The flash was barely noticeable, seen askance. Ancient reflexes acted; I whipped my arms to turn myself. Maybe I did. I couldn’t perceive it. The light was gone before I could react, and all was black once again.

I sighed in mind if not in practice. Another black hole evaporating catastrophically as it reached the Hawking limit. That last made one billion exactly. Hurray.

It must’ve been a supermassive one in the core of some long-dead galaxy; they’re all that’s left now. Besides me of course. The last one blew up over 10^92 years ago.

Time is long. Idiot.

I swore in a trillion languages, taking my time, stretching out each syllable in my head, letting each last a year. Then I did it again.

I remember everything. I was an idiot.

Sure, I’ll make a deal, I said. I’ll be specific, I said. No aging. No insanity. My memory will be perfect. Nothing will be able to hurt or kill me.


Idiot. Even the Devil himself must have long ago disintegrated. All that’s left is me. And the black holes.


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