Death of a Star

Author: S. Sedeq

Never had I expected death to eject half of my body into the void of space.

Eons spent feeling the gradual, yet inevitable ebb of my essence has done little to prepare for an explosion more massive than any energy I have emitted as a star.

Just now, the very fabric of time and space bends around my center. I strive to emit light and burn bright, reaching for the energy of the red giant that has led to this current existence.

No response, save the continuous column of light and energy that shoots up higher than I can fathom, engulfed by the starry vacuum of space.

Then, all at once, the tunnel of light energy vanishes, inverting into my regenerated form. That is when the hunger begins.

Swifter than the speed of light itself, the lust for any and all surrounding matter wracks my essence. A craving as strong as any sense of gravity I have ever known as a star begs for satiation.

The reality of what I have become sets in as surely as the eventual and inevitable end of the universe.

The despair almost drowns out the hunger long enough to miss the approach of an orbiting planet. Almost.

As the unsuspecting object enters the newfound lull of my event horizon, the overwhelming remorse gives way to a sweet euphoria. But only just.

The moment that miniscule body passes over the lip of my gaping abyss of a maw, a flood of knowledge captures my consciousness.

Organisms of all shapes and sizes interact with each other in a number of ways, emitting a series of sounds so diverse as to momentarily befuddle even the glutton at my center.

I cheer on this temporary distraction, struggling to move back through the void or spit out the planet headed toward its demise.

No such luck.

Once the dense heart of my singularity registers the presence of that little planet, my essence transforms into the likeness of an entity of pure gravity.

Suddenly, my only reality becomes that ravenous hunger, the need to consume that spherical bud of nourishment burning stronger than my billions of years of existence as a star.

As I feast, the various life forms of that planet scream with terror and confusion as their own existences wink out. Some even fail to realize their fate until the force of my pull shreds their essence, sweet new matter slaking the yearning call of the budding singularity at my core.

Then, all at once, the binge subsides. And reality sets in once more.

A wave of anguish envelops my conscious at the thought of all those stars around me that have yet to suffer this insatiable black hole of hunger. At least they still have time to nurture new life before their own winks out.

Bitter envy gnaws at the singularity stewing in my center, as the very nature of my existence completes the transition from giver of life to bringer of death.

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