'I knew it,' Jake sang, triumphantly, peering intently into his microscope. His two labmates were not impressed, as he always exclaimed stuff like that. There was this one time his jubilant shouts could be heard echoing all over the thirteenth floor, and when they all came rushing to see what the hell the big deal was, he had said: 'Oh, well, I isolated some of the prettiest little beasts from Joe's watch,' - pointing at the elegant bacteria under said microscope and dangling the expensive watch carelessly around.
But Joe was actually having a bad day, which is why he looked up from his computer and snapped: 'Look, Jake, unless you've discovered little demigodesseses dancing the tango through your looking glass, could you please shut up?'
Which annoyed Jake immensely. People were telling him all the time to shut up, and for no apparent reason, too. 'Actually,' he said, 'no. If a man wants to talk aloud sometimes, on important occasions, he should be allowed to do so, if not for his own amusement, then at least for his mental health.'
'Shut up, Jake,' Joe repeated. 'Or show me the dancing goddesses.'
'You're just a blasphemous bastard,' Jake said, disgustedly. 'I bet you eat custard for breakfast each morning, with little sprinkles on top, like a three-year-old.'
'What the hell has my breakfast got to do with it?' Joe wanted to know. He could feel a sudden surge of real anger coming up. The one thing he had endless respect for and never messed around with was his breakfast. With his thirty years of age, he had already managed to divorce three women (- it might have been the long nights he'd spent with his collection of erlenmeyers and what the wives had invariably called his 'chemistry set'-), but he'd never missed a loving encounter with his breakfast. And here Jake was, accusing him of a capital offence like that.
'You know, what a man eats for breakfast says a lot about what kind of person he is,' Jake said, knowing exactly how much value Joe attached to the sacred first meal of the day. He just couldn't help himself. The truth was, that there hadn't been anything interesting under his microscope. Not for days. It drove him nearly crazy, the lack of discovery, as if he was watching the same old movie over and over ('A Day In The Life Of Jake W. Smith'). The only thing he got a vague feeling of triumph out of, was making sure that Joe never found out.
But Joe suddenly didn't want to fight anymore. His bubble of anger surfaced, made him scowl a moment, and then took all his liveliness with him. He stared at the sky through the large windows at the other end of the lab, his face completely void of emotion, his shoulders hanging like dead birds. If Jake hadn't turned back to his microscope to check if he had perhaps missed a miracle, he would have seen Joe rise, suddenly, his mouth dropped open, his blank face now the canvas for a portret of a surprised man. As it turned out, between the two of them, Joe was the first to discover the Anomaly. He found himself drawn to the window, but his feet were weak from the shock and it took him forever to reach it. Then, staring at the wondrous thing that filled up the sky and finding himself unable to speak, he fumbled forever too for his phone. Two eternities thus having passed, he dialled the number of Jake, who snapped from his microscopy staring duties and answered the phone with a short: 'Yes?'
But there was only breathing on the other side of the line.
'Damn it, Joe, what kind of filthy joke is this?' he said angrily. Then, getting up to see where Joe was calling him from, his eyes fixed on the thing that was, minutes later, dubbed the Anomaly, or the Anomalous Eye; and he ran towards the window, where Joe still stood wordlessly, gazing up like a little boy seeing a spaceshuttle take off.
Instantly the boredom-inspired argument was forgotten. Jake witnessed himself placing an arm around his trembling colleague; it all felt immensely strange, as if it weren't really his arm, and Joe wasn't real, either. Everything felt that way, suddenly, looking at this impossible eye that filled up the entirety of the sky with its brilliant blue iris and the gloomy darkness of the pupil that hovered and blocked the sun. It was an eclipse like none before and the city lay in a sudden darkness that neared night under that all-seeing gaze, and the air seemed to have cooled substantially since the eye made its majestic appearance.
'I see,' Jake said, at last, not because he wanted to, but because the silence was becoming too much to bear combined with the heaviness of the dark cloud that was spreading over the streets below. 'We have been discovered at last.'