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     He would close his eyes, and the world would burn.

     It had been thirty years since he had slept through September. Thirty years since the snows had fallen early, reflective glass falling through gaps in the trees before the birds had finished singing. Thirty years since the end of the world.

     Everything happened at once, those days. The volcanoes launched while the hurricanes swirled, tornadoes roaring across the Midwest while women in Asia cried, cold pearls rolling down taut cheeks. It all happened so fast, and ended so slowly. Voices didn't go quiet all at once, but went out in patches. So did the fires.

     When he woke, he was born again. He was born those days, thirty years ago. Being born slowly is an experience, even if you've already seen it all. He had already seen it all. He had seen the world all over, watched every human grow and grow old, but it was not until the time of destruction that he was born again.

     With his birth the voices surged again, slowly covering the hills with noise and with fire. They clung to soft words spoken in the midst of disaster, called him their God. He knew they lied. He was not their God. Their God was the cause of the destruction, and he, he was the result.

     And he saw the world all over, watched every human begin to burn and blacken while the fire burned dances into the backs of his eyes. These were the times of destruction, and there was no help to be had, no help to be done.

     And when they saw that he could not help they left, turned back to their world and their God and watched everything happen at once.

     And as the voices went out in patches across the world, he watched the fires burn on.

     And when the fires began to go out in patches, he watched the world begin to breathe.

     And when the last of the fires were gone, he went to the center of the world and planted his seed and watched the world all over, watched the world grow.

     And as the people praised him as their God, he knew that they lied. He was not their God. He, he was the cause of this growth, and their God was the result.

     And when the time will come he will sleep through September again, studying the fire's dance across the backs of his eyes until everything begins to happen at once.

     And when the voices begin to go out in patches, he will not move.

     And when the world begins to breathe again, he will not wake.

     For before he sleeps, he will close his eyes.

     And when he closes his eyes, the world will burn.

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