He had to write a story and it had to be good. Or at least interesting. Something that might make someone smile, maybe whisk them away to a rarely visited part of their brain. You get the idea.

He didn’t.

The world for him right then was stale and boring and devoid of anything that might have story potential. He chewed pencils, balled paper, and drank water. Nothing.

The window was opened. A sandwich was prepared, cut into neat halves and eaten. The wingdings alphabet was analyzed extensively. And yet no story would come. There was truly nothing to write about.

There was this little squishy ball Earth he kept in his top drawer just for occasions like this. He took it out. Looked it over. Squished it.

As soon as he did, the sky outside his window folded in on itself; a couple clouds burst from the pressure. Our guy didn’t notice.

He held the ball in the palm of his hand and contemplated squishing it harder. Didn’t. Instead, he studied how his lamp shined onto the miniature North America in front of him.

He turned the squishy planet Antarctica-up. No one ever paid enough attention to that place.

As he turned the Earth in his hands, the sun whooshed out of the sky in a hurry and plunged everything into premature night. I shit you not. Our guy noticed that one, alright.

He brought North America back to the top, into the light. The sun returned to the sky as if it never left.

There followed a period where he sat immaculately still, just staring at the planet. But something had to be done. And naturally he figured that something was for him to turn off his lamp.

Nighttime. Pitch black.

Turned it back on: blinding sunlight.

He hovered his pinky finger over the U-shape of Lake Michigan, searched for Chicago at the left side of the U’s curve. He looked out his window, but he knew what he’d see. A finger that was the sky itself, its fingerprint a snaking, twisting, inverted mountain range that’d make Everest look like a bunny hill.

He pulled his finger away. The sky was clear again. He yanked open his second drawer then, rifled through its contents as the other, Earth-cradling hand remained perfectly still. Finally found what he was looking for: tweezers.

Brought the tweezers back over that familiar U-shape, until twin metal monstrosities hovered in the sky, dangerously close to his house. To his opened window.

He looked at the tweezer tips, both in his hand and looming in his periphery. Thought it over. He edged the tweezers closer, till their tips were grazing the back of his shirt. Before he could tell himself not to, he clamped down tight and whisked himself away.

And the whisker got whisked away.

And the whisker’s whisker got whisked away.

And the whisker’s whisker’s whisker got whisked away.



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