When I entered the restaurant, I could see plainly which one was him. Although the dress of the patrons was formal, none looked quite as polished as he. He wore a crisp business suit whose colors matched perfectly with the shining silver mask covering the visible half of his face, neatly leaving room for one eye.
I made my way over to the table without waiting to be seated: the reservation was for the two of us, after all. I seated myself opposite him and took a better look at his face. I must confess that I practically jumped out of my seat.
The other half of his face was quite different. I had expected a continuation of the neat mask he had been wearing. Instead, across the bridge of his nose, the metal seemed to tarnish to black. And, what was more, the mask on the right side of his face was moving, shifting from side to side as if he were alive.
He smiled pleasantly at me. There was a slight quirk on the right side of his mouth. I spoke slowly, still not sure of what I was seeing.
“You must be…”
“That’s right,” he said. The smile on the left half of his face was cold in its perfection, and his voice was precise and articulate. “Order, personified. I understood you had some questions?”
“Well, yes, I did, but I didn’t expect…” Lost for words, I gestured towards the right side of his face. He bared his teeth in a grin, and I shied away somewhat. While the teeth on the left side were perfectly white and even, the others were crooked and yellow. The contrast spooked me.
“You didn’t expect me, too?” said Chaos, leaning back in his chair. This voice was more normal in my eyes, but it still disturbed me somewhat. “Not very bright of you. I am everywhere, even here.”
I looked around at the starched-clean interior of the restaurant. “How so?”
“I’ll explain it to you,” promised Chaos. “But first, we may as well… order… some food.” He chuckled at his own joke. I smiled nervously.
The waitress came and went. My dinner companion ordered a steak. Having lost my appetite somewhat, I ordered a salad instead. Order leaned forward in his chair, resting his right elbow on the table. I couldn’t help but notice that the suit looked shabbier on that side.
“So, your questions.”
“You don’t stand on small talk much, then?” I said lightly.
“What point is there in it, exactly?” This was Chaos’s voice again. “Nothing at all, unless you find comfort in rituals of so-called politeness. With all due respect to myself”—he gestured at his left half—“I don’t believe there’s much point in it.”
“What is the nature of the world?” I asked. Chaos whistled at my question, but it was the voice of Order that answered.
“The world is an interesting place,” he said. “In both my aspects, I am here. But if you are questioning the nature of this world more deeply, perhaps a demonstration is in hand.”
He pulled a BlackBerry out of his pocket and pressed a few buttons. An image of the world as it appeared from space covered the small screen. Quite abruptly, it seemed to cover the entire room. I looked down at the stars wheeling beneath me, then looked at Order somewhat frantically. He treated me to his strange smile once again.
“For you to completely understand this, we must go back to the beginning of the universe.”
One and the same
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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:20 AM
This piece is based off of a dream that I had about a week back. I've been working on it since then, but it's by no means finished or polished. Feel free to comment.
Careful. This link is DANGEROUS. Do NOT click it. This one, however, is fine.
I had the meaning of life in my signature, but it exceeded the character limit.
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