The Big Bang

by Chris Bleach

 

The Big Bang happened on a Thursday and it was an accident.

We'd never lost a star before, let alone THAT one – the cue star we used to call it. Well, it was bigger and more beautiful than the rest and when it hit another star the colours at the moment of impact were quite something. And it always ran true, perfectly weighted – you could even pocket the dwarf stars, although they were hard to see because they were so small.

We were encouraged to play the game. We were shaping the universe. When a star went down a black hole, you never knew where it would come up again or what it would look like. But they always did come back – in different places with different colours and shapes but they came back. That is, until that Thursday.

There was one black hole that was off limits. He said we couldn't use it – he had plans for it and things would be ready soon – probably by the end of the week. Mind you, it looked as if it was impossible to get a star down it – it was too small and too far away. You could hardly see it unless you knew what you were looking for.

That Thursday afternoon I was the only one playing. The others were resting before we all got together in the evening. He was going to tell us about His plans for the black hole, He'd said He would need our help. I was so excited wondering what was going to happen that I couldn't sleep like the rest, I needed to play to take my mind off it.

I was actually on fire that afternoon. The universe had never looked so good. They were all going down – red dwarfs, white giants, even binary stars and they're the hardest to pot.

I was lining up for the last shot – not hard, a middle of the road ordinary yellow star – much like your own in fact – into a black hole roughly in the middle of the Universe. But I got the shot completely wrong. I hit it far too hard and at the wrong angle and the cue star cannoned away in the direction of the forbidden black hole. I reached out but too late, it seemed to gather speed as if it was being sucked in. The black hole was definitely smaller than that cue star but it swallowed it whole – I'd never seen anything like it before. There was a massive explosion and then the black hole and my cue star just disappeared – winked out as if they'd never been.

He was very good about it, considering. He never let on it was me which I'm very grateful for. He cancelled the meeting, saying there had been a change of plans. I was really nervous. I knew I had to tell Him and I knew He'd know anyway but that didn't make the telling any the easier.

He seemed reconciled somehow. “Well it means I can't interfere directly” He said, “and that's probably for the best. I've no idea what will happen now. I think there will be life and I think a lot of it will be good but who knows? Still on the assumption I'm right, we ought to give them a few clues.”

So He asked me to write this down in the stars – your stars - but He told me to wait a while to see how things panned out.

So, I've seen your star, nothing much to write home about there, and I've seen your planet. Tiny but very beautiful – I've always liked blue.

He told me what to write and how to write it and He told me that by the time you could read it, you'd have developed enough to be able to cope with the knowledge. I hope He's right. We all want to know why we're here – even we're not sure – but to find out it's as a result of a miscue could be pretty hard to take.