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Baz and the first Jack-O-Lanterns

By Phil Cole All Rights Reserved ©

Children / Fantasy

Chapter 1

After learning his lesson about interfering in events he was told only to observe and record, Baz forced himself to avoid all temptations for years.
It was never easy. There were fires, floods, droughts, even whole species went extinct, but he didn't do a thing to change the outcomes.
There were three solar systems under his care with a combined total of 25 planets. 14 of them had at least some form of life. One of the solar systems became his favorite, with all eight planets containing some living thing. At every visit Baz found a new life form on one of the planets or another.
One planet in particular caught his attention. The smartest creatures there had buildings, vehicles and other devices to learn the mysteries around them. He was tempted to talk to them but knew the Emperor would decide when and how and why. He had to observe and record.
Baz rarely noted anything beyond his own domain. Though he traveled very fast it took weeks to pass from one end to the other of his large domain. Usually he watched from a central point through extended lenses on his elongated eyes.
One day something appeared in the far distance. It was a fireball brighter than the supernovas he had seen back in training. It was distant but growing larger every day. It seemed threatening and Baz sensed that this might somehow reach his beloved worlds. He had to know what it was.
For the first time Baz left his post, venturing further and further toward the growing ball of flame. The closer he got the larger it grew and the more menacing the form. This was not an eruption of gas or particles of a sun. It had a form, a substance, a power source. What could it possibly be?
At last Baz reached one of his colleagues: Raz. Raz was racing towards him ahead of this menacing thing and briefed him on the creatures. They were huge and getting stronger. Born from a supernova they fed on the strength of it and increased in size and strength by draining energy from each additional star they passed.
"They have already drained the life from eight stars, killing all living things dependent on the stars. Your solar systems appear to be their next target."
Baz was strong enough to kill the creatures, but he knew that was against his rules. Yet he couldn't let such a creature destroy his beloved charges.
He did something else,something that no one could object to.
He made some changes to the topsoil, rearranged some mounds of empty dirt, carved images into the planets until they looked like....
The advancing creatures slowed their approach and turned, scared by the images they saw before them, retreating back into the void of empty space where they lost strength and withered away, until they could harm no living thing.
And in Baz's favorite solar system eight planets now resembled carved pumpkins, launching a primitive tradition.
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