“Open… saddlesoap? Open… sasquatch?”
Jason lay on his side, examining the floor of his room from his bed. Cups of instant ramen were strewn about amidst articles of dirty clothing. It had now been two days since he had come into the possession of El, and he had no idea what he was supposed to be doing. El had cast a light on the path home, and Jason had crawled into his apartment tired, bewildered, and afraid. “What the hell is going on here?” he had asked, again and again. But El had said nothing.
Hours after he had gotten home, San Francisco had been switched to reserve power. The two lamps in Jason’s modest apartment had been lit since, casting an eerie glow across the closed window shades. Every hour, Jason had gotten up and looked out that window, hoping to see something, some sign of light, some sign of the sky. It was always a fruitless search—beyond that window lay nothing but blackness.
Now, Jason had gone through seven cups of ramen and two changes of clothing, and still nothing had changed. He had repeated his question more times than he could recall. The talking book had done a terrible job of being a talking book.
Jason fretfully glanced over at his television, which had been running since power came back. All the news channels’ normal programming had been replaced with reruns of weather forecasts. Jason shook his head at the efforts of LAW3. If they were going to be censoring the news, they might as well throw in something less obviously fake than reruns of weather forecasts. They haven’t even changed the dates on screen! These forecasts are from last November!
He considered: things wouldn’t be so bad if he could use his laptop. Unfortunately, laptop use would have to wait until he could charge it. Which would have to wait until he went back to the LAW1 van to pick up a new power adapter. He had accidentally dropped El on his when he had come home and stumbled into his dark apartment, and the power brick had been flattened. He sure wasn’t going to leave his apartment until the sky returned.
Jason sighed again. It was more than he could take.
“El, are you ever going to answer my question?” The book, lying on the floor, remained insolently silent. “Do I need to say some kind of incantation to turn you on or something?” Still no reply.
Jason sat up and drummed his fingers on his knees.
“Um…” Jason thought for a moment, and then cried, “Release!” Nothing happened. “Unlock!” El didn’t respond. “Lyrical, Magical! … Please!” Jason took a deep breath. “Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!”
When still nothing happened, Jason stood, strode across the room, and angrily kicked El.
“What was that for, my master?” asked El.
“So you can still talk,” observed Jason.
“Excuse me, my master. I was micromanaging the sex lives of a few million people.”
“Oh, is that so? I’m now one hundred percent convinced,” replied Jason, sitting back down on the edge of his bed. He recalled: his blog posts about the Bible. He recalled: Anonymous of New York’s inept refutations. “You’re God, alright. Now. Care to tell me what’s wrong with the sky?”