The Universe and You

Jul 2, 2022, 6:45:52 PM

When Catherine touched her a surge of energy shot through Natsumi’s body. Even in her heel, she stood on tiptoe with her other foot off the ground. Her body trembled with energy and she held herself as steady as possible.

The light blue sky and Tokyo skyline intensified in brightness turning a pure white.

In the distance Natsumi saw a small figure. Her only indications that she was moving through this empty space was a rush of wind all around her and the lone person growing in size. Natsumi’s body spasmed as she snapped in place before the lone figure. She found herself looking up.

She recognized the face of the woman in front of her. She was the very same from her own short history as a goddess. The woman was known (to her) as the Ferrywoman, a tall figure with flowing blonde hair and an alien looking face. She had an ethereal beauty to her and a pair of black marbles for eyes that either reflected the light around them or contained them as if they were two universes unto themselves. When Natsumi met her, she was dressed in long flowing black robes and ferried the souls between the mortal and eternal realms, but here the Ferrywoman was different. She was dressed in white with stripes of gold. She stood still and clasped her long-fingered hands in front of her. She tipped her head down and smiled.

Natsumi saw a pair of hands rise in front of her. She too seemed to be observing something. These hands were tiny and chubby much like a child’s, but they moved with a deeper purpose. The gestures reminded her of watching a conductor prepare an orchestra to begin a concert.

What the heck… these aren’t my… Natsumi cut her own thought off and raced to figure out what was going on here. From the finger tips, threads of material wriggled out. Swirling eddies of dust manifested out of nothingness and twisted together. More and more material was siphoned out of the aether surrounding the hands and compressed together until a small ball formed, floating between the child’s hands. As more material wrapped around the ball it crushed in on itself. The mass glowed a faint orange, then a strong, throbbing yellow, and at last without fanfare it burst into an intense white color. The heat it radiated was skin-melting. No, even more than that, it was sun-giving. There was a small sun hovering between this child’s hands.

And yet more material continued to spawn out of the empty space around them and flowed into it collapsing into the gravitational well of the fiery sphere.

The body Natsumi observed through began to blow as one might on some embers in a package of kindling. The blowing caused more material to be pulled out of the empty air, but this time in giant clouds that swirled around the star.

Are these Catherine’s memories? They had to be, Natsumi had never seen anything like this. The touch transmitted more than power, but also a piece of her own mind.

The star grew bigger. And more material slammed into the surface. The evenly white-hot surface now swirled with blue tinged fires that turned onto vortexes roaming the surface of the sphere.

More and more material impacted the star. Natsumi had read enough science books to know what would happen, but she had never seen someone force the end result before (or even fathomed that someone could do that or how they could do that, but alas it was happening in front of her). The amount of material being pushed in continue to increase until the flames were smothered out and the ball of quivering mass continued to condense and crush in upon itself growing smaller. The fingers of Catherine’s chubby hand (if they really were her hands) strained and trembled and continued to feed the mass until it disappeared entirely.

Yet the material continued to form and gather around the absent globe. The stuff was spaghetti-fied and twisted around the ball forming an accretion disk. The mobius strip of stuff wobbled as it wormed its way around and created a silhouette of the shadowy sphere.

And yet the child didn’t stop. More material. More pressure. What was this child doing?

The tiny hands shook violently but Natsumi found herself rooting for the girl (for Catherine?? No way…) but she wanted her to finish what she started. A bright fire flashed all around Natsumi. The yellow and orange flames licked at the sides of her vision as the girl herself was being pulled into the black hole.

Woah! Wait a second! What the hell! Natsumi found herself thinking. She was still a silent observer within this girl’s body! And yet this ride was turning very real. The tiny arms stretched forward through space elongating as it was pulled into the accretion disk. This is not good!

Natsumi wanted to scream.

But another presence hushed her. That presence said nothing, but she sensed a warmth wrapping all around her, a hug keeping her still. She gasped as the chubby hands turned into ribbons and the arms unthreaded and warped around one another. In an instant she was pulled into the accretion disk. Her vision swam, but she saw the circular void up close through the ribbons of matter. She was pulled around that shadow sphere as if she were on an endless roller coaster ride. There gasp-inducing drops and the kick as she rose up over the next hill.

The material collapsed into the black hole and the hole itself evaporated. All of it squished into a tiny and violent point of space. All of that matter stripped down to energy and vibrated with violent intensity wanted out, and not soon after did the whole thing erupt.

Natsumi gasped and trembled as she was thrown out of the singularity. Around her the whiteness was gone replaced with a silent sea of black. In the distance there were explosions and pinpricks of light snapped on. She remained, somehow, whole and complete. Natsumi raised her hands and studied them. She was still dressed in her magical girl outfit and even in this borrowed memory she was missing the heel on her right foot. She swam through the silent sea of the infinite and endless night.

“Okay, this isn’t happening to me… it’s happening all around me,” she mused to herself. “Stay cool, stay cool…” Coolcoolcool. She wasn’t floating alone in some vast empty stretch of the cosmos. It was a memory. Catherine’s memory. Or maybe, it was the memory of whatever wrapped around her at the last moment to keep her still.

Hold up, Natsumi thought. If this is… a memory of her’s, then I’ve got soooo many questions. We are gonna have to have a chat after this…

Natsumi enjoyed floating through the void, but around the edges she saw cracks of white forming. If the silent sea of stars was a placid pond, then a strong tsunami was coming from all directions to ruin that tranquility.