Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Tarot Stories #4: This Is the Way a World Ends

Fire unfolded the instructions and reviewed them.

How to Make a World
You may begin any where
You may begin any time
It does not have to be at the start

You may begin with a spark
With light
With nothing

You may begin in the middle
With a man
Or a cat
With a city
Or forest
Or mountain

You may begin with a sun
Or a hundred thousand species of beetles.

It doesn't matter when it is
If you do it right
You will find the present leads to past and future
The man leads to his people
The people lead to the land
The ocean to the archipelago
The world to the stars
The stars to the world.

That sounds easy enough, Fire thought. Let's start at the end.

Firestorms blossomed, to fall upon a vast corrupted city. The city sprawled in a wasteland of ruined civilizations. The firestorms rained down from moons -- no, great spaceships, which hung in orbit about a world of grey seas, frozen deserts, and very little life. The only screams come from that single city.

But a hundred thousand artificial monuments and archaeological remnants were left behind in those deserts, in wrack upon those seas, in metallic debris in low orbit. The ships spread out and the firestorms with them, obliterating everything.

Fire marveled at her creation. I wonder how it came to this? The silver web of time stretched backwards from the end. Fire stepped lightfooted onto it, and danced towards its beginning. She paused in the middle to watch the lives of people unfold when their civilization was at its height, vibrant with promise. She ran quickly from there to before the people existed, when the world turned without animals more complex than a microscopic cluster of cells.

So quickly that she did not see the snarl in the silver web, the way it caught and pulled in places, the way the tug sent ripples up and down the fabric of the world, the way the tangle was growing.

It's hard to get something right on the first try.

[Cards from Tarot of the Silicon Dawn: Ace of Swords (NSFW), Ace of Pentacles (NSFW). Card from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot: The World (SFW). Prompt from alltoseek. I don't usually write free verse, but the instructions on How to Make a World really didn't want to be in prose. Apologies!]
Tags: fiction, short stories, tarot stories, writing

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