Amanda stood at her canvas, working furiously. She did not allow herself to look at the painting as a whole, merely concentrated on the details. This was to be her two hundred fiftieth piece of art, and, she knew, her last. It would, she supposed, be her masterpiece. Uncaring, she worked on.

In an immense knot, four deities twisted themselves together, their writhing strands becoming the world. An imposing matter of mass and size, people of different centuries and eras strode over its surface nonchalantly. The sun stood to the left on the painting— moreso than typical painters were able to accomplish, standing against a sky which, although brighter than the typical one, seemed the darkest of darks against the suns' brilliance. This blue evolved into a brown-toned periwinkle, against which stood the overshadowed, yet beautiful in a way the sun could never be, moon. Barely noticeable, from the sun came as if by secret passage a strand of red which wrapped itself around the unfortunate world, drawing its coils so tightly that two drops of the most brilliant lava— the blood of the Earth— emerged.

People had begun to desecrate the privacy of her home. Unnoticing, she worked on… even as low gasps of amazement, then horror, becaun to erupt, Amanda continued her work. The passage of hours, days, weeks, held no significance as she continued to work, and the sweat upon her forehead merged into blood as she worked, pushed herself beyond limitation.

The people came, dazzled by the brilliant of her sun that lit the room… and eventually its darkness seized their hearts.

Two weeks, three days, and twenty-one hours after she had begun, Amanda finished this, her great masterpiece, her last work, to return to reality.

Averting her eyes from the painting and, quite honestly, never wanting to see it or any of her others again, the first thing Amanda noticed was the intolerable stench in the room. Sickly sweet, deadening the nostrils, its reek almost caused Amanda to vomit. Inspecting the room, she saw numerous causes.

The onlookers, in rapture, had become overcome by the painting. Most were around three days dead and mosquitoes settled upon them, humming cheerily to themselves as they indulged in their carnal nature.

The power had gone out, and most likely all of the food had rotted in the Louisiana heat.

She had not showered since she began, and she was covered in blood, sweat, grime, and paint.

Blood.

Looking at the painting dazedly, it was then she realized the true cause— of the brown in the periwinkle, in the Earth, the utter darkness.

And the reason why the blood from the Earth was so overwhelming to the onlookers— the blood, blood of the Earth, was her own.

Therefore, it was logical when she felt the Dark's stabs of pain wrapping around her own heart.

Only a few hours later, too late to stop a preventable decease, she as well as the others were found.

As the policeman eyed the painting, the dark seemed to throb, to overcome with a life born of death.

Although Amanda had died in front of the door, dark curls not covering wide brown eyes and a hand outstretched and pleading… her last request was ignored, and the darkness within all human souls merged and swept with a fury upon the Earth.