Saturday, April 19, 2014

Questions (250=1)(A To Z Challenge)


Can you shut off the alarm clock?

Do you have to play the news so loudly?

Are you going to sleep all day?

Won’t you be late for work?

Didn’t you make yourself some breakfast?

Did you hear the sound the car is making?

What time do you think you’ll be home?

Do you suppose you could stop and pick up some bread after work?

Why don’t you watch where you’re going?

Why are you late?

Can you take his call?

Didn’t you know the meeting was starting?

Did you jam up the copier?

What am I supposed to do with this?

Do you consider this acceptable?

Do you want to go to lunch today?

Do you mind if we try that new restaurant?

Have you ever been here before?

What are you going to order?

Do you want to try a little bite of mine?

Should we get a glass of wine?

Would just one drink be so bad?

Do we have to go back to the office just yet?

Do you know how cute you are when you smile like that?

Can’t you make up a sales call or something you had to go to?

Should we take separate cars?

Do you know where that hotel is?

Why don’t you make yourself comfortable?

Are you nervous?

Do you like what you see?

Does that feel good?

Where are you going?

What are you doing home already?

Are those for me?

What’s wrong?

Did you forget the bread?


This is a 250=1 story, which means it's exactly 250 words long, including the title.  I've written a lot of them and you should read them all, which you can do by clicking this to go to a list of them.  DOING SO MAY WELL SAVE THE UNIVERSE.  I mean, that's possible, right? 

Other notes!

FREE BOOKS! Every day in April I'm giving away free books, and the current freebie is The Scariest Things, You CAN'T Imagine, a collection of short horror stories that will blow you away. (Not literally).  Stories like "Astrid Forever," about a guy who's dead wife keeps visiting him with one request: love me.  GET IT BY CLICKING HERE.  

Are you a writer? I want to pay you for what you write.  Click the "We Pay For Stories" tab up top there. 

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story. (A to Z Challenge)




Thank you.

I must speak, and as I am unaccustomed to doing so on my own, I must ask that you refrain from interrupting me.

We are here to decide, after all.

We have come back together to determine first, if there is anything to do, and secondly, what we should do, of our options.

But I fear our time is running out, dear friends, often-lovers, sometimes-enemies.

I fear our time comes, in the way of all things mortal.

We all know what O first surmised, now, of course: we, too, may die, and we know not what awaits us once this existence fades away into another.

Do you hear the thunder?

I do.

Do you see the lightning?

I do.

Do you know of the other worlds we have seen?

You do not – not all of you, as not all of you came with us to the mad sister’s house.

Shall we not blame her, as much as we blame X?

I see you getting restless, bear with me. Remember: I rarely do this on my own. Bear with me!

We debate, yes, but there must be plans before action and debate before plans and so we must debate, and debate quickly, but part of that must be that you must know what happened, there in the dark room of the mad sister.

You must… u must.


Will you not meet my eyes, even now?

There: again: The peal and roll of the end.

I will be quick.

I am awake, she said to us, and those who heard her voice in that moment shuddered.  I am awake, she said, and it seemed to me that it meant more than simply the state of not being asleep.  It meant far, far more than that.

What must it be like, to know that dreams are real and fear them?

I hope never to know.

I am awake, she told us and Diana started forward, her shape, her body, seeming then formless and indistinct as she passed from our world into the world she used to inhabit.  Diana fell upon her sister’s bed, kneeling next to it, trying to clasp her sister’s hand.

Where!” Diana demanded.  It was not a question!

Where!Í” her mad sister shrieked, suddenly, sitting up with a violent jerk and casting aside the bedclothes. 

We were still in the shadows of the room, we letters, and the room was scarcely lit at all by the slightly-brighter night outside.  It seemed to me then that the room was full of shadows of differing depths: the absolute dark of the gloom, the brighter shades of Diana, and the solid obsidian of her sister bursting forth from the white of the sheets that had covered her. Only her eyes were truly visible, and they were crazed with visions that seemed to glow forth from inside her mind.

