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A Simple Story
“Where do you think people go when they die?”
“It’s just I’ve been wondering lately about-“
“Yeah yeah, I get it.”
“So where do you think we go when we die?”
“Oh…..I thought it would be something like that.”
Horatio turned to me frustratedly. His beady eyes looked even smaller as he squinted at me.
“You’re kidding,” he grunted.
“No,” I said with a straight face. Horatio looked at me for a moment more, still incredulous, and then sighed and laid his head down again.
“How was school?” he asked, not looking at me but at the sky.
“It was fine,” I looked up at the sky as well. “We dissected a sheep’s eyeball.”
“A sheep’s eyeball?” Horatio glanced in my direction. “That’s disgusting.”
“Yeah, it didn’t seem too bad until Jacob Dean accidently cut off his finger with the scalpel,” I said.
Horatio looked strangely at me. I looked back, not knowing why he was confused.
“What?” I asked.
“Is he okay?” Horatio asked it like it was something I should have brought up immediately.
“Jacob? Yeah, he was rushed over to the hospital immediately. I thought that was obvious,” I said.
Horatio looked at me for a moment more, still incredulous, and then sighed and laid his head down again.
“You sure are a strange kid,” Horatio said.
I thought about it for a while.
“I suppose I am,” I said, and looked back up at the sky. “I can see you, after all.”
“Yes, that you can,” Horatio continued to look at the sky. “Why exactly do you think that you can do that? I’ve scanned you over many times, but you don’t exert any magical aura. But you can see me, and everything else that humans can’t. Not only that, but you’re protected from me whenever I try to kill you. Why is that?”
I thought about it for a while.
“I don’t know,” I pushed up my glasses. “I just know that I’ve always been able to see you all.”
Horatio glanced at me. Then he sighed and stood up.
“Edgar,” he said. “You do realize what it is that you can see, don’t you? We’re the things that inspired Poe, and Lovecraft. We’re the stuff of nightmares, of horror, of insanity itself. And we’re so utterly powerful, that your very existence would be completely insignificant to us if we actually cared enough about you.”
“I know,” I said.
Horatio looked at me for a moment more, questioning. He didn’t seem to understand. He didn’t seem to know if I was already insane, or if I was just messing with him, or if I did indeed possess power at a level that rivaled his own. Finally, Horatio merely turned his head away and looked back up to the sky.
“Why do you look at it?” he asked. “It’s nothing more than an illusion, really. The sky hides the full scope of the heavens from Man’s tiny, insignificant eyes. It’s a blanket that you put over you heads to convince yourselves that you have real meaning in this vast emptiness. Is that why humans only come out during the day?”
“I suppose so,” I said. “It’s very plausible. But look.” I pointed at the moon. “There’s still a bit of that emptiness creeping in, isn’t there? We may not look like it, but I’m sure that a lot of humans do know about how small we are. Maybe that’s why we’re so optimistic, because we think that we can change that.”
“Those are a fool’s thoughts,” Horatio snorted. “You can’t admit your insignificance and hope to change it. You’d have to be mad.”
“But we are mad,” I blinked up at Horatio. “That’s what makes us interesting, and that’s what makes us human.”
Horatio looked at me incredulously.
“You are a very strange young man, Edgar Isaacs,” Horatio looked up again.
I know,” I chuckled. “I’m often told that at school.”
“Speaking of school,” Horatio said. “That Thomas boy hasn’t been picking on you again has he? If you like I can drive him insane, maybe even crucify him on a post in some cornfield, with thorns running through his esophagus.”
“No, it’s fine,” I said. “I’ll handle Tommy on my own. Thank you though.”
“Hmph, you’re no fun,” Horatio smirked.
I chuckled again, and looked up at the sky again.
“Do you think you could help me with my math homework? I’ve tried it by myself, but I still can’t seem to get it.”
“’Sigh’…fine. I’ll help you.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.”