The number of words project – One (1)

A single mote drifts across the multiverse, moving so slowly that in ten thousand millennium it will have moved no more than a near-infinitesimal fraction of the smallest distance imaginable.

If it were to be detected by beings that attempted to catalog such occasions, they would record it as the only unique thing that has ever existed; an element whose properties have no match on the periodic tables of any civilization, from any universe, at any time. But the odds of such a discovery are astronomical (no pun intended); somewhere in the neighborhood of one-in-a-number-so-large-it-has-yet-to-be-conceived-recorded-or-expressed-by-any-sentient-creature.

Which is precisely as it should be, since the mote is the herald of the Void; a tiny loose thread sewn into the fabric of the multiverse at the instant of creation that has the power to unravel everything if it is tugged. All that needs happen to start the process is a simple collision between it and any matter that is not the same as itself.

Why would such a thing exist? No one will ever truly know, but one could speculate that it is the counterbalance; the thing that simply must be to give the Void a chance–however improbable–to conquer all. One could almost picture it as a clause in the contract of being that was negotiated by the Original Attorney so skillfully that it could, in theory, remain untouched forever.

But in practice (again, no pun intended) a radio signal from Earth that should have dissipated billions of miles prior–but found itself absorbed, magnified, and rebroadcast by a chance encounter with a star’s birth–will reach it. The wave’s impact will cause the aforementioned speck to careen across the multiverse, making the collision that might never have happened an inevitable conclusion.

The result?

The beginning of The End.

(What prognosticator could have foreseen that everything–every single thing–would be undone by talk radio and a born-again star?)

NOTE: This post originally ran on on December 1st, 2007. It was believed to have been lost forever, but a recent spelunking expedition into the crawlspace beneath the basement steps revealed a heretofore unknown passion for mildew and another copy.