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the end of the world

Waves soften the smeared-out traces of his figure.

“There’s only one place safe from it,” says the end of the world, stepping out onto a wave. “Where nothing can really be inscribed.”

“That’s absurd!” he snaps, trying to follow. He doesn’t have the trick of it: he splashes where she skates. “There are plenty of symbols in the sea. White whales, albatrosses–for heaven’s sake, look what you’re doing–”

“Not the water,” she says, “although it’s better than the sand.” The sea floor drops out beneath him; he treads.

“Then where?” he gasps.

Rising, the great beast swallows them both.