—Wendell Berry, "Sabbaths" (1979, X)
One common theme in fantasy and science fiction is the terrible destructive force beyond good and evil, the abyssal Things that send dark lords and supervillains running for their mommies, the tentacled world-devouring monsters with minds so eldritch, so alien, we cannot begin to understand them. (Those who try lose their minds.) These Things always exist just outside reality, waiting for the inevitable breach in its thin shell, when they can surge in and consume. They don't destroy out of malice—which would give us the comfort of knowing that we matter. They destroy simply because they don't know or care that we feel. They cannot distinguish a life from a speck of dust. They move through the realms as they will, and those who can't get out of the way are annihilated. It is neither a heroic nor a tragic death. It is an abrupt, anticlimactic punctuation mark casting the short sentence of your existence in a meaningless light.