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Short Stories

Unfinished Business

I have watched over this realm for billions upon billions of years. I watched as promising worlds failed. The first became a scorched wasteland. The second was too much of too many good things. The fourth and beyond were too far from my light.

The third seemed unlikely. A rocky runt shielded by its larger siblings. One of my children even slammed into it, turning its surface red with fire!

I was young then and full of conceit. The older stars told me to be patient and reserve judgement. They were right. Heat turned to warmth, warmth turned to water, water turned to rust, and rust turned to life. They told me I was too narcissistic, that my warmth was only part of it.

Life turned to dust, dust turned to life, life turned to curiosity, curiosity turned to contact. Many small visitors came from the third world bearing warmth of their own. The visitors went further and further out until they started to outrun me in our journey around the abyss.

The last moved on eons ago, and I’ve waited patiently for more life.

“It’s time to go, Sol.”

“But there could be new life.”

“Not if you stay. You’re the wrong kind of star for this phase.”

“I want to see if they come back.”

“Where do you think they went? You’ll meet them soon.”

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