock some sense into you.
Ignorance is bliss.
There you are. In order to achieve happiness, you must achieve ignorance. If you put this book down, you’ll be taking a tremendous step in the right direction. Just keep on doing the normal mortal things that normal mortals do.
Which is…you know…well…you can stop reading this now.
I am only required to publish their doings in this meager tome to appease the prophecy.
I am not required to have you read it.
So seriously, quit now.
This is a serialization of my novel Chronicles of the Ageless: The Enslaved. For all the entries in order, follow this link.