How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sci-Fi Short Story: The Orb

"What is it?".
     "It is a world. A place where billions of beings lived and died".
     Turning the dimmed glass marble between his fingers he looked at the Elder.
     "I still don't understand. Why is it so dark and empty?"
     "Oh, that is the question, I see.", the Elder said.
     "Yes, you said that billions of beings lived here, but look at it. It's dead."
     The Elder shook his head, "It is dead.  You are very observant for one so young."
     "But you still didn't answer me", the young one insisted. "Where did they go?"
     "The originals-the first ones- ruled for millions and millions of years in relative success. They didn't create though. They just roamed. However, they lived in nature, they only ate what they needed, they didn't kill for sport, but for sustenance or protection."
     "What does that mean?"
     "What does what mean?' The Elder asked.
     "Kill. You said they killed. I have never heard that word before."
     "It how one destroys another."
     The young one cocked his head and peered down deep into the black orb.
     "That doesn't make sense", he finally admitted.
     The Elder sat down and sighed, "No, it does not. Many things about this ttiny orb don't make sense."
     The young one perked up, "Like what?" he asked.
     The Elder was quiet for a long time and the young one thought that the Elder had dozed off, but then the Elder coughed and sniffed the way one does when he has smelled something unpleasant that lingers.
     "The ones who came after. They killed it. They walked upright and they made tools. They are the ones who destroyed it. First they destroyed the very breath of the orb, then they destroyed the other beings that inhabited the orb.  Often in ways that were barbaric. Finally, at the end, they slit the orb's wrist and let her slowly bleed dry, then they turned on one another.  They bickered and they fought in the name of peace. They weren't satisfied with destroying their own kind one at a time, so they invented weapons that could destroy many at one time. Then more weapons that could destroy even more.  They pulled their gods into the destruction and made destroyers of their gods. They flipped the creation gods onto their heads and remade them into images of themselves.  They weren't satiated until it was all gone. And even in that final gasp they kept insisting that it was all in the name of peace. Then the orb went from a brilliant blue-green to black and it's been dead every since. It doesn't make sense, does it?"
     The young one shook his head. "So they were very stupid?", he asked.
     "Oh yes", the Elder replied,  "The stupidest that we've yet to create.  We thought they had some promise when they developed rudimentary music, art, and writing, but then they peaked out and that which you hold in your hand is all that is left."
The  young one gazed at the dead orb, trying to peer into its depths, and then quickly, almost casually, tossed it into the black sea where its splash created an ever expanding then disappearing ring.  The orb sank and was gone.
     "Can I create one?'", the young one asked.
     "You know the rule: if you do create, you must not interfere. They must not know of you. It is much harder than it seems."
     "I am old enough", the young one assured the Elder.
     "Then go off and make one. But only one", the Elder cautioned.
     "Can I name it?" the young one asked.
     "No, you must not even do that. Leave everything to the beings."
     "But what if they turn out to be stupid like the ones on the blue-green orb?
     "Then it is as it shall be", The Elder stated, "This is as it has always been".  
     "You speak in riddles", the young one said.
     "Not when you are an Elder like me. It is all very clear".
     "Will I one day be wise like you?"
     The Elder's eyes sparkled, "Only if it is to be", he said. "Now go, off with you to create. I have other orbs to toss."
     The young one skipped off and the Elder reached under his robes and drew out a small cloth bag.  He tipped the bag. Glass orbs of every size and shape fell into his cupped hand. One dull orb rolled off and plopped prematurely into the black sea. The Elder held the other orbs close and rolled their smoothness into his palm.  They were all dead. He could felt no light, no warmth, no promise from any of them.
     The Elder squinted his eyes and looked off onto the black sea in a vain effort to locate where the young one had tossed the Earth orb. That had been his. So long ago when he had asked the Elders for permission to create, that tiny blue-green orb is what had rolled out of his imagination.  
     Maybe the young one would do a better job than he had.  The glass orbs slipped from his hand one by one, each one making a dull "plop" as it hit the water and sank from view.

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