Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rebirth (Flash! Friday entry #2.3)

The planet had been almost entirely vacated. Only those too poor, too ill, or too crazy to leave remained. Christa supposed she fell into the last category. She wasn’t like the cultists who’d elected to stay because they thought God had returned; Christa stayed because she was curious. She stayed so she could see the heart of a black hole.

Christa slept during the day, wandering deserted streets at night and taking inventory of the stars. Fewer and fewer burned through the black veil each night, devoured by an even deeper, more permanent blackness.

It happened during one of her midnight walks. Christa cartwheeled into the sky, consumed by a blackness so cold and complete it was like being unborn. She collapsed, falling inward and inward and inward, until she was one with the heart and there was nowhere left to fall but out.

Christa exploded through the darkness.

She became the light.

A new heart for a new world.

1 comment:

  1. This story was chosen as the winner for Round 2.3 of Flash! Friday. I'm very pleased. Here is what the judge had to say:

    The central premise of this piece is so powerful: Christa stayed behind to experience what it is to be engulfed by a black hole, not for any suicidal notion, but merely for the sake of curiosity, to experience the unknown.

    There is also a political theme here too. The poor, the ill and the crazy have all been left behind to die, presumably because the rich have abandoned them, their wealth providing them opportunity to flee.

    The approach of the black hole being signaled only by the extinction of the stars is really effective; its consumptive power can only at this point be perceived through tiny incremental acts. I also love the use of the world “cartwheeled” to describe Christa’s movement into the singularity; it’s so playful, reflecting her nature. I also appreciated the use of the word “unborn” to describe the sensation, something we can articulate but not truly experience and therefore understand. The end for me was a fantastic surprise; I had imagined Christa being locked in the singularity forever, infinitely extended beyond herself; instead she bursts through it to be born again as a new light, a bright star heralding new hope. A highly deserving winning piece. Congratulations!