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The Last Page

A Tale of Scryuune

By Richard Fierce

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Introduction

It burns.

If nothing else, it burns. In the dark … in the dark, I cannot see it. But I can still feel it. Even after all of these years, the memory of it remains … burned upon the stygian depths of my expanded being like a brand upon my chest. To be marked by one’s deeds … if my deeds were to be judged by the mark that I carry, I would deserve the fate that has befallen me.

My fate … an ongoing divine Comedy of Manners—a dialogue of dry wit, intrigue, and cleverness long since gone trite with its latest telling. I sit upon a great throne in a chamber that is all my own—a part of a vast empire whose reputation of fear will endure the ages, if not the power behind it all. My domain spans the distance with pure, unadulterated power, and cold, immoral expansionism.

This was a story begun with violent ambition—an ambition that consumes all in its path. It was … it is an ambition that burns. But like all flames, it shines brightly, spreads across barriers, destroys them, and reduces all into ashes. When born, fire consumes its womb to ashes, but eventually to those ashes must it return. Then there is darkness—the cool, soothing blackness that cocoons me, protects me … and suffocates me.

It is the source of my strength, you see. To call down darkness upon my enemies, and to blot out the very light that I once loved … and now hate so much. Although, now that I ponder over this conundrum, I see that distinctions between hatred and love, darkness and light, tend to blur together in my mind and cancel each other out. Was I blinded by the blazing light or arrogance, or made sightless by the darkness that is my power?

Whatever the casualty of my existence, I still have one mote of humor left even after all this time. Namely, I still possess my sense of irony. What is it, you ask? I will tell you—that I, a Lord of Darkness—am as blind as the drones under my command. Only in my element can I see the black blood of this pen purging me of my painful years of brooding, staining the purity of the parchment that will spread, surgically divide, and consume the white. A fitting analogy considering that I finish the last page of the story in that fashion. A story ends in darkness. Of course … it can begin from darkness as well …

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About Richard Fierce

Richard Fierce is a fantasy author best known for his novella The Last Page. He's been writing since childhood, but became seriously vested in it in 2007. Since then, he's written 7 novels and a few short stories.

In 2000, Richard won Poet of the Year for his poem The Darkness. He's also one of the creative brains behind the Allatoona Book Festival, a literary event in Acworth, Georgia.

A recovering retail worker, he now works in the tech industry when he's not busy writing.

He has three step-daughters, three huskies and two cats.

His love affair with fantasy was born in high school when a friend's mother gave him a copy of Dragons of Spring Dawning by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

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