Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.

He rocked in the swells, floating like the first germ of life adrift on the earth’s cooling seas, formless macule of plasm trapped in a vapor drop and all creation yet to come.

Evening. The dead sheathed in the earth’s crust and turning the slow diurnal of the earth’s wheel, at peace with eclipse, asteroid, the dusty novae, their bones brindled with mold and the celled marrow going to frail stone, turning, their fingers laced with root, at one with Tut and Agamemnon, with the seed and the unborn.

He looked at the boy. You wont shoot, he said. That’s what you think. You aint got but two shells. Maybe just one. And they’ll hear the shot. Yes they will. But you wont. How do you figure that? Because the bullet travels faster than sound. It will be in your brain before you can hear it. To hear it you will need a frontal lobe and things with names like colliculus and temporal gyrus and you wont have them anymore. They’ll just be soup.

Qualunque cosa esista, disse. Qualunque cosa esista nella creazione senza che io la conosca esiste senza il mio consenso.

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