Absence Eternal

Started from a thought jotted down while driving to work, like those shoulder advisors we’ve seen repeated.

Absence Eternal 

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

“You’re here again?” 

A demon of ember skin sits gargoyle on the lunch table cover watching Timmy Schwartz walk to chemistry class. 

“What do you want?” 

Sparks fly off the grin that displays a set of charcoal teeth, “I’m here to show you your future.” 

Timmy stops and looks up at the domon, “why don’t you just go away my future is fine without you,” stomping off backpack bouncing. 

“When will one turn out? They don’t know the privilege they’re missing, somehow I’m only visible to the shy ones. 

“The chemical chain of atoms is made up from a series of bonds; the placement of these bonds determine the type of the element,” says the teacher. Timmy looks around, did he hear her right, did she just say bomb? 

“Boo!” 

Timmy jumps in his seat knocking his binder to the floor, he can hear the crackle and pop of the demon behind him, but all the eyes in the classroom are on him. 

“Is everything alright Mr. Schwartz?” asked the teacher, seeing a distraught little Timmy. 

“Tell her nothing is alright, it’s all going to hell.”

The class became more confused when Timmy “shhh’d” the air behind him.

“I’m alright,” said Timmy, “actually could I step out for some air?” 

“That would be fine Timmothy.”  

His chest tightened, air seemed to be pressed out of him as though the Empire State Building were on his chest. The ground around him turned into a molten rock shaking with steam. Timmy tried to jump free though every leap landed him in a thermal glow, and the ground grows more brittle with each lingering second. 

“Had enough?” says the demon, startling Timmy who was planning his next move, “stay away,” Timmy cries and attempts to jump. The cement crumbles under Timmy unloading his springs, a fail characteristic of when people slip while jumping off boat railings, or flimsy outdoor furniture. A static extension causing an off balance landing, Timmy stumbles, trips himself and falls head first into a nearby planter. He pulls his head out of a cherimoya and pats dirt from his shirt, eyeing around he sees no sign of the demon. 

“Brother, it is I, creator of all that is and will be.” 

Timmy looked at the janitor with his bucket on wheels and mop stick in both hands. 

“Yeah, would you mind telling me what is going on here, Mr. … umm ahh Creator.” 

The janitor throws back his head in laughter, a crack of thunder, echoes run between the buildings.  “What did you do to him?” asked the janitor of the demon, who was crouched above Timmy, embers sprinkling down. 

“He did it to himself, the kid is a box of tissues, you’re choosing him,” the demon asked then snapped his fingers and a cigar appeared in them, “audacious is all.” Biting off one end of the wrap and spitting it out, and then lit the other on himself and blew smoke in God’s face. 

“Do you mind stepping aside, Crusty and I need to have a talk,” the janitor said to Timmy. 

“Alright? You can wait back in class, Timmy?” 

Timmy began to redden. 

“Ohh release him would you!” 

The demon unclenches a fist that wasn’t around Timmy’s neck, but inflicting force all the same. 

“I think I will go back to class, I’ll just be here if…” 

“Hey knock that off.” 

The demon puts Timmy back on the ground. 

“Ask me, the boy can hear, he’s going to have to learn eventually, right?” 

The janitor looks at Timmy. 

“Right, then how do you expect me to believe your party will end when you won’t even let me have my witness?” 

“Witness,” the demon said with a laugh. “Is that what we’re calling it now, and we agree unangeled? 

“That’s why we’re here aren’t we?” 

Timmy fell into glazed bewilderment not sure if he believed any of this. What would he witness? Angels? 

“Timmy,” the Creator said with a sigh. “The world, Earth, goes through phases.”  

The demon chuckles, the Creator shoots him a look. 

“See the things that bring life also require death.” 

“My department,” the demon interrupts with a puff of smoke. 

Timmy gulps. 

“And you know what the source of all life is, don’t you?” 

Timmy looks directly at the sun, not quite at noon. The janitor quickly covers Timmy’s eyes with his hand, and bites a smile over his shoulder. 

“That’s right Timmy, the sun is the provider of all life and thus, can take it away.” 

“Take away all life? Could it be true? 

“Our demon angels descend in hell fire to clean house, just wait and see kid.”  

Timmy took another gulp. 

“We’re meeting with you so you may ready yourself for the task humanity requires of you. Have you heard of Herodotus? Like him for the next age.” 

“A new age?” 

“Even the Earth must be reborn, my son.” 

“You come with us now and in 30 years time, Earth will go a-rockin, as I’ll be a knocking,” said the demon.

“Ok let me get my bookbag and I’ll be ready to go.”

“That won’t be necessary, just follow us and you’ll have everything you need to know.” 

Timmy watched the janitor and demon banter through campus, his pride swelled as he felt his life’s calling agree with every step. Timmy glanced at the sun, and thought how precious a star it was. Timmy steps off the curb.

 His shoes landed on the ceramics and woodshop buildings respectively. Since the bus was on the smaller side, it had a normal car hood which Timmy rolled onto up the windshield, and received an extra kick from the raised roof leaving his limp body with considerable amplitude to fall in a fit of acrobatic twist and tumbles, that would’ve been the envy of Biles and Lee until landing face first on the pavement. 

The creator and the demon stop and turn to look at what’s the matter. The janitor shakes his head in his hands. The demon says, “guess you should’ve started with how to look both ways.” 

Unbecoming Student

The human experience, I’m a college student living in the craziest time in recorded history.  Input from every direction possible, my day consist of lectures, note taking, socializing, studying, and eating meals in the dinning hall.  Probably for most this will sound familiar to you.  Depending own your own opinion you may look back and think, “Those were the best times of my life.”  To be honest it has been for me too, the only problem is I’m not sure where it is taking me, I’m sure young adults around the world feel the same way.  College life is an experience we all buy into, late nights, parties, papers. Does this prepare people for the real world?  Stress I’m buried under stress of school work, everything thing I do or trip I take I know there is school work I could be doing, it is a constant uphill battle.  Even by writing this right now, I should be reading for political theory class tomorrow.  I don’t let stress kill me, because my approach to school is my own.  I’m going to go to class, take notes but in the end I’m going to get out of it what I want.  Grades are irrelevant, the meaningless facts that are on the test that ultimately make up your grade will most likely be of no help to you once that grade is given.  What I take out of the class is what interest me, what sparks my curiosity, I love being exposed to new ideas, but forcing me to be judged on whether or not I choose to retain the information, it is not entirely wrong but could be approached in a different way.  Grades should not be the be all and end all of school.  You should be given a grade on if you had a good time and do you think you grew as a person.  I’m at college to have the time of my life, to learn, to meet knew people and learn about their lives, this is what college is for me.  Don’t get me wrong I have learned quite a lot in almost 3 months, but what I’ve learned about myself has been even greater, and for those people that don’t lift their heads out of their books every once in awhile, well I hope it works out for you.  I’m going to put in the amount of effort I feel comfortable with, but most of all I’m going to have a good time with my friends.  

Where will this get me, I don’t know….in debt yes, a job, maybe, a job I like, optimistic I will stay.  

I write from my dorm room in the paradise of University of Hawaii at Hilo where it rains everyday.  I know I am not alone, every person has doubts concerning the best use of there time. There may be other things I wish I could be doing, but I’m lucky to be here, we all are lucky to be part of the human experience. Image