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The Beginning

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Long before the age of ice when the planet was blanketed in frost, long before the colossal dinosaurs roamed the earth, long before minute shrimp crept in the ocean, there was nothing. Not even light existed. There was merely a disk of darkness, spinning around and around for eons.

Each time it completed a round, it would chip off a bit of itself when it knocked into its own blackness. Soon enough, the disk was nothing but the dust of itself. Its reign had ended in self-destruction, a curse that it would pass on to everything else. Each entity would have a piece of darkness implanted in its spirit.

But each minuscule grain of dust would become something as it grew. This was the seed of hope to challenge the seed of destruction. Some swelled and became stars, like our dear Sun. Others were mysteriously drawn to these shining spheres and blossomed to become planets. And the leftover specks became asteroids, meteors and comets. The stars, bright twinkling lights sparkling in the gloom, dotted the dark tapestry of nothingness and formed Aquarius, Pegasus, Orion… This became what humankind today calls the Universe.

But there was one small dot left untouched. It became the first black hole. It would grow and split into two, each of which would in turn divide themselves, swallowing everything that they came across.

We now focus our attention on one small planet different from others in its cosmic cluster. It had a rebellious nature, yearning to be different. Blue dye was spread upon its surface, shrouded by a swirl of white. This little planet produced a beautiful creation: life.

Its companion, the moon, would spin around it. The length of this cycle would be called a month. The strange planet in turn would spin around the patron star, the Sun, for a time to be named a year. For ages, they waltzed in harmony, spiral over spiral.

Years passed, and land emerged from the strange blue planet. Shrimp, fish, sharks and turtles before had roamed the seas. Now, lizard-like creatures clambered onto the earth and stalked the forests. Then came the age of dinosaurs, both gentle giants and cunning predators, ruling the skies and the ground. They dropped lifeless when an asteroid hit the planet, blocking the warmth of the sun they needed. Out came the tiny mammals, true survivors. From the ape grew the man, the mightiest predator ever known. Then, ice coated the earth, extinguishing those unfit for the future. Man survived thanks to the discovery of fire. Afterwards, his kind became sedate and lazy, settling in communities. From that moment on, everything changed.

Each living creature has a spirit. The tree’s is one of the purest, wise, ancient and venerable. When Man took over the world he would not allow anything to stand in its way. When he chopped down a tree, its spirit would be cut into two. When reduced to a chunk the size of a finger, there would be left only a fragment too insignificant to be noticed.

However, if the tree had died naturally, its spirit would linger, guarding the spot where it had been born.

The animals had noble spirits as well. But man would kill and skin them, wearing and selling their pelts. And their spirits were broken into tiny shards as well.

Early Man would respect the armies of birch and poplar, dragging away just enough dead wood to kindle his fire. The tree’s spirit smiled gratefully, glad that its corpse had been treated with respect. Man would kill only a few animals a year, relying on their pelt and food to survive. But soon, Man’s greed grew when he needed more wood and fur to fulfil his avarice for gold nuggets. Everywhere, trees toppled to the ground and entire species disappeared, fading into distant memories.

Trees were chopped up mercilessly to make pencils, inscribing utensils that held knowledge in their grip. Yet what good was this knowledge, when Man could not even hear the tree’s spirit crying out as it was severed countless times? He had lost the power to hear. He had lost the power to see. He had lost the power to feel. He was now losing the power to think.

As Man industrialized, the rebellious planet sighed. Man was the seed of destruction sown onto its skin. He was thinning the veil of protection. The planet began to cry softly, melting icecaps and raising the water level. It tried to stop its tears, but instead they poured down heavier and heavier, until there was but one peak left. The rest of the land was submerged in the warm liquid. On the summit of the tallest mountain of the world, a young girl stood alone. She had never dreamed of climbing Everest. This had been her haven until now. The water was lapping at her feet.

Soon, it would surround her body. She drowned slowly, engulfed in the tears of the strange blue planet.

But, sown within the resilient planet was also the promise of hope. The blue planet ceased its tears and breathed heavily, stirring up gases to create a stronger shield. Year after year it mended its veil like a fisherman mending his net. Once complete, the planet exhaled in relief, and wind blew across the endless ocean. Beneath the waters something stirred. Slowly, the cracked top of a tower broke the surface. This strange land had once borne the name of Atlantis. The Greeks had told stories about a utopia under the sea, and here it was, emerging from the deep.

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