The age of life was short. The age of sentience much shorter. The age of understanding lasted only a moment. Though a quantum moment, fractally infinite.
From the primordial blue roar of the mother star that first lit the cosmic web to the lingering wheeze of the very last red dwarf, the age of light dominated the universe.
No more. Eternal night regained its grip.
This meant little to the energies still at work. Some forms of intelligence, both ancient and nascent, persisted. Who can really say why. Being is a state. Meaning is a construct. The universe an arbiter of neither.
Matter cooled and slowed. What ideas were left veered towards the philosophic. What to make of an end that has no boundaries, no limits: a retreat, a return, a rebound? Was there anything ahead, behind, betwixt, besides?
Eons ago, gathering and bending light with lenses and looking glasses once reflected and revealed the heavens and earths. Maybe when certainty vanished with the light and only existential questions remained, time itself lost relevance. Keeping track seemed a pointless chore.
Except to a very ancient thought still treading the furtive edges of cosmic reality. Even in this new age of darkness, there remained a reassuring sense, part premonition, part judgment, that what goes around comes around.