Once the word is uttered aloud, there is a seismic shift. You will feel it.

Like a (very short) thread through the eye of a needle, swiftly in and swiftly out.

The air itself becomes thin, steely.

At the periphery of your vision, an immediate dimming. The penumbra begins to shrink. In time, it will become a tunnel. Ever diminishing. Until the remaining light is small enough to be cupped in two hands. And then it will be extinguished.

Flash fiction by Joyce Carol Oates. —The New Yorker

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