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the end of the world

“I never understood this part,” he says, in darkness. “Shouldn’t we be suffocating in stomach acid now?”

“I told you,” she says, impatient for once, “realities overlap.” Lamplight flickers behind them and he sees that they’re not in a whale’s belly after all: the wall is stone.

He raises his hand. On the wall, it shadows a wolf.

“This place illustrates the trap of sapience: the inability to perceive reality by any other means than the senses.”

“But we’re not chained here,” he says.

“Like the best traps,” says the end of the world, “it lets you believe you are free.”