Forever–forever and a day–waits the slow-witted, laughing blue jay, sitting on a pole and grinning from ear to ear in the way only a blue jay can. It surveys the land below its narrow perch, all of which is enveloped in freshly-erupted lava that threatens to eat at the pole–were it not for the forcefield protecting the bird and everything it touches. As everything on the ground ignites, not a single cry for help can be heard. In fact, people are sloshing right through the scalding orange soup without so much as a peep. Be they devils, wolves in sheep’s clothing? Do they revel in pain and dare anyone else to take the plunge? The bluejay dives to the surface and feels no heat, just pressure to get back on the pole, away from those two-legged beasts who put it there.

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