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The Waking Universe

We watched as the world creaked beneath our feet. Swathes of black had come in, washing light from the sky. One by one the stars we came to love had died, or at least, news of their death had reached us. Millions, perhaps billions of years had really passed, but we were so far from them, so lost. It expanded towards Earth at a rate we could not comprehend, they predicted it would reach us within a few hundred years.

We built great machines to pierce some hole in the fabric of space so as to hide until it was all over. The human race had expected some form of stretch, a yawn, or a snap. But nothing like this. A tumor had erupted into existence and swallowed Andromeda in a day. We were next in line.

I held her, leaned over the water below. All life, everything, evolved to culminate in some effort to escape the universe that birthed it. I wondered if others had known and succeeded in escaping, if the death of Earth was just a drop in an ocean of extinctions.

We were the last memory the universe had, the last experience, collected and categorised by its abrupt end. Nothing, simply nothing. Not black, not white, but nothing. I looked to the water below and stepped back, I wanted to see it. I held her back with me, and we watched as the sun was covered in an oily film. Then, in its place, darkness.

We were all memories in the program, every sentient race, simply sense organs for the greater whole, now connected as the universe hibernates. Dark. Light. Death. Rebirth...

Story by:

Phillip Carter

18 March 2015