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Created on 2015-08-08 22:15:08 (#2431526), never updated

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Name:「狛枝 凪斗」 komaeda nagito.
Birthdate:Apr 28

For a long time Gmork neither spoke nor moved. Atreyu was beginning to fear that the answer would never come, but at length the werewolf breathed heavily and spoke:

“What do you think I am, sonny? Your friend? Take care. I’m only passing the time with you. At the moment you can’t even leave here. I hold you fast with your hope. But as I speak, the Nothing is creeping in from all sides and closing around Spook City. Soon there will be no way out. Then you will be lost. If you stay and listen, your decision is already made. But you can still escape if you choose.”

The cruel line around Gmork’s mouth deepened. Atreyu hesitated for just a moment. Then he whispered: “Tell me the secret. What will I be in the world of humans?”

Again Gmork sank into a long silence. His breath came in convulsive gasps. Then suddenly he raised himself on his forepaws. Atreyu had to look up at him. And then for the first time he saw how big and terrifying the werewolf was. When Gmork spoke, his voice was like the jangling of chains.

“Have you seen the Nothing, sonny?”

“Yes, many times.”

“What does it look like?”

“As if one were blind.”

“That’s right — and when you get to the human world, the Nothing will cling to you. You’ll be like a contagious disease that makes humans blind, so they can no longer distinguish between reality and illusion. Do you know what you and your kind are called there?”

“No,” Atreyu whispered.

“Lies!” Gmork barked.

Atreyu shook his head. All the blood had gone out of his lips. “How can that be?”

Gmork was enjoying Atreyu’s consternation. This little talk was cheering him up. After a while, he went on:

“You ask me what you will be there. But what are you here? What are you creatures of Fantastica? Dreams, poetic inventions, characters in a neverending story. Do you think you’re real? Well yes, here in your world you are. But when you’ve been through the Nothing, you won’t be real anymore. You’ll be unrecognizable. And you will be in another world. In that world, you Fantasticans won’t be anything like yourselves. You will bring delusion and madness into the human world. Tell me, sonny, what do you suppose will become of all the Spook City folk who have jumped into the Nothing?”

“I don’t know,” Atreyu stammered.

“They will become delusions in the minds of human beings, fears where there is nothing to fear, desires for vain, hurtful things, despairing thoughts where there is no reason to despair.”

“All of us?” asked Atreyu in horror.

“No,” said Gmork, “there are many kinds of delusion. According to what you are here, ugly or beautiful, stupid or clever, you will become ugly or beautiful, stupid or clever lies.”

“What about me?” Atreyu asked. “What will I be?”

Gmork grinned. “I won’t tell you that. You’ll see. Or rather, you won’t see, because you won’t be yourself anymore.”

Atreyu stared at the werewolf with wide-open eyes.

Gmork went on:

“That’s why humans hate Fantastica and everything that comes from here. They want to destroy it. And they don’t realize that by trying to destroy it they multiply the lies that keep flooding the human world. For these lies are nothing other than creatures of Fantastica who have ceased to be themselves and survive only as living corpses, poisoning the souls of men with their fetid smell. But humans don’t know it. Isn’t that a good joke?”

“And there’s no one left in the human world,” Atreyu asked in a whisper, “who doesn’t hate and fear us?”

“I know of none,” said Gmork. “And it’s not surprising, because you yourselves, once you’re there, can’t help working to make humans believe that Fantastica doesn’t exist.”

“Doesn’t exist?” the bewildered Atreyu repeated.

“That’s right, sonny,” said Gmork. “In fact, that’s the heart of the matter. Don’t you see? If humans believe Fantastica doesn’t exist, they won’t get the idea of visiting your country. And as long as they don’t know you creatures of Fantastica as you really are, the Manipulators do what they like with them.”

“What can they do?”

“Whatever they please. When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts. That’s why I sided with the powerful and served them — because I wanted to share their power.

“I want no part in it!” Atreyu cried out.

“Take it easy, you little fool,” the werewolf growled. “When your turn comes to jump into the Nothing, you too will be a nameless servant of power, with no will of your own. Who knows what use they will make of you? Maybe you’ll help them persuade people to buy things they don’t need, or hate things they know nothing about, or hold beliefs that make them easy to handle, or doubt the truths that might save them. Yes, you little Fantastican, big things will be done in the human world with your help, wars started, empires founded . . .”

For a time Gmork peered at the boy out of half-closed eyes. Then he added: “The human world is full of weak-minded people, who think they’re as clever as can be and are convinced that it’s terribly important to persuade even the children that Fantastica doesn’t exist. Maybe they will be able to make good use of you.”

— Michael Ende, The Neverending Story, IX. Spook City


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