The universe explodes. It begins with a tiny beam of light, one that seems to intersect reality itself, cutting through time and space with ease. Almost instantaneously it multiplies in size. Flashing upwards like a pillar of white light, all the way to heaven. As it grows upwards, it expands, threatening to encompass entire planets. Then it stops. In a single instant it vanishes and it seems like the whole thing was a false alarm.
Then the sound comes. They say in space there is no sound – that it can’t travel through the vacuum, but nothing in the universe could stop this sound. This sound is like a clap of thunder, but is so deep that it’s barely audible at the start, then feels like it will crush your brain, like it just skipped past your ears into your mind.
At last the origin of the sound reveals itself – a point of light, which erupts endlessly in itself, trillions of times a second before the energy explodes out in every direction.
From my point in time and space this all seems so unreal. I am almost an infinity away from the centre of this event but I see it clearly. A spear of light flickered into the sky, then vanished. I could see the start of the sound shockwave and can see it even more clearly now as it races across the universe. I see planets knocked out of orbit, stars shaken to their very cores. Then I see the explosion. Through the shockwave it seems ethereal and unclear, but I know it is very real.
I shrink within myself. This is the end, not just for me, but for everything.
The explosion flares outwards at an unimaginable speed. It devours everything in its path. Immense black holes are annihilated in an instant, planets vanish beneath its power. Star systems crumble, entire galaxies start to collapse. Then it reaches the speed of light, and the destruction becomes muted as everything in its path seems to simply disappear, like some celestial being just decided to turn off the light for a while.
I stand to face oblivion, and then I begin to feel it – the emptiness of the dying universe. As though every being that should have had a chance to scream before it died is looking at me, waiting. And in that moment of emptiness, something sparks.
This spark is different to the ones I’ve felt before. It is hot, like rage, and just as intense but something has changed. It pounds frantically inside my chest, again like the rage. This is all so familiar, I can feel my throat being to contract.
The shockwave of sound grows ever nearer. The explosion is catching it at the speed of light. I realise that they will converge at my point – no other being in the universe will have so complete an oblivion.
I begin to lose control. The shockwaves bear down upon me. Involuntarily my mouth opens, to voice the rage of a whole universe of life. The roar is bestial and terrifying, it is all I can hear in my ears. Through it, the universe begins to fight back.
Time itself bends to my will. The survival instinct of every living thing flows at once through me. The vision of destruction before me begins to slow. Painfully, fitfully, like a dog struggling frantically against a leash, it grinds to a halt right in front of my face. I look at it, I feel like it’s looking at me. I reach forward to touch the edge of chaos. My hand passes through unscathed. Curiously I lean forward to look through.
At the other side a new universe glitters. Newly born planets and stars, new galaxies exist where old ones lay. New life starts to emerge. In this moment I have a choice - To accept the rebirth, or to reclaim the old reality. I reflect for a moment.
Now that the universe has seen the truth, I believe it understands. I let the future wash over me.