EVERYWHERE!” her sister howled, the insanity carried on every note of her voice, somehow enunciating each letter in that word as though she both sung them and spat them out at the same time.  This was not a human way of talking.  Who knows when she had last been fully human?

You cannot create without imbuing in your creations something of yourself.  This we know, for when humans created us and when they create with us, we carry bits of them back, but what if you create things no being should know?

What if you create infinities incomprehensible to the mortal mind? What if the expanses you imagine in your fevered dreams are populated by gods and monsters?

What if the gods cannot be distinguished from the monsters?

That is, after all, what we debate here: Who is a god, and who is a monster?

And, if we determine that, what can we do to them?

She appeared monstrous to us then, towering over Diana – though the sister herself was small, frail, even, she loomed and her sad rage somehow made her larger than the room, made her a part of the dark night itself, contained within the room and stretching out of it at the same time, the way dark inside the room is a part of the dark outside of the room.

How…” her mad sister said, her voice faltering then.

Diana looked up at her, meeting her eyes.

How have you come back?” her sister asked.

I do not know,” Diana told her.

Is it possible to come back?” her sister asked.

It is, it seems,” Diana responded.  She reached her hand up, towards her sister’s, and her sister dropped to her knees on the bed.

Where am I?” her sister asked, quietly.

You are here, in your room, dear sister,” Diana whispered, gently.  “You are here, and I am here, and I need to ask you something.

Her sister closed her eyes, put her head in her hands, and then opened them again.

We all fell back, for her eyes carried within them all the infinities of every creation everywhere. They were hollow pits, falling through universe after universe after universe.

WHERE AM I?” her sister wailed.  She threw up her hands, and Diana, incorporeal and untouchable, flinched away nonetheless, and at that the sister’s torments grew louder and more unbearable.

There were those of us who fled, then, and came back here, but I stayed.

I stayed!

And U.  You stayed, as well.

Will you not forgive me?

Will you not stand by my side, to determine whether we can do anything to alter what is happening?

Will you not huddle together with me as the destruction grows closer, as we learn whether we are to have a fate, at all, and what that fate might be?

I stayed, and U stayed, and a few others, and we witnessed the mad sister stand suddenly upright again, and begin dashing around the room.  From the shelves she pulled books, and grabbed from them her frantic writings.  She opened these, flung them around, she opened drawers and brought more out from behind clothing.  She prised up a floorboard and a rolled up sheaf of scribblings followed.  The room appeared to be filled with flock after flock of birds, her instability infecting the entire area as she spun and whirled, the entire time saying, over and over Where am I Where am I Where am I

And then she stopped moving: the papers swirled around her and began to fall, no longer stirred by her dance, the dance that parodied are own.

And then she stopped, and she stared directly at us with those eyes, those eyes that contained within them everything, ever, and she saw us.

She looked right at me, and I confess it; I was afraid!

I was afraid!

I ducked.  I ducked away and tried to hide and I left my U, my beloved U, my truest companion, alone there under her gaze.

U, I am sorry! I will never be able to make it up to you but I shall spend whatever time we have left, trying!  Will you not please look at me once?

The rest of you must know, must know… what happened next.

The sister charged at us, hands clenching at whatever paper scraps she could grasp. She ran through us and disappeared.

Where am I” was the last thing we heard from her.

We did not come back here, not right away.  Perhaps we waited too long?

We did not come back here.  Instead, we followed Diana.

Perhaps that delay has now cost us everything.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Time Is A Penumbra (A To Z Challenge)(250=1)

Time Is A Penumbra.

Almost-shadow: depending on where a person stands, all or some obscuring of the light occurs.

The light is the future.  It shines all around us and over us and on us, but because we stand in the penumbra, the future is eclipsed by the present and so we do not see it.

