Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When the Ground Met The Sky - Liana Brooks

CONTEXT! World-building is often thought to stop after an author names the mountains and rivers, but it's actually runs much deeper than that. In one of my series a character quotes a popular children's book that everyone would know... which meant I need to write at least part of that book so I could quote it properly. That's where this short story comes from.

~ Short Stories For Small Spacers ~

Once, when the universe was very young, Sky was born between the places of nothing. Out there in the darkness thoughts and ideas rushed around, all seeking something marvelous. Sky went with them, rushing away from the center of the universe to find something.

Sky searched in all the dark places, trying to find the something everyone was searching for. One day, he saw something that was not air or darkness. This new thing was not light or void. It was strange and new, so he went to it.

“What are you?” ask Sky.

“I am Ground,” said Ground as she spun around herself.

Sky watched her form into a perfect sphere. “You are not expanding,” Sky said. “You are not reaching. You are not searching.”

“I have done my searching,” Ground said. “I have found what I wanted. Now I will stay here and grow beautiful things and make new things the universe has never seen.”

Sky watched Ground for a time, but then he traveled onward, searching for the thing that would give him meaning.

After many years Sky returned to Ground and she looked much as she had when he left.

“Ground” he said, “how did you know when you found what you were searching for?”

“How can you search for something if you don’t know what it is you want?” Ground asked in reply.

Sky considered this. “I want to find the place where I belong,” he said.

“Yes,” Ground said. “That is good. I belong here, because here I can grow things and create great things.”

“I should find a place where I can make great things,” Sky said, and so he went off into the void.
He searched in the darkness, and in gas clouds, and in nebulas. He hunted for his purpose. Near great gravity variations and on the edges of black holes, Sky sought the place where he could grow new things and add something wonderful to the universe.

Again, he returned to Ground.

Ground was crying.

“Why are crying?” Sky asked.

Ground showed him the barren soil, dark and scarred by the ravages of creation. “My beautiful creations keep dying. I build mountains and they tremble and fall. I create oceans and they evaporate. All my beautiful things are destroyed. I can create, but I have no way to protect my beautiful things.”

Sky hugged Ground and held her tight as she cried. He watched ripples turn into mountains, and green grass began to grow. “Look!” Sky said. “Look how beautiful this is! You have what you wanted!”

“But only when you are here,” Ground said sadly. “When you leave, all these beautiful things will fall away.”

So Sky held her tighter. “I will stay.”

“You should go,” Ground said. “Go and find the thing you are searching for.”

“I have,” said Sky. “I was searching for you. I was searching for a place to belong, and it is here, with you. I was searching for a purpose, and it is here, helping you make beautiful and wondrous things for the universe. I was searching for love, and it is here. I love you, Ground.”

“I love you, Sky,” said Ground. 

And that is how the ground got an atmosphere.


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