Conversation on the Eye

Cheer Up Friend, Josh Smyth

1: “Just breathe. Tell me what you see.”

Inhale.

2: “I see a vast ocean… an ocean as deep and violent as any of the raging seas in any of the books ever written or stories ever told.”

1: “What of the water?”

2: “The waters are white, and clear. Trails as dark as coal surround this wet Universe, lined with jagged fence posts shooting up into the sky. Mountains dusted with metallic snow compose this backdrop; beyond them, forests of Eastward-bent trunks line the horizon. The sky resembles gasoline; it’s as pretty as a cobalt bomb.”

1: “Have you ever seen what a cobalt bomb can do…?”

2: “I am fully aware of the power and destruction associated with my Universe. But this salted bomb is not a threat to you, for it is mine and mine alone. I highly doubt even Szilárd took into account my personal ability to construct such a device.”

1: “Tell me of the fences.”

2: “The fences protect the water from intruders.”

1: “Fences attract ravens.”

2: “Then let them perch.”

1: “I detect a change in your demeanor; have I upset you?”

2: “It is of no matter; these streams bleed as you or I. They snake across the white, as roots burrow in the Earth.”

1: “Tell me of the Island.”

It began to_rain.

2: “This Island is made of Emerald, so deep it turns smoke-grey. It is slashed with gold; bands as rich as butterfly wings streak its surface. It is layered, and segmented, and glows when the red water flows.”

1: “It is glowing.”

2: “It is an optical abstraction. The colour does not change; it is what surrounds it that makes it appear changed.”

1: “I see your sea. Tell me of the center.”

It began to_pour.

2: “It is a swirling orb of onyx, and what lies beneath has warped time and space itself. It has distorted everything around it, and it pulses with the rhythm of the Universe. If you listen closely, you will hear the buzz of a thousand Titans growing and the wail of a million stars collapsing.”

1: “The waters are pale as spring roses. Your island is on fire. What will come of it?”

2: “Nothing, it will remain in its state. I would rather see my island ignited in a solemn protest than calm it with a sip from Lethe. I would rather be marooned – swallowed whole by a hole – than dance with dying lambs who murmur as they pass ‘ad astra per aspera’ with round, sad eyes (for unlike the mind, the eyes see more when closed).

1: “…What will come of you?”

2: “I will implode, and explode into every line of prose I have never loathed. I have been branded by the stars; for on my skin lays the constellation of the Vain Queen and sadly, not even my fences can keep Poseidon out. I am no Keine, but I think…”

The water_calmed.
Exhale.

“…I shall like to forever hang upside-down,
while all the rivers of my red veins run into the sea.”

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