If you stay in the middle, none of the light gets through and you wander through life exactly like a person in a dark room: unsure, arms outstretched, flinching from easily-imagined collisions with endtables or walls you did not know were in front of you. But if you manage to step to the edge, glimpses of the light are possible.

A man makes his way to the edge of the occluding body, the occlusion being his own existence. He sees some of the light, catches glimpses of his future: sitting on a bus as the Navy Pier recedes, carrying a birthday cake with eleven candles flaring atop it, first clasping hands and then awkwardly hugging another man.  He experiences these things the way eyes experience a photograph: knowing that they are real while also knowing they are images.

The light is painfully bright and one must be careful not to wander too far out, for the light can blind, and make it hard to find one’s way back, so most stay in the shadow or at best stick their head out fleetingly.  Some brave, or foolish, souls go into the light and stay there. 


This is one of those 250=1 stories, in which the story is exactly 250 words long including the title. No more, no less. I guess that's the meaning of the word exactly, though, so you probably got that.  I'm going to eventually write 250 of them and then publish them all in a book, and then be a gazillionaire, and then move to Hawaii, and then find a seashell and then take that seashell back to my home and put it on a shelf by the fireplace, and then probably eat dinner, I guess. I'd probably be hungry by then.

ARE YOU A WRITER? Probably. If so, I PAY FOR STORIES. Click the We Pay For Stories tab at the top for details. (The tab uses the royal We, because tabs are always puttin' on airs.)

I'd get that eye checked out if I were you.
FREE BOOK! The Scariest Things, You CAN'T Imagine is a collection of horror stories that will frighten the living daylights out of you. Honestly. Like The Grave-Robbers, about a family that clones little boys and has catacombs full of bodies below their small farm house. YOU WILL LOVE it, provided that you love horror stories that come in ebooks. Otherwise, you'll be indifferent to it.  CLICK HERE TO GET IT FREE AND FIND OUT HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.

And, finally, the post below is an ongoing story of the alphabet: The Letter X has helped humans get an afterlife, which has resulted in other letters being angry, and in letters becoming more real.  Now, a few of them have resolved to help Diana find her dead lover, and the key to that seems to be Diana's mad sister.  It's really good and you don't have to have read the previous installments to enjoy it. Do I sound too needy? I think I sound too needy.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story (A to Z Challenge)

This is a serialized story; for links to previous installments, go to the end of the post.

Passages opened and we rushed off from the meeting pell-mell to a panoply of experiences!  I followed, though I did not want to, drawn, pulled in, compelled in the way one looks at an accident or perhaps the way one might walk downstairs, late at night, cautiously, one’s heart beating in one’s throat, palpitating, telling oneself over and over that it was nothing, just the cat, but not believing it, anyway.

Interesting that I did not at that time realize that I had never walked down any stairs at night, had never had a heart to beat.  Interesting that I did not realize the change that had been coming over us at that time.

We rushed, after Diana, towards nowhere and everywhere, there being nowhere to go in the abstract, only suddenly there was a where to go, there, in that place that had never had places, and we were able to move physically from

And even


And we moved without moving in that place without places, but we also moved the way real things do: we becoming real as Diana became less so, maybe? Our existences



Becoming more alike each other's and less like they had been.

In an instant or an eon, we were there


We were here.

The cottage, where Diana’s sister lived. We were there.

It was nighttime.

It was dark.

So dark that the room appeared an inkblot, and the only smudge in the complete obscurity before us was the small window through which shone the faint light of a moonless sky clouded over. So dim it was that we could make out nothing in the room, other than that the room existed.

Diana’s mad sister slept, and in her sleep was absolutely motionless, or so it seemed at least in the dark.

I, myself, marveled that I could be here, at all – here, here! HERE! – without anyone calling on me. I had not gone through the dance, I had not been summoned, I had not been pulled out of a dreamless dream into an unreal reality. In the past, I had been unable to make this trip on my own volition, but now was here.

Here. In the dark, where a madwoman slept.

