Dani knew there were more shapes than the ones listed in the workbook. Knew there were indescribable things in the world that were beautiful, though indefinite. Knew the danger of knowing these things.
At first, the shapes only appeared behind closed eyes. In the dark when there was nothing there to deny their tangibility. But as it grows warmer and the days become unending, the shapes have moved from the comfort of the inside of Dani’s brain.
They threaten to spill into the outside world.
This cannot happen.
Dani spends countless hours trying to make them go away. Recites the New Approved Physics Laws from the workbook like mantras.
But the shapes do not care. They take numbers and turn them into art. They cause Dani’s dad to increase his paper allowance at the mill. They force Dani to come up with more excuses than exist in the realm of possibility.
Then, one day, the shapes stop. Dani is sitting in class, concentrating fiercely on their workbook, when the oxygen is sucked out of their lungs. Their chest feels like it’s caving in. Then, nothing.
When Dani wakes up, the room is on fire. In the flames, they see all of the shapes that should not exist. All of the angles and edges and curves that beat against their skull.
The shapes are angry and they use the fire to consume.
It eats. And eats. And eats. And eats. Until it is too big for the building to contain. Until there is only wasteland. Until there is only Dani staring up at the shapes that used to only exist inside of them, but have now laid claim to the world.
“Thank you,” the shapes say.
Then there’s nothing but heat.