Written for an English examination, as if that makes it all right.
I was afraid of getting caught.
You'll probably think that's funny. I'm your god, I built this world of yours and
set, as it were, the ball rolling. Started that first biochemical reaction (all it took was a puff of warm air -
I do have the power to breathe life, indirectly) that would reach every point in your world eventually. Even so,
there are many greater powers than myself. I'm only a small-time artisan in the end.
Others, they enjoy the big jobs. They build whole clusters of galaxies at a time, just laying out huge hydrogen
clouds and giving them a swirl to see what happens - stars, the odd fascinating anomaly, nice balmy sunlit planets,
every now and then - but they seldom create life. If it does happen, it's purely by chance, and so boring! Seas of
cooperative little plants and fungi - they just fill up their planet and stop, they've done al they need to do,
so they just lapse into this eternal stagnancy It happens every time. Naturally, you weren't one of those.
What I do is bring an unexpected element into the Universe. Some combinations of conditions that would never occur
naturally, stir a chemically rich ocean this way instead of that, throw in a chunk of some heavy element that, by
rights, shouldn't form in the Universe for a few years yet, and eventually out crawls some life like yourself. Maybe
expansionist, warlike, irrational beings. Much harder to sencond-guess than those complacent vegetables.
Much more fun to watch.
I don't know where we came from. There are more powerful gods, for sure, but they just create bigger, more
complex things, in the same universes I do. They don't have the power to create something like the Greater
Universe (another allegedly "closed system" with yours and a few others as subsets) that we inhabit. No doubt
there are higher orders of being who created it, and us with it, and so on up, ad infinitum.
But I was explaining just why I was afraid to get caught. We're not supposed to manifest, or show any evidence of
our existence. And I didn't, well mostly I didn't. A few old men with sticks thought they were talking to me earlier,
a few thousand years back. Created some worldwide ideologies, they did. Mushrooms, every time. Except that thing with
the burning bush, that wasn't mushrooms. But it was close enough, you sit around snorting smoke from half the bushes
I made, you'll think you're seeing me soon enough.
So I never really manifested. And a good job too, if someone finds out you're doing that sort of thing, you get
stuffed into your creation, and all you can do from then on is whisper in people's ears, be a voice in their heads.
It's a pretty poor sort of existence from what I hear.
But I left evidence. Clever sod that I am. There's a bloody great tungsten tablet, a mile-wide cube, covered in writing,
floating somewhere down in the magma under your world. I remember I left it at one of the poles, but it's drifted by
now, no doubt. It's got the answers to all the mysteries of your universe inscribed on it. You couldn't even get your
head around most of it, but there is a damn' fine recipe for rocket fuel there, for all the good it'll do you. And
I can't get rid of it. I thought it'd be funny to put it there, but if I was to just whip it out now you'd have the
biggest volcano you'd ever seen right over it like a shot. If you found it, and contacted another race, well, They'd
have my arse for hotpants for a start.
So the only choice I have is to hide my mistake. Your world and the immediate surroundings (I built those too, I
thought another eight planets with moons might teach you a thing or two about physics) are about to be wrapped up in a
little envelope of space, folded over on itself. If you ever leave your solar system, you'll just end up coming in
from the other side. You'll notice the stars are a fine illusion, too. I'd say by the time you decipher this
you'll already have sent some probes out; expect them back any year now. You're paying for my mistake in solitude.
You will never find another race, they will never find you. When I seal your world off for good, even I won't be able
to interfere any more. I won't even be able to find it, for that matter. My secret is safe with you. There're probably
millions more little packages like you, I can't be the first to make a mistake like that. Don't worry, anyway. There's
enough to occupy you forever in there. I won't be seeing you.
Written on the same day as An Ungrateful Child.