Photo of a see through sphere leaning against a triangular shape, the colour scheme blue and red

Belphegor’s Prime by Jes Layton

Gaze in horror at Belphegor’s Prime:


a palindromic prime number, beastly palprime
with 666 hiding among 13 ominous noughts.

A naughty prime
A Republican prime
A symbol of one of the Seven.

Named for Belphegor; Prince of the Gap
the demon who helps make discoveries,
Lord of inventiveness.
Sloth, Wealth, Greed
in Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Six six six, on both sides enclosed by thirteen noughts
And two ones
divisible only by one,
and itself.

Don’t stare at this infernal number too long.

To try and determine primality.

Turn away.

Take a breath.


The devil’s in the details when you look.

About the author

Jes Layton is a writer and artist with words and art found in Junkee, Voiceworks, The AZE Journal, The Victorian Writer, Enby Life, Kill Your Darlings and scattered elsewhere online. He has presented at a variety of writers festivals unpacking queerness, fandom, and pop culture. Her short story Chemical Expression was published in Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short stories. Find Jes online @AGeekWithAHat .

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