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The end of the world

He can place it now, the noise, the low whine rising. Everyone breathing together, said the end of the world. But breathing their first or last?

He flips through his notebook. Even the inside cover is layered in incomprehensibly dense script, black on white on black repeating, but he remembers writing his name first in case he were to lose it. It’s still down there somewhere. Information can be neither created nor destroyed.

What does it take to wash ink from memory? He touches the edge of one page with his still-bleeding finger. The paper sucks hungrily, and then he knows.