Thursday, September 27, 2012


Event Horizon
By Gabriel Holt

“Do you smell cherry?” he asked the black hole. The black hole did not answer, which he took as rudeness. “You could at least make the effort,” he snapped. “I’m trying.”

The black hole remained silent. The planet Jupiter breezed through its mouth and it yawned.

“Content, hm? Hmph.” He glared into space, the fuzz of galaxies beckoning him to join but he knew he had his place. He knew he needed to keep to his place.

“You’ve eaten my freedom as well,” he said. “That big stupid gape of yours swallowed my entire life.”

The black hole was a pool of death, after all. It was far beyond death. He resented that, too, guarding a pile of bones. Not as if it had any use.

Maybe, he thought. Maybe he could have backed up before it was too late. Maybe he could have served Andromeda. But Andromeda would become a pile of bones, too. Nowhere to run. Eternity would always be the same.

He looked around, but that made no difference. It was the same view he saw every moment, give or take a few billion stars. The universe was condensed into a bottle cap, pressed into a coin by his vacuum. His vacuum; he didn’t like to think of it that way. He didn’t know what he wanted to think instead. The vacuum’s him? Even worse. He closed his eyes and the universe vanished. He opened them again and it was all there. This exquisite boredom crucified him. It had, and it would, for all of time backwards and forwards and probably even beyond that.

There was nothing much to react to, either. There went Mars, flash crash boom muted like a strangle victim. He could react to that. But he did not. What was planetary suicide other than – well, just that? It could be symbolic, he supposed, but the universe had never been symbolic. It had much more important things to do, like not make sense. He too had lost his sense long ago. That is, if his sense had ever existed. He began to doubt that it had. He wasn’t sure about his own existence for that matter, but his own existence was silent and meaningless as Mars was now. Come on, that had to be symbolic.

The universe, as if shaking its head, catapulted Mercury into the black hole. A bulge slithered through the black hole like a mouse through a snake. Snakes had tiny ribcages – infinite ribcages. He wondered if the stars were the ribcage of the universe, a skeleton to support significant things like dust. He, to the best of his knowledge, had no ribcage. Long ago, this might have concerned him, but it was commonplace now. Now that the universe was a pinprick of blood upon a great swath of black.

But there was no word for blackness like this; it meant everything, not simply black. This was all there was, as in a) this is all there is, as in b) nothing. Nothing that mattered, but a whole lot that didn’t. What? Matter.

He was not sure if his eyes were open again. He never needed to close his eyes or to open them, but sometimes he felt he should because something about it seemed right. Or maybe he was wrong. He didn’t know. Ever since he had tripped and fallen he didn’t know. He probably never would. The planet Earth twirled into the black hole, which embraced it with a cobwebby kiss.

He tried to remember if Earth had meant something to him. He could not.

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I am a young Canadian writer studying at the University of Toronto, an admirer or the nonsensical and the nihilistic. My medium is adoxography, and I enjoy cereal. Some people have published my work, and some people have told me that I smell nice.

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