London, England, c. 1916
According to The Quadrangle’s sources, early 20th century man Austin Jones is freaking everybody out by calling The Great War “World War One”, implying there is going to be another one or something.
Jones has greatly distressed those near him—who are enduring the hardships of wartime Europe—by referring to the global conflict which has engulfed our great continent in violence and flames as the “first” of some series.
When asked about this strange coinage, Jones’ friends and family responded cautiously. Patricia Jones, his wife, told The Quadrangle that she wished “he would stop calling it that. It’s really spooking the neighbors.”
Barnaby Welles, a Blacksmith who works with Jones, wondered aloud, “Why does he keep saying ‘The First World War’? It’s like introducing your wife as ‘My first wife.’ It’s not a good omen, and it’s rather rude.”
Jones’ off-putting choice of vocabulary is painting him as a somewhat shadowy figure throughout war-ravaged London, with many refusing to speak about him on the record. The Quadrangle sat down with Thomas Waylens, a local pub owner. The following is an excerpt from that conversation:
The Quadrangle: Thank you for speaking with us.
Thomas Waylens: Sure thing, I reckon.
TQ: Can you relay what you’ve heard about the famed blacksmith, Austin Jones?
TW: Bloody hell! (whispered) What are you going around speaking that name aloud for, then?
TQ: (whispered) What can you tell us about him?
TW: He’s a man. Lives somewhere in London. Or so I’ve been told. A bit of an oracle, I guess, he is. Proper prophet, I suppose. People say this ‘cause he keeps saying “World War One,” like he knows there’s going to be another one. Why would he call it that? What good does that do anybody? Just call it “The World War” or “The Great War” like everybody else. No need to go bumming everyone out like that, I reckon. Right, then.
At press time, Europe—now on the brink of destroying centuries of human intellectual progress—is cannibalizing itself. God help us all.