A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Entropy" in Mirror Shards.
"I just don't get it," said Malcolm as he watched the fluffy white clouds skip across the sky. They lined up in identical small clouds shaped like a trapezoid with rounded corners and puffy edges.
"You're doing it again," said Lizzie. She was just uphill from Malcolm her hair splayed in a semi circle that laid flat on the ground each strand stretched taut.
"The clouds, it's a little spooky."
"Sorry." The wind sheared the clouds so that they changed shapes to no longer look identical. "I'll be the first homecoming king that shows up to the dance without a date." It certainly wasn't for lack of trying.
"Malcolm, you're the most popular kid in school. Isn't that enough?"
Malcolm watched the clouds and they began morphing back into their symmetrical dance as his attention wandered. It was all perfect, but it wasn't right. All his friends -- the whole school for that matter -- had a perfect date. Everyone, except for him. "No."
"Malcolm, you're still doing it. That's the spooky thing. The thing that keeps you from being a perfect match. Everything around you, everything you touch, everything you know, it's perfect. But we want more."
"More than perfect?"
"Yeah, look at Philip and me. Are we perfect?"
"No, we're not. We're both flawed, even with you around who makes our imperfections fade when we're near you, that's why everyone likes you."
"But what does that have to do with more than perfect?"
"You've organized us so that our imperfections match each other."
"So, what does that have to do with my being dateless?"
"No one's perfect other than you, and only perfection will complement you. It's your quest for perfection and order that ultimately causes the defeat."
The identical clouds skipped across the sky in perfect symmetry again. Underneath them, a flock of geese flew in a perfect ninety degree formation.