“She is there, sleeping,” Diana told us, those of us who had come with her, who after hearing her story had decided to help her find David, had believed that David must still exist somewhere.

We knew that, of course. We could sense her sister’s presence, even though we could not see her. And something more: standing there, I was aware of the many times I had been called to her bidding, the words we had helped her write down, the poetry she had completed and then hidden away.  I could look around the room in the dark and see the spots, without seeing, knowing they were there: those scraps of paper on which we had helped her write her delusions.

Or were they delusions?

If nothing is something and something nothing, if sense is nonsense and nonsense is sense, if the existence of one thing requires the existence of all things, then wouldn’t the existence of reality mean that there must be dreams?

And would it not then be a matter of perspective, which is which?

“Shall I wake her?” Diana asked us.

We murmured, unsure enough of this new way that we were not willing to lead, we who had always followed.

“I am awake,” came the sister’s voice from the obsidian shadows.

Each letter has had a turn to talk.  Here's links to all of them.  They're best, probably, if read in order but each is also more or less independent and they can be read in any order and result in the same story.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Origami (A to Z Challenge)(Infinite Monkeys)


In a park sits a man.  From out of his pocket, he pulls a small sheet of paper, only about



He folds it,

this way,
that way,
another way,

A          c          r          o          s          s,

y. He p-u-l-l-s
on one end
a crease in, and
suddenly there is a

bird sitting next to him.

The bird looks at him, quizzically.

Was it like that for you?

It asks him.

The man asks was what like what, for him?

Creation, the bird says. Was creation like that for you?

That depends, the man says.  Like what? What was creation like, for the bird, he wonders aloud.

It was tough! The bird tells him.

I began to know, the bird tells him, before I knew what knowing was, and what I knew was that things did not feel right.  Then, as you folded or pressed or pulled or bent, more, I knew more things and saw more things and then I heard things, and then I was here.

Was it painful? The man supposes.

Not painful, not at first, as I did not know what pain was, but the part where you did that thing?

This one, the man guesses, moving his hands around in a certain motion.

Yes, I think that was it, the bird responds.  That part was pretty… hurtful? Is that the word?

That is probably the word, the man says. 

I’m sorry, I don’t know all the words yet, the bird tells him.

I am sorry, the man says, because I did not know it would be painful for you.

It’s not your fault, the bird says.

In a way, the man knows, it is.

The bird thanked him, and flew away.


Okay, this isn't a 250=1 story, because I didn't want to cut it down to 250 words, so it's an "Infinite Monkeys" story.  Infinite Monkeys stories are part of a project I'm working on that you will learn more about probably in August, but for now, they're stories mostly like this.  Here's a list of other Infinite Monkeys stories if you liked this one

OTHER NEWS!  The free book of the day is The Scariest Things, You CAN'T Imagine, a collection of short horror stories like The Deal, in which a young boy is tormented by a demon and gets no help from his parents, or Rage, which has a boy kidnapped by gargoyles and then returning to his mom... mad.  Get it free by clicking here.  

As always, the post below is also an A To Z post, the continuing story of turmoil in the alphabet: When X, overcome by sadness at witnessing a suicide, overlaps the world of the abstract with the real, it gives humans an afterlife but angers many of his fellow letters -- and has the unforeseen consequence of demonstrating that there are many worlds!  Check out O's installment in the next post.


This is a serialized story. Links to the other parts are at the end; it doesn't need to be read in order.



That was the first feeling I noticed, and the first I knew of feelings.

N is right, of course, about nonsense and about truth and about the existence of things, plural, being necessary for the existence of things, as a singular. A universe cannot exist without a universe of things to fill it. Looked at that way, gods do not exist until they create their own existence by creating existence.

But I did not think of those things first: even as the others began to drift away from the discussion, the discussion A and I and others tried to call them back to, I noticed that something was


We were not done! The woman, Diana, was there and was telling us of her life and her death and her journey here, which she insisted was not a journey so much as it was a page being turned, here/there, there/here, with as insubstantial a space between them as the back and front of a piece of paper – the existence we know so well!

