He can breathe it, see it, feel it, in every inch of his soul.
Time and space; halted. Completely standstill.
Everything in the universe has stopped - all frozen in time. Apart from him.
He understands everything.
With the world like this, a world where movement ceases to exist, he sees things for what they truly are.
He sees stardust and light; colours and shadows.
He can see his friend- a bright yellow swirl of candy floss colours emanating from his frozen body like water cascading down rocks.
He sees hope, life, happiness.
He sees death, darkness, destruction.
The world is his.
It belongs to him.
He is the world.
He is everything.
It hits him, a harsh slap in the face. He has control.
Total, complete control.
Right now, as he stands here, he can destroy everything.
He can get rid of his friends, his enemies, strangers and animals.
He can, in an instant, wipe every single living thing away from the world. He can remake everything in his own image.
He could, he can, make a perfect world.
Nobody would feel pain, hurt, anything.
They’d never feel hunger, sadness.
Only happiness, joy, everything he longed for on dark nights and lonely evenings.
No child would feel the cold like he once had.
They wouldn’t feel the chill that embedded itself in your very bones, a memory that could never be remembered - yet never forgotten.
Always there; lurking, like a bad smell. Unable to run, unable to hide.
He could stop that, stop all of this.
He has the decision.
But he can’t.
The world, while it may be imperfect, may have faults and sadness and darkness and evil, while it may not be what everyone wants, is still the world he’s grown to love.
Regardless of his true form, his realisation of being an empty vessel for his greatest enemy, he still grew up in this world.
He was made to be a tool, a mould, to build his vision.
But he could think and feel. He made friends, he fell in love, and he was happy.
No matter the doubt, the uncertainty he felt, knowing that it had all - technically - been a lie, he knew, deep within his bones, that what he had, what he would get back, was more real than anything on this planet.
So as he gazed at the universe in its most basic form, as he stared at the silhouettes of his friends and the bright lights that burst from within, as he gazed at the shadows and the pain and the suffering, he knew that, no matter what, he couldn’t erase this.
He felt guilt.
Was he being selfish?
Would his friends reset the world?
Would they do it, if it meant rebuilding a world abandoned of pain and suffering?
No matter how hard it would have been, for him, for them all.
A world could never truly exist without the bad.
It was a dark thought, but then his friends had always called him a pessimist.
But he knew that those bad times just made the good ones all the more special.
Maybe he was being selfish.
Holding on to this world, to remain with his friends.
(No, his family)
But he wanted to.
He wanted to be with the people he loved until the day he died.
He didn’t want this eternal life, he didn’t want to control a world that seemed perfect.
If his entire life had been an illusion, created by this so-called god, then he wanted something real.
And he knew exactly what to do.
So he wished.
He wished with all his heart, the stardust and lights and colours dancing around him, coiling around his wrists like ribbons and curling into shapes and patterns and strange yet magical things, he wished.
That was it.
He felt time start again, he felt the brush of wind against his cheeks, and the scent of smoke and fire filled his nostrils.
It was unpleasant, but it was real.
It was just as real as his friends, completely unaware of what had just taken place, and the choices he’d just made.
It was as real as his friend, his best, closest friend, wrapping his arms around him in a tight hug.
It was as real as the scent of freshly cut grass and wood shavings that he had always smelt of.
It was as real as the softness of his hair and the roughness of his lips against his own.
Yes, it was all real.
And he knew that.
He’d wished for a world without gods.