It was a dark and stormy night, and the cattle were restless. The sheep stirred in their pens, and the roosters crowed at nothing. The lights in the house were steady, and there was no indication of any danger. It was a quiet place in the middle of nowhere, with a family of good people with good crops. And yet, there rose an uneasiness throughout, as the animals stirred, and those in their beds pulled the covers tighter, for… what? Nothing.. In the middle of the field, there was a farmhouse, as most farms have. With big red walls, and white trim. Animals and hay, and plenty of woodwork. Rafters and lighting, and not much else.
And a dark, absent force approached the farmhouse door, less a man and more a presence of nothing, nothing to see, nothing to hear. Anyone who looked at it would see just that… nothing. They would not see past it, for there was nothing to see past. They could not look around it, for there was nothing to look around. And they could not look away from, because there was nothing from which to avert their eyes. For the Nothing Man, if he had a name, which he didn't, senses something other than himself. He sensed… that which he did not have. For the Nothing Man had exactly that. Nothing. Nothing to live for, nothing to lose. He had never lost anything, because, in truth, there is no beginning to absence. And yet, in spite, the Nothing Man sensed a thing, a child, which had what he did not, what he craved, for hunger was simply… nothing. A great big hole to fill.
The small child in the corner was not aware of the Nothing Man, for he was not there. He was not a he, in fact, being nothing and indescribable. Yet the boy felt fear, and saw nothing to be afraid of. He could not run, for there was nothing to run from. He could not escape, for there was none. You can't escape from nothing. Yet the boy tried. He tried to run, he tried to hide. But nothing would work. And nothing would stop him. The child was not aware of the Nothing Man, yet the Man came. He came to claim.
The Nothing Man had taken the child. He had sent him away… to nowhere. For there was nowhere to go. And no one to send him there. The child was nothing, now. And so the not-there force moved on, up the hill, to the house that the family lived, posing no threat, for he wasn't there. He stepped through the doors, the walls, as if they were… nothing. Or as if he was, which he wasn't. What? Exactly. And so the Nothing Man continued, doing nothing, seeing nothing, hearing nothing. Sensing… something. Something more he did not have. He could not claim what he hungered for from the boy, because he had nowhere to put it. Yet he did not know that. He knew, nothing. Felt nothing. And still, the hunger. The desire to fill that which cannot be.
The parents did not run, for again, there was nowhere to go. They did not fight, for there was no opponent. They did not resist, for nothing threatened them. And still, the Nothing Man came. And claimed. And there was nothing left to prove the man and woman had been there at all. And so, still hungry, for feeding did, nothing, claiming did nothing, the Nothing Man moved on. To where? Nowhere. At least, to him. From house to house, his victims felt nothing, saw nothing. And he left no one behind to warn the others. There was no stopping him, for truthfully, he had done nothing. And so, no one would. And as he claimed, and as he came, the world itself turned empty. For there was no one left to feed. And no one left to tell his tale.
So where do the words come from, I wonder?