The Start of Something Big

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The end of the one is the beginning of the other.

Five billion years went by. For five billion cold, solitary, freakin' years, the grain of sand, barely bigger than a pin head, circled the white star. Millions of times, like a yo-yo, it fell toward the star, enjoying a few brief weeks of warmth before being flung back into the black, heartless depths of the lonely, trackless, forbidding vacuum of space.

One time was different than all the others. A blue planet stood squarely in the grain's path. It slammed into the atmosphere at 24,000 miles per hour. Friction heated it white hot, and the grain was vaporized at several tens of thousands of degrees. For half of a second, it blazed a streak across one quarter of the clear night sky. The little grain of sand was no more, but its fiery death had not been in vain. It was all part of the grand plan of the universe.

A child sitting on a parent's knee clapped and squealed in delight, having just seen the first shooting star of a lifetime. It was the start of something big. It fired the child's imagination which was to be followed up by years of intense study with a passion few school kids can match. We don't know yet when that was. We don't know yet where that was. We only know with reasonable certainty that the child walks among us on Earth today, just one of seven billion pairs of feet, and one of those feet is destined to make the first human footprint in the sands of Mars.

Copyright © 2015 W.C. Bell; All rights reserved.


Submitted: March 24, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Whiskey Charlie. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

B Douglas Slack

That was a great story, WC. Who knows, it just may have been real. Now, all we have to do is get off our collective butts and plan for Mars. ~Tom

Tue, March 24th, 2015 1:18am

Author
Reply

Sigh! At our age, Tom, we might not live to see it, just like my Uncle Henry who died a week before man set foot on the moon.

Mon, March 23rd, 2015 6:24pm

Vance Currie

Great story. You never know what a little thing like a grain of sand might lead to, even though it might take billions of years to get there.

Tue, March 24th, 2015 1:25am

Author
Reply

Last night, my cousin mentioned that she has never seen a shooting star (IIRC she's 46 years old), so I got to thinking how exciting the first one might be.

Mon, March 23rd, 2015 6:55pm

Chris Green

I love the logical progression from paragraph to paragraph you make here to bring the story to its conclusion. I don't know why but it reminded me of John Lennon's A Day In The Life where it ends with Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall. Nice work.
Regards
Chris

Thu, March 26th, 2015 8:04am

Author
Reply

Thank you for the read, Chris, and for taking the time to comment.

Thu, March 26th, 2015 1:56am

Adrian Hunt

Hey Whiskey - sorry it's been a while! On my desktop at work I have a picture that says 'Root cause analysis... Nailed it!' against the background of a 'big bang'. This puts me in mind of that desktop, and also reminds us that the smallest grain of sand could change everything in the end. Love it ????

Sun, March 29th, 2015 11:59pm

Author
Reply

Hi, Adrian. Thanks for the read and for taking the time to comment. Yeah, the Big Bang may have started it all, but the bane of modern times is Big Government.

Sun, March 29th, 2015 7:50pm

Criss Sole

I loved it. I agree with the comments above for sure. It can all begin with one moment, like planting a seed and watching it grow.

Fri, April 3rd, 2015 7:40am

Author
Reply

I'm glad you enjoyed it Criss. My goal is to please my fans.

Fri, April 3rd, 2015 12:49am

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