The girl and the dog were frogs on a lily pad. Safe in a pond. Except that the moon’s gravity was pulling them away from the planet. Maurice stood up and looked at the splattered planet; the ground jolted as her weight shifted and she surfed away. The energy she used to get to her feet transferred to the earthboard. She was hanging 10, rocketing forwards, surfing a wave of dust, away from what was left of the blue marble she used to call home, Earth.
She was standing on a chard of the mountain, drifting in space. It was a life raft. It teetered side to side, bobbed up and down and dipped backwards and forwards beneath her feet, like a surfboard. Maurice tottered backwards. And then … Bump! Whoosh! The life raft nudged the moon. The jolt propelled her weightlessly upwards. She floated into the biosphere of the bubble. The first child on the moon.
She was flying through space. Her nose pressed up against an invisible pane of bubblesphere that separated life from certain, suffocating death in deep space.
☞ Here is another science fact that Sir Issac Newton didn’t mention: Expect the unexpected when Unknowns are on the loose.☞
She looked back and saw only devastation, a half-planet, off in the distance, beyond just a constellation of debris. She panicked. Everything slowed. Yappy yelled. Miraculously, the runt’s feet were still firmly planted on the Earth cloud? How? I don’t know.
“Hang on!” the marooned animal yelled to the runaway astronaut child bouncing around the bubble’s biosphere.
“Hang on? To what?” she cried, arms flailing, her legs cycling in mid-air. Her words slurred into slow motion as she tumbled in a stellar drift past the moon. She shrugged.
Finally, that useless mutt leapt into action! He took a running trot and leapt, like a puny blip of a solar flare. He grabbed the Maurice by the ankle with both paws, like an action hero. The island reared up and somersaulted, tumbled, upside down and then kept going. Luckily, it stopped rotating.
Luckily. Wink, wink. Know what I mean!?
As the island rolled over, both of them touched down and Happy…
I mean Yappy…
… sat on her lap to anchor her on the space island. She clung to him so tight that he struggled to barely breathe. Suddenly, she looked at him with suspicion.
“Strange, you know. You are heavier than me yet you so much smaller than me and how come you feel so light?! I mean, I can pick you up!” she pondered. “Nothing makes sense. This is one of my dreams, it’s just not possible.”
Yappy barely had time to roll his eyes when up she jumped again, leaving him to cling to her knee like some kind of jilted friend begging the kid not to unfriend him.
“Stay put!” Yappy yelled, annoyed. “This island has less mass than the planet, ergo less … gravity,” he intoned, as he looked down his nose and then regarded her with a superior air. “Your gravity’s gone because your planet is gone, but I still have my gravity because…”
“Oh! So you have different gravity?” Maurice babbled, interrupting him. She peeked at the now blazing sun through one squinty eye. “We’re a bit close to the sun, aren’t we?”
She was oblivious to the fact that the dog was talking science!
Their island drifted higher and higher into the constellation of Orion. Now, the moon was beneath them and the sun was in their faces.
“Woah!!” Maurice yelled. The long arm of the Milky Way reached out to them as they made their planetary getaway.
But then their island of negative matter leapt into a higher orbit, just like an electron bonding with Oxygen to form H2O – water. Maurice didn’t notice. Just like she didn’t notice that she was breathing in outer space? With the light of a billion stars upon you … would you?
Meanwhile, the now-half-planet that had been the Earth was caught in mid bounce, a busted inflatable fraying in space-time, along with a lot of other dead stuff in the lifestream, including the label off a can of peaches and bits of the old ute.
“I want my mother!” Maurice bellowed. The space junk seemed to pass straight through them and dissolve into them at the same time.
The dog scratched stardust out of his ear and clocked an expression of horror upon her dial. Yap wiped a tear from his eye.
“That’s that,” he whispered as he hauled Maurice down from the top of the space bubble to settle her again.
“Planet gone!” Maurice aped. “Space travelling…boom!” she continued, throwing her arms out to the sides like a space shuttle. The dog grimaced. He regarded the bedraggled girl and thought, “And this is all that’s left of my beautiful creation.”
“Still in the biosphere Maurice, so it’s ok,” Yap intoned, sounding like Mission Control.
“How?” she cooed, still dazed.
“The worm master … I mean the webmaster’s got it all under control,” Yap winked to reassure her.
The strange vision of a worm master clanged a gong in her brain and woke up her senses.
“Worm master?” she mumbled, confused.
“The boss is a worm master, ugh, that’s webmaster, in the spirals of life called whorls. He feels every shudder on his web, the fabric of almost all existence. But it’s … it is tricky … cause, well, uh … The Consumer is an Unknown! Just as life on Earth was once, before I … um… and it seems it is again, unknown that is… life on Earth seems to have disappeared again.”
Yappy shed tears and babbled on and on …
“Anyway, it’s all over now, I guess,” he snivelled. They both sobbed. But then a stream of passing quarks sparkled in a beam of starlight that hit them like a spotlight.
Stretching out a hand, she ran her fingers through the stream, the particles split into sub-sub-sub particles and then into strings that released the most elemental sound in the universe: the lullaby of the GPO. Maurice shuddered and crumpled, as if the life had left her.
Yap cried, “Oh no!”.
He threw his arms over her and his forlorn howl was so loud that he drowned out the primordial song. A song he had not heard for millennia escaped her lips. He lifted his gaze.
“The base notes of the universe! The General Particle Office!” Yap cried in sheer disbelief and exhilaration. “It’s the GPO! Oh my! He’s in her!” The song ended and Maurice came to, just as a wave of dazzling light zapped life into the surrounding space dust.
A rapid stream of space bubbles rose up into a mountainous wave, foaming at the crest in a riot of popping bubbles that appeared and disappeared as they zapped between the Unknown and the Known.
The wave came crashing down, chasing them back, over the moon and rushed like sparkling waters across a dark beach, towards Earth. Maurice and Yappy clung to each other as their little island surfed and zig-zagged through streams of appearing and disappearing bubbles of energy. With their cheeks flapping over their gums, Maurice and Yappy watched through eyelashes and squints as the Earth came rushing toward them.