The Rattlesnake and Thee Chaotician

His mind was far from where every thought could be its own reward.  His suit and hair was ruffled and he seemed bothered by something, like he wanted to be somewhere else.  Like the world around him was a lie that he had to escape from. And the daylight poured in around him like a curse, it touched his pale skin like the flat end of a knife, like a threat pretending not to be. So he stared at the younger man who was dressed head to toe in black with an unfashionable trenchcoat, who seemed less phased by the same curse, who stood in front of a large pane of glass and stared aimlessly into space; and the suited rattler played into his game with a simple question.. “If I am a riddle, can you solve me?”

Thee Chaotician turned from some aimless daze through a window, but his face of inquisition did not last long, and quickly turned to something else, like a realization followed by solemness and stillness. And he leaned back into an upright posture with arms crossed, as though the long jacket he was wearing wasn't enough to block out the cold temperature of the room, and he uttered a single, calm, “No.”

“I am a problem that can't be solved, then.” The rattler almost seemed to grin, as if this was as much a good thing as a bad thing.

“How curious and maybe unfair, for you to speak to me as though I have failed to solve you, it was more of a truth that I have failed to bear, as I stared into this light and already knew. And I'll say this, in case I've never said it before, we may be the same, but I'm not the same anymore.”

The rattler stood alone in the room now, with no human-sized climactic puffs of smoke to mark the exit of his friend, just a long slow drag of vapor in and out of his lungs. And he went towards a large metal switch, connected to the office's light source or two, and flipped it down and up with a loud clang. The quaint office and its bookshelves disappearing, with a well-drafted or drafty warehouse around him, and in the office's stead.

Cumulous clouds and bright, light blue skies filled the windows and giant open door, with barely any shelving around, most of it empty inside of the big metal building.

Thee Chaotician appeared again, but his longcoat was gone, he was growing more normal by the second. The Rattler sipped an energy drink with a rabbit logo on it, and looked at the boy with a grin, “You are growing more normal by the second! I knew you wouldn't truly disappear without a puff of smoke. But maybe now even that is now too absurd for you!”

I remember that there was a pause where neither of us spoke.

“This place is quite inappropriate, this warehouse is too bright, we both would do better to say goodbye at night.” The Chaotician said.

The rattler threw his empty can to the side and the aluminum skidded across the cement. He saw a darkness forming in the sky, like massive storm clouds growing and fading into increasingly darker greys. And before he knew it there was shadow all around them.

“Leaving so soon? What if I have another riddle for you?” The suited man sarcastically rattled.

The man in more black chuckled and bragged, “I've seen train cars crash and the blind open doors, buildings detach and solids pour.”

Where the energy drink once was, there was now a cold splotch of liquid and shattered glass on the cement floor, and the rattler stretched out his arm and fingers with a tired, unimpressed look. The glass and liquor gathered together in his hand like a shattered visage held together by some mysterious force-- no different than the question about to rise from him, “Viruses or incentives, which do you like more?  Thought or desire, which do you live for?”

"You know the answer to that question." The Chaotician said, and with that, he turned his back and began to walk away, and vanished in a large puff of bright, white smoke.

The rattlesnake took on a satisfied look in his eyes, took a sip of alcohol, and muttered calmly under his breath, "Where every thought can be its own reward."

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