fire eye’d boy [the glass onion]

“…Hey wait… So — Jonathan knows how to not-exist?”

Julian sputtered then convulsed with laughter.

“Is it funny?”

“Is what funny?”

“Well something must be funny.”

“I’m not laughing.”

“Nor me.”

“Me eith–“

“Fuck! Shut up you rubes! …It took five fucking minutes!”

“What did?”

“Jonathan didn’t talk for that long.”

“Maybe about that long.”

“Was it five minutes? I don’t use a chronometer.”

“Everyone has one.”

“I don’t have mine in conscious mode.”

“Do you Julian?”

“Yes, Julian, do you? And what is funny about this amount of time?”

“More like, What was funny during.”

“What was funny before and or after.”

“What is funny because of five minutes.”

“Always so vague, this one… Too afraid to be wrong.”

“You’re an asshole, Dylan. You, specifically. You are precisely an asshole.”

“Shut up you two! We haven’t resolved the matter of the five minutes. …Maybe in another five you two can get back to eschewing the issue at hand, like you always do, to critique one another.”

“Critique implies thoughtfulness. While they usually begin with either Dylan going on about vaugeries or Raster at the other when he–”

“We all have foibles. …And I am sorry to cut you off, but you take forever to say nothing, V.”

“Damn it! Five minutes! What’s the humor?”

“The humor of it.”

“From it.”

“What’s humor to do with it?”

“Oh wow, no! That is the worst possible wording–”

“You.. Gotta shut the fuck up! …Fucking morons!”

Julian collapsed, choking and gasping on the laughter that racked him. As his diphragm tried to rip him in two like, he felt the cold glass of the floor against his forearm.

When he found this place, his bare feet found the glass… Strange…

“How did you find me?”

“Find you? Should I have been looking?”

“No.”

“Is someone? More than one? Why?”

“Oh hell. …I meant hello. I’m Jonathan. You must be Julian.”

“Why must I be Julian? …And how could I be when I am not?”

“You look just like him. Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus. Julian–”

“The Apostate.”

“Yes! Just like him.”

“I’m partial to my actual name, which–”

“Julian, here you will be called after a righteous and virtuous pagan. IT knows we could use a little apostasy.”

“IT. The Silent Thing. The Unknown and Unknowable. The–”

“And you complain when given a second name! Imagine how IT feels!”

“One imagines it does not. …Surely not as we do. No more than it does — nor canthink as we do.”

“Yes… IT used to be a lot more fun, didn’t it?”

“What? …I mean, I’m sorry?”

“I am old, emperor. Very old.”

“…And?”

“How old do you think our God is?”

“Which one?”

“The one we made.”

“Same question.”

“Julian, indeed!”

Everyone strained to be closer to Julian, who fell to the glass and also into a waxy catatonia. The Onion was silent.

“…He talked to God… “

The words went into the air, and the glass killed them high above and just below.

Beneath the floor, beyond what seemed to be two feet of glass, was The Void. Julian’s open eyes, which saw the past while seemingly fixed miles and miles into the abyss glowed  a searing and dancing flickering red…

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