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Sempiternal

By Hana F. All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

Sempiternal

He was born in a black hole with the light of a thousand suns to warm his flesh as he grew. And when he was large enough? He pulled himself over the event horizon with fingers that absorbed all light and looked to be not there at all.

They watched from the observation deck with wide eyes and bated breath. With clenched fingers and hearts that thundered in their chests. This was something new. No one said a word. Nature, it seemed, had produced something terrifyingly beautiful and new and mysterious. And how were they supposed to react to watching from so very far away, a creature that looked like personified shadow pull itself from certain death? They were watching nature give birth.

There was something sacred about it, this birthing.

They clasped hands, each one gripping the hand beside them tightly, with anticipation; black silhouettes against the display screen. This was so extremely unexpected.

“Anything is possible…” It was breathed softly, barely discernible from the quiet humming of the ship’s engines. They were all thinking it. No one made a move. Their eyes were trained instead on the events transpiring outside their ship, so far away. And yet… Horrifically near.

They watched the creature inhale, its chest expand, its being grow larger. It was barely discernable from the blackness of the space it occupied. What could it breathe in, in the vacuum of space? They were not concerned so much about the physics of it, rather what it would do to them when it turned its blank face in their direction.

They did not have to wait long. It paused on the edge, lingering for a moment as if sniffing the air. Sniffing them out. There was no air. There was nothing to smell. Not them. Not air. Not in the vacuum. But it turned. Despite the lack of eyes, any discernable features, they knew it had seen them. Or felt them at least.

It didn’t take long. When it left the light of the accretion disk, it disappeared almost completely. Just a wisp of smoke against the cosmic dark.

The destruction was elegant. One moment the ship was there. The next, not even it’s debris littered the area it had once stood. The only indication that it had been there at all was the small orb of light it had been reduced to. The size of a penny. And it lay in the palm of the creature. It took a matter of seconds. His mouth had opened so wide that it engulfed the sloping hull. Everything, everyone, was compressed into a single ball of light. And it hovered in the space the ship had once been. Not small enough to be a singularity, but maybe with a little work it could be.

He placed it there, where it hung, unmoving now, and turned back to his place of birth. He was learning. A part of her. A mobile part of her. And he could eat and pay tribute and he would grow. And he would give her those… Sparks.

That’s what they were.

His head turned from his mother, taking in the expanse of space that stretched out before him. He could feel it all. The warmth of the stars, the rotations of the planets in galaxies billions of light years away. And he could feel the edge. He could see the beginning. He could feel the end. Perhaps he was the end. Everything was so very unsure.

And then again, it wasn’t. He had a purpose. A goal. Was he alive? Like those he had consumed? He did not know. He did not have the room to wonder. Gingerly, his fingers, the black swirling tendrils, wound around the light, and he set it on the edge of the event horizon, nudging it along to be devoured by his mother.

And then he turned.

And he gazed out again at the space that surrounded him.

And he knew.

He had worlds to devour.

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