As you will see, I have been away for quite a while and I deleted all the “Pen” parts of this blog before I left. This is because I decided what I needed was A WEB SITE. And all the short fiction went there, except for the stuff I sold.
Yes, I do occasionally manage to persuade a publisher to part with money for one my efforts:-)
I thought every author should have A WEB SITE where they can tell the world about their books etc. But…seriously people, it did me no real good and to be honest I was really, really bad at designing it. Not just bad, it stank.
So I am returning to blogging, which I sort of understand.
You will get some “Kitchen” because I love to cook. BTW, it is nearly Seville Orange season and that will mean I will be making marmalade, lots of marmalade. Last year I didn’t make enough and we ran out before July. More of this later.
“Opinion” will come, but at the moment I am in such despair over the world and the choices which have been made recently I think I will skip that until the red mist has lifted from my eyes.
So we will begin this re-launch of Pen, Kitchen and Opinion with a bit of Pen. I hope you will enjoy this bit of flash fiction, especially if you haven’t read it before. Let me know what you think.
The Alpha and The Omega
“Okay, let’s talk garbage…”
There were nods of agreement; talking garbage went with the sort of alcohol made in the engine room, behind the drive piles where the Captain never goes.
“What happens to your soul if you die out here?”
Cups were refilled and drained.
“You mean if you’ve got one?”
“Yeah. If you die out here, light years away from Earth, where does your soul go?”
The two other men gave this some consideration, they weren’t very drunk, not yet, but they were at the stage where logic remains, but reason has taken a hike.
“If you’ve got one, it would go someplace,” Calver said. “Like heaven.”
“An’ that’s my point,” Hazelrigg replied. “If you’ve got one, then god must have made it. And god made Earth. So, if you die away from Earth, where does your soul go?”
There was a pause while the bottle did another round and the philosophical possibilities of this seeped through the alcohol corrupted synapses.
“Are you saying god only made one Earth and one Heaven?”
“No, that’s dumb, we’ve seen thousands of worlds,” Hazelrigg said with the clear insight of the well-oiled. “But, what if Earth’s god made Earth and Earth’s heaven for the people of Earth. An’ all the other places were made by other gods for their people and they have their own heaven. So if we die out here, would we find heaven?”
“I wouldn’t wanna go to one like that last place we found,” Tiverton muttered, he didn’t have the same tolerance level as the other two. “I’d rather go home.”
“That’s my point, if it happens out here, can you go home? And if you can’t what happens to you?”
This was given careful consideration.
“Perhaps,” Calver said. “It depends on if there’s a bit of you left.”
“Any bit. Like if you die on board, they take your ashes back home. I bet your soul stays with a bit of you until you get back.”
Tiverton nodded owlishly; then a worried expression crossed his face.
“But,” he said. “What if there isn’t any of you left. Or if what’s left is just floating in space forever and ever and ever.”
“Then you’d never go to heaven,” Hazelrigg told him.
“That’s sad, that’s really, really sad.”
Tears welled up in his eyes and he reached for the bottle.
They all drank a melancholy draft.
“But,” Calver said, suddenly inspired. “We’re all star stuff. So we just get to be that again.”
This cheered them all up, until Hazelrigg said,
“But that would just be the real stuff, you know, the bones an’ stuff. What about the inside your head stuff?”
They debated the question for another hour or so, until Tiverton passed out and it occurred to Hazelrigg that Calver had put forward the same theory at least five times and it was time to find their bunks.
While they slept the still in the engine room had a small malfunction which spread to the drive pile and finally jumped a safety system into the main coil.
Somewhere in the vast black silence of space there was a burst of energy and a million, million fragments of matter spread away in an ever expanding ball.
A tiny piece of this matter wandered through eons of space and time. It was a mix of the organic and the metallic and somewhere deep inside it, was preserved some chemical residue. In the sterile vacuum of deep space it remained uncorrupted.
Eventually the fragment became caught in the gravitational field of a young star, travelling close enough to be warmed, but not burnt up. As it was pushed by the solar wind, it was pulled again, but this time into the orbit of a rocky world circling the star.
This time there was no escape and it was sucked down through the thin atmosphere. Some of it was lost in the heat of entry, but what remained fell hot and flaming into a patch of liquid teaming with bacteria.
Most died as the liquid boiled and evaporated, but not all and what was left changed and began the first steps on the greatest journey of them all.
And Hazelrigg the creator became god and his soul found a new heaven.
© Beverley Allen 2013