The low frequency rumble got louder by the moment. She looked at me in confusion. ‘What do we do?’ was the expression on her face. We embraced and I screamed, “Just look at me! Keep looking at me!” The wind carried tears away from her face. Some of them rolled outward on her billowing strands of hair. I pulled her close and held her as tight as I could. Over her shoulder I watched the heave of the earth approach. The stars were rippling in the night sky. A red glow was coming from the horizon all around. The Earth was surely split wide open on the far side already. I braced as best I could against the inevitable. I squeezed her and thought I felt either of our ribs crack.
I was sure the brunt of the land-wave would be violent, but it was far less than I had expected. There was a smooth curve to our acceleration as the earth flew apart. Fog condensed and dissipated in pillow-like puffs all around us. In weightlessness we pulled back just enough to look once again into one another’s eyes. We watched the ice race across our faces as the vacuum squeezed heat and moisture from our bodies. Some moments ago we had interlaced our legs. Our awareness tunneled in from our extremities until the only feelings left were our beating hearts. Our eyes were locked together. Those stopped actually seeing in the next instant.
Frozen together, eyes ruptured, mummified by the lack of atmosphere, we rode the orbital momentum shielded by huge swaths of what was left of the earths’ crust. There was an imperceptibly slow tumble imparted by the last piece of ground we had stood upon. The Milky Way tumbled gently as we drifted outward from the sun.
Eons later a cloud of micro meteors washed over us. One chance collision with our husks dislodged her diamond encrusted heart pendant. It floated slowly out to the end of her necklace. The minute tug added a third axis to our dirge of a spin. A gentle wave of the pendant ensued. Each period took millions of years to complete. The irregularity of shape caused the pendant to bounce off in odd directions each time which added another axis to the spin as it reached the unique apogee of each swing. This all happened over my left shoulder and her right.
We passed near enough to a star at one point. The spray of energetic particles from its solar wind caught the gold of the pendant and necklace with enough effect to give us a course correction of a few billionths of a degree. Face to face, we drifted on for more and more eons.
Even after all this time there were a few grains of earth still nearby. Pieces of home had even fallen onto us in the form of dust. Some of that went thru the tatters of cloth still attached and embedded themselves in our dried skin.
Over time our course was influenced by the jewelry in infinite little ways. A tug here and there took us on a grand tour of the universe. Had we been alive what great memories could we have made? But, being a journey, this trek too would have an end.
We drifted into the home of an infinite gravity well. Our chance course was such that we fell into a slowly decaying orbit. The event horizon was our final destination. Or, was it? Chance had ‘smiled’ on us thus far. Why should it forsake us now?
The place where time and space transmogrify into infinity was a very special local. The balance of exotic matter and anti-matter was perfect. Nowhere else could be found such a large concentration of anti-matter. Chance had brought it together with the exact same amount of normal matter. The mystery was of course how something like this could actually exist. Chalk it up to Gods’ sense of humor. In any case, the annihilators simply popped in and out of existence at the quantum level and beyond at random all over the event horizon, yet never touched.
That black planer-sphere screamed in a steady infra-tone. Our course modified in increasing increments as we arced inward. Gone was the pitter-patter over eons of particle collisions as the black hole had long ago swept the surrounding space clean. Our atoms elongated and then began to disassemble.
What was left of us, along with a few micrograms of the soil we had last stood upon, spilled across the entire surface of the horizon. It was the final straw that drove the mass of the heavier than the heaviest behemoth over the threshold of stability. A massive wave of quantum snow leapt away just beyond the speed of light. Everything this maw had ingested and reduced to dimensional fuzz stuttered in unison. Quasi-photons were born and immediately exerted infinite pressure on everything in existence and outside of it. It all touched for a span of time that could only be measured in negative numbers. The infinity-shore turned chrome. Distant stars reflected off the skin. Spots of bright gold peppered the surface in a slow staccato of flat eruptions. The speed of these outbursts increased. The event horizon swelled outward beyond the speed of light. Gold and chrome gave way to chromatic oscillations. These reached an infinite pitch and the black hole turned pure white.
A thin shell of perfection grew rapidly. On the outside galaxies were squashed. Their stars winked out and turned into a layer of cold dust uncountable light years thick. On the inside the mega-nova flowered in rapid expansion. Hot particles bounced off the back of the shockwave and returned to the roiling core. As they did so they took with them shifts in their quantum vibrations. These inconsistencies molded the evolving physics of the advancing cloud. Heat in the form of motion drove everything away from everything else. That first wave of quasi-particles to be born raced from one side of the new universe to the other like ping-pong balls. They touched the inside of the shell but nothing else. Everything they came near had its course shifted ever so slightly. Cooling energy became matter. That matter began to clump. Those clumps became heavy enough to generate their own heat. Countless furnaces of fusion ignited.
Over eons the flames of birth dimmed and the light of new stars spackled against dust clouds. New stars were born as other stars died. Galaxies formed and dispersed. Around countless stars planets formed. Life happened.
On a high hill beneath a bright blue sky with soft puffs of rain swollen clouds there stood an anomaly. It was comprised of gold and carbon that appeared to be half-stirred together. It was also the only gold on the entire world. It seemed to be two different shapes pressed close together. If you looked closely you could see a small clump lying between their two uppermost appendages. It had a distinct shape, was solid gold, and speckled with small rough diamonds.
When the wind blows just right the monolith produces a strange set of sounds. They always occur together. There is nothing else on the planet that produces the same sounds. They are unique in the entire universe. In unison they are heard as “Glenda”, and “Jose”. They have, without fail, wrenched tears from all who have heard them. Upon leaving, all have reported an overwhelming sense of joy. The effects remain unexplained.
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