Dubious Beginnings

Generation 1


The world is flat, dark, and cold. It roves restlessly over the waters, now here, now there, pushed this way and that by impossible shapes, unknown tides.

Generation 30

A pool of heat. It crowds toward it, buffeted by others equally frozen. They all find a spot and purr gently, shoulder to shoulder, linked by this new thing. Light! The waters are smooth, full of gentle noise and potential.

Generation 60

Light, light, everywhere light. Hot and cold; hot stirs it, cold stills it. The water drags toward cold and it strains to break free. Its family claws at it, some to pull it back, some to pull it free.

Generation 90

The waters are dangerous. It clings to the shore, shudders when the waters rise too near. There are others still in the water, ones that never made it out. It has claimed this spot; they cannot have it. It digs in.

Generation 140

Lights over the water. A new island? This one is crowded. It hesitates. Lights! It surges back into the water, bearing out. Another has already taken its spot.

There is nothing at the light, no heat, no island, just one floating in the darkness. It despairs.

Generation 200

Others in the sea and on the land. Lights in the water and out. It orbits each. There was a shore, once, and a space of clean earth. It remembers. There are too many here, now. It remembers solitude.

Generation 240

It has pulled itself up again, lost the chill of the waters. It is alone up here. It stays dark, remembering the waters. One comes by, then two, and it pulls them up, but keeps them dark. For the moment this is theirs, theirs alone. They are warm together.