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Venus was his first. It took 4,000 years for him to finally make up his mind. Perhaps they had earned it sooner, but he was young back then, and indecisive. Even so, they hadn't been the longest: Mercury took 5,000, and that was when he was more experienced, surer of what he was looking for. Sure, they were under a lot of stress, close to the sun as they were. Still, they beg­ged and prayed to him endlessly before finally taking the hint. Mars managed it, too, but they weren't forced to contend with the harsh conditions that Mercury and Venus were subject to. He did a brief stint across the pond in Alpha Centauri, and they gave an admirable effort, but nothing could compare to Europa. Europa was his protégé. They had it from the get-go. A very wholesome people.

He was known by many names. God was the most popular, but there was also Allah, Brahma, Tao – even Mother Nature, though he wasn't as fond of that one. But they were all flattering misnomers. He didn't have the power of creation. He couldn't make or unmake. He wasn't the alpha or the omega; he was just the Judge.

He swam amongst the cosmos, ribbon-dancing with nebulae and tangoing with Andromeda. He had worn Orion's belt, and shaken hands with the Gemini twins. The palpable abstract of the night sky was his home, and his place of business. As the Judge, all he did was watch and arbitrate. His philosophy was simple: “Those who have, receive.” And he had lots to give.

On the third ring out, sandwiched between a success and a pile of rocks, lay the next on his list. A blotchy planet of lush greens and somber blues, obscured by the white spittle of the stratosphere. Pyramids held on high their lofty treasure while pages were inscribed with words that would birth a thousand lives and take a thousand more. Flocks moved easily through the thin waters of complacency, confident that their race, their country, their family was better than all the rest.

Unimpressed, the Judge moved on.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Alex_Mac said...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm:
This is awesome! The wording is very lyrical and overall it's a great, thought-provoking story.Good job!
 
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singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm:
i love this! its a really great story and it captivated me. great vocab- i love your wording!
 
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