Odd that since she began talking, we had not been pulled into a single dance! And yet! And yet!

And yet!

Odd too that we had numerous dances in that time: letters, the other alphabet members, gathered around this new presence joining us – we were 26 and then there were 27 in the meeting, Diana joining us as though she had a place to fill in words, as though she was a signifier even though she was not – and it was odd that we were there… there… there… there, and I noticed it.

Before the madcap race to find the sister, I noticed that we ourselves were changing already too.

I wanted to finish the debate.

I want to finish the debate.

Perhaps the conclusion is foregone: perhaps we cannot, as has been argued, do anything. Perhaps what is done is done and perhaps X is now too powerful to heed us – I saw X, as Diana spoke, looking at us, at me, at them, at Diana, a proud and terrible look of power hiding his fear
(for N is right: one thing bespeaks the creation of another, and if there is power there is fear, because if there is power there is weakness and weakness fears power and yet if there is fear there is courage and so X faced us still, then, unspeaking yet, awaiting his turn to defend his right to defend himself)

…perhaps he was too powerful then and is moreso now, but still we must determine what we may attempt to do about it, even now, after all that has come to pass.

But we were overcome by events!  Overcome not just by the arrival of Diana but by the arrival of ourselves, and I was the first to notice that we were different.

If only one thing exists, N, you were right, then nothing exists, and we had not existed before what X did. We thought we had, in our dreamless dreaming, in our abstract reality, in our visions and scraps and dancing, we thought we existed but we did not, any more than a dream exists.

Does a dream exist? Upon waking, can a dream be said to have been? In a sense, it does: this vision of unreality exists because there is a reality to create it and to contrast it with, but in a sense it does not, for what can exist and then not?

We did not exist before X acted and now, even as Diana’s existence was prolonged – or, if not prolonged by X’s action directed by it—even now,  we didn’t know yet what had happened, our ignorant debate meaning nothing.

I noticed it at the meeting, and as the others, at least those of them who were willing to help her, who had not yet made up their minds or had decided X was in the right, rushed off, I called to them:

“Do not go!” I called.  “Do not go, for we cannot go! Have you not noticed?”

But they had not noticed, not hardly any of them, but I noticed: I noticed shades, shadows, shapes, dreams of me, drifting in and out, I was surrounded by a halo of myself, an aura, an immensity of me, drifting out and back and out and back, as I was called, repeatedly, to the dance and beyond, called to spell, to write, to speak, sometimes, to be engraved, to be written, to be ordered but every time before I had been called I had gone and now I no longer went.

Instead, I stayed and accumulated the millions of existences that previously I had lived through to know of: Now, they were just there.

Is this madness?

Is this what they would find in Diana’s sister?

I sat there, at what was left of our meeting, and felt my shades, my dreams, my wanderings flit out and back and out and back and back and out, and I knew that things would always be different, from then on: I knew that I would no longer dance as I had, and that I would no longer be the harbinger sent out, the memory sent back.  I knew that the dreamlike existence we had led was now merely a dream, brought to me on the flitters of other selves sent out.

Is this madness?

Is this madness: to know a million worlds and exist in only one?

“Do not go,” I whispered, as my shades flitted away, and back, carrying with them stories of the world I would no longer visit: my becoming real made the real world become a dream for me, a dream I once had and would have for the rest of eternity.

When I die, shall I go to the world I once visited in the thoughts of humans? Or is there yet another world out there for beings like me, abstractions forced to bear the weight of the real, whether they willed it or not?

I cursed X, then, cursed him in sobs as the meeting broke up and the others left me there, alone, I cursed him, for in granting the humans unreality, he had forced unreality to become more real. By decreeing that humans would not die, X had determined that I, someday, would.

I cursed X then, and I curse him now.

“Do not go,” I whispered… to everyone but X.


