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I've been gone so long, I wonder if anyone remembers me.
I have written something. This is the thing I wrote instead of working on my book, which is due at the end of this month.
That sentence pretty much describes my entire life.
Thanks for reading.
After the explosion, we spent weeks sifting through the rubble. No one, not one of the many people who showed up to help, wanted to go near the single untouched house at the epicenter of the destruction.
So I did it.
The house was in perfect order, nothing out of place. The refrigerator was full, the kitchen table held a bowl of oranges. Everything was arranged as if the owner had merely stepped out for an evening walk, and intended to return. The only thing out of place, the only inconguous thing in the entire house, was the writing on the kitchen wall. In clear, black marker pen, it read:
I know a word you can live on for a year.
I know a word that stops time, and another that speeds it up.
I know the language of birds, and the tongues of the insect peoples.
I know a word that can kill, and another that brings animals back to life.
I know why your temples pound, and why you wake in the night gasping for breath. I know why you feel a slow mounting tension, a roaring in the ears, a fire in the blood.
I do not know how to make it stop.
There is a bomb in the universe next door, an explosion of energy.
Energy is only matter speeded up.
Matter is only energy slowed down.
Energy can become matter.
Prepare to be invaded.
Later, late at night, I went back. I don't know why.
It was 3am. The world was dark and silent. Overhead, the cold stars looked down on the world through an unclouded sky. I thought about how I was looking out, and not up, at the stars. I went inside.
The house was just as before. I had no flashlight. I used the pale light of the stars, and the waning moon, to see my way around.
There was the writing, clear and stark on the wall, even in the dim light. I approached it. Reached out to touch it.
There was a sound, something distant and faint, impossibly far away.
I came closer.
I put my ear against the wall.
Distant, far and faint, I heard it. The sound of titanic machinery. Of gears and mechanisms so vast, so powerful, that they can create worlds.
Or destroy them.
I left. I walked away into the night. I don't know what happened to the house. For all I know, it is still there.
"Quit this world, quit the next world, quit quitting!" -Sufi proverb.