• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 12
Image by

A Separation

You stand very still, and you listen. You hear the nothing, stretching from the city's borders to this place of empty tranquility. Beneath your bare feet is the cold, rough surface of rock. The nothing is alarming, so you focus on the rock. You try to understand a hundred million years, willing your feet to feel them pass. Your cloak is heavy, warm, coloured in sympathy with the volcanoes you have only ever seen on the television. If you could stand long enough, you would see the clouds grow and decay with wind and sun. Your feet might take root, might harden and crack and merge with the stone beneath them, and then you would feel the years pass.

But you will not stay. The wind lifts your cloak, strokes and pushes at the tender, soft skin. The big sky frightens you. Instead of becoming one, you and the world feel more separate than ever. You think of all the ways you might die. A crumble of rock. A slip into the sea. Tiny, meaningless movements.

You are cold. You would like to go home, and see a volcano on the television.