The thief had come to the end of the world, where the blue spruce grows. He knew — or believed, which is much the same thing — that over the edge of the world lived a god. Not a wise god, not a powerful god. An old god — the oldest god. The god who lives. For death comes to all gods, yes, even to them, when they have long outlived the men who worshipped them & who burned rare incenses in their names. To all, that is, save to that god who lives over the edge of the world, whose forests are all of blue spruce. He was bold, the thief, and young, but he knew the fear of death, and so there were things he could not do, thefts he must not assay. The thought of it rankled his pride.
So he had come to the end of the world, to force the secret of his immortality from the undying god. He had a ladder, a strong and sturdy thing of twisted rope, a hundred feet long and more. This he tied to a tree and threw over the edge. As he climbed the light of the world faded and he descended through blackness. Far below fires burned. He came before them, and they were the eyes of the god, and the face of the god was terrible. He screamed, soundlessly (for sound is of the world), and leapt from the ladder. The eyes of the god, which do not blink, watched him as he fell, and were unmoved.
His scream was cut off, and no echo remained behind.