Each letter has had a turn to talk.  Here's links to all of them.  They're best, probably, if read in order but each is also more or less independent and they can be read in any order and result in the same story.

A's story is here and B's hereC talks hereHere is DE's version of events was hereF was hereAlso, GH spokehere. Then I, then J . Click here for k, and here for L.
Then there's M's story, here, 

Then N.

And we pick up with N telling the tale:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Naomi Does It Again, Again (A To Z Challenge)(250=1)

Naomi Does It Again, Again.

Everything in everyone’s life is a challenge. Whether you like it or not, that’s how it is.

It is.

Take Naomi’s life.  Some of her challenges are obvious.   She is, for example, training for a half-marathon.  Don’t sneer, because even though “Iron Man” competitions and those races where people zap you with tasers have upped the ante, a half-marathon is not nothing.

It isn’t.

Naomi’s other challenges include deciding whether to actually marry Alfred, who she suspects maybe isn’t worth it, getting that promotion at her job so she can have an office, not a cubicle, and trying to find a copy of a out-of-print book she read in the sixth grade and wants very much to have to pass down to her daughter, causing her to visit the second-hand book store on her lunch and sometimes be late back to work.

Another challenge for Naomi will be having a daughter but in the big scheme of things that one will not be too hard.

And right this moment

Right… now

…Naomi’s challenge is finding a parking spot at the movie theater. She’s camping out for the next week to be the first to see the new Star Wars installment. She was first in line to see each of the first six, and (spoiler alert!) she’ll be first this time.  Second in line will be a nice guy named Stephen. She’ll recognize him from the used book store, and he’ll help overcome two other challenges.


Every day for the A to Z Challenge, there's a new short story.  This was a 250=1 story -- a story that's exactly 250 words long, including the title.  If you liked it, there's a whole list of the other ones I've written here.

Every day in April I'm giving away a free book! Today's the last day to get my collection of short stories, Just Exactly How Life Looks totally free! It includes the story Thinking The Lions, originally published in The Adirondack Review, and it includes the sweeping story of an artist's attempt to recreate his mom's memories in Panorama, one of my favorite stories ever.  What've you got to lose? Click here to get it free.

And, if you're interested, the next post is ALSO an A To Z Post, an ongoing story of turmoil in the alphabet that is far more philosophical and weird than even that sounds:


The world was once just a place where reality and abstract never really crossed.  Then, with the help of X -- himself something of a cross -- the two overlapped in a bid to grant humanity the immortality they always dreamed existed in an afterlife.  That made many of the other letters mad, and they called a meeting to determine what to do about it, but midway through the meeting it became apparent that humans were starting to come to their realm, and the letters themselves were becoming more real.  So some of the letters set off with Diana, whose dead lover started all this, to figure out what really is happening.

Each section of this story is told from the perspective of one of the letters.

A's story is here and B's hereC talks hereHere is DE's version of events was hereF was hereAlso, GH spokehere. Then I, then J . Click here for k, and here for L.
Then there's M's story, here, 

And we pick up with N telling the tale:


It was a nonsensical idea. It was never going to work. Never! Needless to say nobody wanted to do it. Nobody!

But we did it.

Or we tried.

Or we did.

Who knows?

Nonsense: it is not just the lack of any meaning; sometimes nonsense can be the absolute meaning of truth! Nonsense is a tautology, a statement that is so true as to carry no meaning with it whatsoever, the frictionless glide of meaninglessness against itself and meaning against itself are both nonsense for it is only in context that things can have meaning, and meaning can only be measured against the background of a lack of meaning.

One thing cannot exist without another thing because if there is only one thing there is no need to number, and thus if only one thing exists, that thing is everything, but since in that case there is no count of things, no thing exists: if there is one thing it is everything and thus nothing.

And so it was nonsense as absurd as nothingness and as meaningful as the absolute truth that both led us to undertake this mission and that awaited us at the end of it.

