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Crunch Time

by Oonah V. Joslin

I’ve been visiting Uncle Luce. You’ll have heard of him, red all over, cloven hoofs, forked tail. He isn’t a bad guy actually. Thinks the sun shines out of my backside. Well it does. Shines out of my front side too. It’s a Pyro family trait.

Of course you won’t know my dad, Soldaeg. He never gets any credit here. They only know Uncle Luce. It’s okay, I brought identification. I understand they’re tightening security because of the Big Crunch. It’s a sensible precaution.

Lumiel, yes. Glad you like it.

Uncle Luce always tells people about the day I was born and how he helped out in his capacity as Son of the Morning. Really he just pushed a button. Dad already had it all set up. Uncle Luce is good at pressing other people’s buttons though.

Sure. Call whoever you need to call... I’m in no hurry.

Between you and me, Uncle Luce had already been demoted and all this crunch stuff is his fault. He likes to experiment with opposites — fascinated by them he is. He’s always maintained he was just ‘stretching his wings a little’, but really he was mucking about with quantum mechanics, trying to find the opposite flavour of charm and make E=mc2 or something when he destabilized a boson and BANG — all hell let loose.

Anyway, it created more heat than light, which is a waste of energy, and a great deal of dark matter too, which means the sums don’t add up. It was my mother’s idea to invent the weekend by way of compensation — ‘A shame to have all that thermal energy around and no excuse for a roast’, she said.

The Boss was furious: he demoted my uncle immediately to Lord of Darkness, which seemed an appropriate title. You see, Son of something is top notch where I come from — “lord” anything is a minor player. So God tells him the universe will have to run its course, balanced or not, and Uncle Luce will have to supervise, since he caused the problem. He said He was prepared to do a bit of damage control but not clean up the mess — and there it is, still expanding. It is messy though... It’s the only universe with creatures, you know — mortals, naturally. Some of them even think the universe was made for them.

I like coming to visit Uncle Luce to see how it’s going. Could be Big Crunch Day any time. There’s no way to tell. It would be exciting if I could be here for that. He lets me do supernovas and ectoplasm from time to time, a solar flare here and there; but it would be fun to do full-scale galactic conflagration. Still, I feel sorry in a way. I think he quite likes the little creatures and the funny lumpy texture of it all, and so do I. It’s fun watching them decide between all those opposites.

Lumiel Pyro, yes that’s me. Nice chatting. Maybe I’ll see you next time I visit. I drop by every hundred millennia or so.

Copyright © 2009 by Oonah V. Joslin

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