The word. That’s all it took: one simple command and humanity, its landfills, the dinosaur bones, the platypus, and what was left of the rainforests, were blasted into stardust in a Little Bang in our corner of the universe.
I’d met another ghost once, when I was alive, and asked her if it became boring—watching others live—but she said it never was. The focus on recreating balance—of finishing the unfinished business that made her linger—occupied her enough that she felt suspended in a void, drifting out of time as arbitrary days and years rose and fell around our planet’s improbable orbit of a star. She’s not around anymore, so I guess she saw him die when the universe was put back on the level.
For me, it took eons in limbo until I saw a chance for balance. Time was meaningless as I wandered through subjective days based on the solar system I was crossing. The eternity that was required for expansion to stop and reverse and implode and reset in yet another Big Bang didn’t seem that long at all. But once the stars and planets began forming and I found a near replica of my old home, time refocused while I waited in the desert, trying to remember an old story: perhaps the oldest story I had ever known.
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