Beginnings will be a series of character introductions. They don’t follow on from one another and may be separated by continents, centuries, or both.
I heard the end of the universe. It didn’t sound like you would expect. It ends with neither a bang nor a whimper. The sound is slow, drawn out over centuries, though at the end of it all time collapses and the sound happened all at once. It began with a quiet crack. Like a pane of glass hit by a small stone. At first, nothing happens and you sigh, relieved that the glass has been undamaged. Then there’s the quietest sound and a tiny crack appears. The crack grows and spreads, splitting, crossing the glass. The sound intensifies. Your breath catches, you hope the glass will merely crack but you already know it’s gone too far. It’s just a matter of time. You wait with baited breath, knowing the end is coming, but still it startles you. The shattering of the glass. A thousand times a thousand pieces tinkling against one another, scratching each other and then, all at once, crashing to the floor in a deafening roar.
I heard the end of the universe and saw the world that follows. I am the Herald, the Harbinger of Doom, She Who Did Not Die, Worldkiller. Sit a while and I shall tell you of the one I loved.
10 days in a row! 10% of the way there! I am on fire!
I’ve been wanting to write this piece for months. I’ve written it in my thoughts a hundred times, whilst walking to work or standing in the shower, whilst trying to sleep or waiting in line. It’s been bouncing around in there, begging to come out. Then demanding to come out. And finally I sat down tonight planning to write an introduction for either Ironheart or Deirdre or another of Deirdre and Derek’s brood. But instead this came out, all at once and with surprising ease.
I’d avoided writing this piece because I wasn’t sure I should share it. Though the end of the universe is not the final act in the Fractured Earth stories I want to tell, it’s a fairly major reveal and I’d kind of assumed that I’d keep it secret until it happened. Certainly I hadn’t planned to write anything set after it until I’d written a lot more before it. But, this is what I wrote today, and I want to share it, so here it is.