The End Of Stories

The day they dropped/the end of stories

Once upon a time, a boy lived by the seaside. His family lived modestly and took great joy in what little they had. While his father was out fishing, he liked to walk along the shore and gather shells half-buried in the sand. Today, the child was bored of collecting shells and decided to do something different. The little boy went to the chair where his mother sat as she did every day, knitting sweaters and scarves for her loved ones. “Momma,” the little boy asked, “Can you please tell me a story?” “Anything for my precious child,” she exclaimed. She began like this:

A long time ago, there was a great warrior who came from a far away land. He wielded a sword as long as he was tall. Bards sang songs of his bravery and deeds in every village as wide as an eagle can see. His followers admired him for his divine strength. His enemies feared him for his might. However, his evil half-brother, who had subjugated a hundred clans, saw his noble sibling as a threat to his reign and conspired to end him. By the time the warrior realized the plot, it was too late. A villainous horde of mercenaries had encircled the town in which he was staying for the night. He knew that the charge down the hill in the morning would be his last. Gathering his retinue and the townsfolk on the eve before his last stand, he told them a legend that his mother had taught him as a child in hopes that it would raise their spirits:

When the world was young, the heavens and the earth existed without form. The Creator was the only life in the void. “We are alone,” She declared. “Let us found a place to call home and populate it with beings like Ourself.” And with these words spoken, dust became dirt and dirt became land. Her lonely tears became pools and the pools became the seas. From the mud, the Creator molded humanity and all the animals, beautiful in their forms. She breathed life into the creatures and called them by name. She beamed down upon Her creation, but saw that humanity retreated from her brilliance. With a gesture, plants sprouted from the earth and shaded its new inhabitants. The Creator saw that it was good and She rested.

“I can’t seem to remember the rest of the story,” the speaker said, distracted by the situation at hand.

A great flash of light appeared on the horizon. In less than an instant, the little boy, his mother, and all the stories she told were vaporized by the power of the atom, never to be told again.