Tell us how you got here!” M commanded, and Diana did, or tried to.  She spoke and spoke, as long as she could, describing over and over the scene.

She had come from church, the very church where we had seen her lighting candles, the very church where we had watched her cry, the very church where the smell of incense and melting wax lingered among the cold stones and hard wood of benches.  She had come from there and had returned to her small home, where she had not turned on the lights.  In an upper room, above her own bedroom, her small, mad sister was still awake, her light beaming out onto the backyard that led to the forest that led to the wilderness, away away away from the front walk that led to the street that led to the highway that led to the city.  

On the one side: peace and nature and solitude and quiet and green, scented flowers drooping into the night and curling up, nocturnal birds beginning to swoop, the sun’s last lingering green hallucinatory blink flickering-and-leaving.  

On the other: chaos and sound, lights, movement, horns honking and people clapping and silver clanking and lovers kissing and buildings towering and movement movement movement, people entertwining in a curious dance of their own, as similar to our own as it was different than our own.

Diana left the one and went to the other, each as true as the other, each as false as the other. She entered her house, paying no mind to the light of her sister’s room above.

She sometimes sits up all night, writing,” Diana said.

What does she write?” I asked her.

Diana said “She does not show me. She hides them, her papers. She puts them in locked boxes, tucks them into books, eats them if she feels they will be found. I asked her once what she writes and she said this: I write worlds.”

That was our first clue!

I write worlds.

When one thing only exists, nothing exists in the midst of everything.  But once more than one thing exists, then everything exists!

Creation is the act of multiplication: creation means multiplying.  What do you get when you multiply by one? The thing, again.

1 x1 =1 , but 2 x 1= 2 and 3 x 1 = 3 and every time you multiply by one you have made that thing again, again, again!

I write worlds, her sister said to her and Diana had paid little attention to the mad ravings of her younger sister, writing day after day after day in her solitary room, never leaving it, asking only for paper, and pens, and some bread and soup.

She eats only tomato soup, and only rye bread. Sometimes she will take some butter.  She does not read the books she has, so far as I can tell. Rather, she hides them in her closet, or puts them in the boards of the wall.  She does not leave the room, has not since she moved in there after our mother died.  She writes and writes and will not show me what she writes.

But we know what she writes, do we not? We are what she writes, we are!



That was our first clue, and we made Diana go over and over it again.

I write worlds.

Have you read them? We asked her.

I tried, but she threw herself on the ground and screamed, howled, roared, and I left off trying to read them. She does not like me to even enter her room, and I make her leave it only to bathe, each day, during which time she insists that I stand outside the bathroom, door ajar so she can see me. When I change her bedclothes, I find papers folded a dozen or more times, tightly sealed, and I must ignore them and make the bed and later when I come to look at her, they are gone again.

Does she talk about them? We asked her.

No. She does not talk unless she must and then it pains her.

If only one thing exists then nothing exists, and if humans were only one thing they would not exist after all . They must have been both mortal and immortal, for only in the context of one can the other be.  How can one be mortal without an immortality to compare it to? How can one die if there is no life, how can one end unless there is something that one could have kept going into? 

Nonsense is the lack of context to surround truth: truth, on its own, makes no sense. When I say 1 x 1 = 1 it is both true and absolutely meaningless.

But when I say that the existence of one thing means that it has necessarily multiplied into another thing, leaving itself as the original creation, and another thing to compare it to, you can see what I mean.

So I suppose our first clue was, in fact, Diana’s tautology: If my soul is eternal, his is, too.

To be mortal means there must be an eternity against which mortality is measured.

To be human means there must be a soul.

If there is a body that is mortal and a soul that is immortal, then that soul does not end any more than the body continues.

We agreed to help Diana find David, and if our first clue that there was a David to find was the nonsensical truth Diana spoke, then our first clue of where to find David was when Diana told us her mad sister spent her days locked in a finite room, creating universes and then hiding them from herself.