The One Who Claps

Corporeal form captured by sophisticated imaging technology.

The veils of shadow obscuring your host are lifted as the room floods with indescribable radiance–divine rays that would move lesser men to tears.

It seems the stranger has switched on the lights. He used his right hand, of course; his left is still busy chopping into nothingness. Your vision is overwhelmed with effulgence that seeps its way around his silhouette, enveloping him like fluid or the way you imagine spirits to behave. Everything save the gesticulating man’s figure is saturated by white. For some reason, though, his appearance has never been clearer. You’ve seen it in every empty corner in your life.

He looks nothing like your father. He whispers that his name is Matt Krehbiel, but each successive syllable tears at your mental composure like an entire village’s final screams. He can be reached at singlehandclap@gmail.com, he adds, and the utterance of his e-mail has much the same impact as the last bit of personal information, so he cools it for a sec. You want to look away, but your eyes don’t respond; are you in control of anything?

When you’re good, he continues. He tells you he’s got a degree in English literature, and you wonder how that’s going; he reads your sardonic thoughts and does the screaming village thing again. He can apparently do that whenever. No, he isn’t looking to teach.

There is a sigh, or a gale, and he brushes his right hand against his chin therapeutically. He thinks you’ve gotten off on the wrong foot: it’s an expression, obviously, since your physical avatar had dissolved into the Effulgence from the moment the lights turned on. You laugh at your own insolence.

As every doubt you’ve ever had resolves itself, you find your failing vision to be hardly alarming. Perhaps you’re seeing more than you ever have. You didn’t know there were so many hues brighter than regular, old white. Before your consciousness assimilates to become a mere drop in his brilliant ocean, you wonder if you’ll ever hear him again. He calls out hoarsely in hurried response: his Twitter handle is @OleGrieves and he’d really like to freelance for your website

swish                                    swish                                                       s w    i        s              h

There will be another like you.

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