Wednesday, April 18, 2012

30 Day Writing Challenge - Day 30

Today's challenge is, rather appropriately, simply called The End.

I tried to think of something epically final and hope, despite the few small liberties I've taken in places with regard to the science, that I managed it. It works better if you read yesterday's story as well (and that's not just me trying to get you to read more of my writing, honest!).

The End

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
                    T.S. Eliot (1925)

This is the way the Universe ends
This is the final stanza of a work that stretches back trillions of years but there is to be no soaring crescendo, no dramatic conclusion; the Universe ends in silence, it ends in frigid, midnight blackness in which all light and life is slowly squeezed from it and then finally extinguished.

The end was, paradoxically, signalled by one of the most colossal periods of rebirth; as galaxies collided, celestial masses drawn irreparably together and ripped irreparably apart by unforgiving gravity; shock waves of interstellar gases colliding and giving birth to a swathe of new stars. But the seeds of the end were being sown even as new suns were born; gravity coaxing galaxies into vast ellipses that are gradually eroded of their ability to form new stars. After rebirth, the Universe becomes barren.

Then there is only the waiting as the stars slowly begin to die. The smaller stars, like the Sun, puff up their chests and expand into red giants as their end time approaches but it is little more than dying throes as they slowly collapse back in upon themselves to become white dwarves and then, as they cool, black dwarves. For slightly larger stars, the end sees them collapse in upon themselves, their matter compressed so tightly that they become neutron stars. And for the largest stars, the end is even more violent; collapsing upon themselves with such brutal force that they rip a black hole in space-time and begin to devour everything that draws close enough to them.

And finally, the black holes and the dead stars are all that remain. Darkness reigns absolute, the temperature hovering precariously above absolute zero, as the Universe is starkly reduced to little more than a scattering of cosmological objects.

But the black holes are still alive. They roam and coalesce, forming ever larger tears in the fabric of reality. Perhaps there is somewhere in the Universe safe from their appetite but I find it difficult to imagine as they approach my final resting place.

I have waited so very long for this moment, to hear the Universe play out its last notes in the hope that they might finally be an end to my own work.

I have had many names, too many to remember. But, as, I feel the tangible tug of gravity that presages my joining with the singularity that lies beyond the event horizon, there is only one name that I can hold on to.

And so, I wonder if this will finally be the release I’ve craved. If the Count of Saint Germain can finally have his end.

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