Scientists discovered a crack in the darkness of outer space. Alice said
it was a mouth. Ron said it was a wormhole. Jennifer said it was a
sulcus on a Boltzmann brain. Tom said it was God.
“My father was an engineer. He travelled a lot. My mother hates him,”
“Look, that’s a cool plane,” said Ron.
“My mother said even when he was home, he was not really there.”
“I think it’s a cargo plane.”
“My father was handsome. I guess that’s why they got together in the
“You are beautiful. I want to buy a new car.”
“Their marriage and divorce were such disasters,” said Alice.
“What do you think of a hybrid?”
“Do you know light cones in physics? It looks like an hourglass, or two
martini glasses copulating. A person’s future is confined in the future
light cone. What a good metaphor. I imagined you in a cinema, inside the
light cone from the projection room to the screen,” said Jennifer.
“What are you talking about?” said Tom.
“You, in your tank top, running in the air inside that light cone. You
reached the screen. The closing credits were rolling and rising like an
escalator, like a poem you wrote. You kept jumping up from one line to
another, Super-Mario style,” said Jennifer.
“What the hell are you talking about?” said Tom.
“The screen was moving farther and farther away from the seats, getting
bigger and bigger. The words on it becoming unrecognisable, because they
were too vast, because the meaning of each word multiplied. So you
turned around and ran towards the projection room. You were trying to
reach the light source of the words, the tip of the needle. You ran
desperately on the treadmill of entropy, like a mad donkey.”
“What are you talking about, bitch?”
Jennifer has been sleeping with Ron. They thought Tom and Alice didn’t
Tom has been sleeping with Alice. They thought Jennifer and Ron didn’t
Otherwise there wouldn’t be so much guilt, so much fun.
Tom was lecturing his students.
“Little cracks in literature, are they flaws or virtues? Should the
writer hide them? You may peep at something through them. Is the author
dead? Does the reader still want to be fooled by the author? The line
spacing is double. Double. So it can fit both the reader and the author.
The little cracks are little traps. You will find yourself there. Your
interpretations, your assumptions, your desires. My wife Jennifer is a
physicist. She doesn’t think much of poetry, but the other day she said
something very poetic. She said the universe has a crack, and you might
fall through it. Don’t you find crackle porcelain beautiful? Ask the
cracks. Crawl through them. Crawl like a snail, crawl like a snake,
crawl between the lines.”
“What a monologuer,” a student said to his girlfriend.
His girlfriend was imagining her wedding to the lecturer.
“I don’t know what you see in him,” said Ron.
“He has intuition, sensibility,” said Jennifer.
“I think Alice wants to leave me.”
“She won’t. She is not strong.”
“Do you think a child would cheer her up?”
“I’m not a marriage counsellor, Ron.”
Ron and Jennifer had sex. They tried different positions like scaffolds.
Afterwards they analysed their sex using a first principle approach.
“Do you love me, Tom?” said Alice.
“Love is a fiction.”
“I don’t think so. I love you.”
“What about Ron?”
“I love him in a different way.”
“Words, words, words. Words, no use. Twenty years wasted on words,” Tom
said in the style of dramatic monologue.
“Don’t be like this, Tom.”
“One cannot live without fiction. Replace one fiction with another. And
then there were none. No more nursery rhymes for you, baby.”
He went down on Alice.
“Your vagina is my rabbit hole, Kafka’s burrow.”
Alice wished he would stop talking about her vagina. Alice wished he
would stop talking.
The crack in outer space was still there, like a wound, like an
epiphany. The universe was flaying itself. Alice recommended a facial
scrub to Jennifer. Jennifer was grateful. Tom saw some kid scratching
Ron’s new car through his window. He didn’t stop him.
It is hard to find a sense of closure in a crack.
Jie Wang is interested in the interaction between literature and science. She received a BSc in Ecology from Peking University and a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Sheffield. Her work has been published / is forthcoming in ‘TERSE’, ‘Bewildering Stories’, ‘Metaworker’, ‘Fleas on the Dog’, and ‘Writers Resist’.