Miles and miles away, they could only get so close, stuck on an imaginary track around the seemingly endless emptiness that surrounded them, separating them from the center. The distance was so far and the presence of this powerful center unconfirmed, but they believed because of the slight magnetically charged buzz of attraction emanating from it. 

That was enough most days, but they had tried to confirm its existence for themselves. These efforts only led to the realization that the faster they got, the farther it got. Did it not want to be confirmed? Did it not want to be bothered? Did each particle want to carry on as it always had without questioning? Were some more powerfully unaware than others? 

“We cancel you out!” they wanted to yell. 

And they did at times when they knew, were absolutely positive, that no one near the center could hear them. They didn’t want to be disruptive — just heard, understood. They didn’t know, but they could have yelled constantly with their full capacity and it wouldn’t matter. The empty miles translated it all into a low frequency hum. 

“We’re the same size!” they yelled.

“Mmmmmmmmm,” everyone inside heard.

“We’re just...opposite!"


It’s not that they tired of their forced laps. It’s not that they thought those inside were better — oh no, they’d never admit to positive as “better” since that would cast negative as “worse” when, in reality, it was simply “other.” 

They just wanted it to be known that they were cancelling each other out. It took the charge of the insiders to keep them out, yes. But it took their charge to keep the insiders in.


Richmond, VA

Laura Nicole Miller is a freelance writer who spends her 9 to 5 on writing emails, drafting blog posts and crafting press releases and her 5 to 9 on (not nearly enough) creative writing, (just enough) reading and (more than enough) tea drinking.