The Space Nut
The space nut was on a haphazard course to the only place life had ever been successful. Thrown by a final, shattering explosion from its planet of origin, the nut rebounded among the enormous moon clusters of The Giant Star of the Light World, singeing its outer-casing and only escaping when the force of the ferocious fires roaring from the spinning planets that burned and whizzed around the largest, hottest sun that ever existed spat it out of orbit until it finally slowed in the shadowier world beyond the huge planets that fought for space and light in an overcrowded, uninhabitable galaxy.
The space nut was sucked through colder greyer light until it came to rest in the cool dark dust of a tiny moon that borrowed second-hand light from the light reflecting off other moons. This darker moon took a hazardous orbit around its mighty neighbouring planet often thrown off course by the orbits of the bigger moons.
The nut cooled in the dark until, hit by space rocks, the precarious moon jerked, releasing the nut from its dry bed. The space nut was hurled once more into the speckled half-light and dragged away by a cold dark force. The energy in its kernel, still intact, slept and waited patiently.
The dark force pulled the nut though icy blackness that no other living creature could have survived.
The frozen wilderness quickly incased the space nut in an ice meteor and it hurtled seemingly in battle against other ice meteors in a violent clash that went on for an unknown time in space. Pieces of ice chipped away as it soared back and forth, from the force of each impact. Out of the blackness came sparks of energy from the violence of the crashes. Any human ear would have been deafened by the sound but no one heard or ever will. Thousands of crashes later the space nut within its meteor was thrown far enough out, and small enough by now, to slip past the giant meteors.
Distant stars became visible and as they appeared they decorated the blackness. There were more stars than any human had ever seen or ever will.
The space nut floated in its ice casing for more immeasurable passing of time. Scraps of space junk occasionally drifted near until eventually a pre-programmed exploratory spacecraft took it’s fiftieth – now pointless – annual course back to its place of origin, speared the ice meteor, taking the nut with it on its course though the darkness and eventually into the light towards a small blue planet.
As they neared the planet, the nut thawed and was pulled by the blue planet’s gravity down, down, down.
The soggy, battered space nut, with half its casing breaking loose, flumped into a sodden bed of rotten leaves and weeds in the shadow of a huge grey angular structure that jutted upwards from the ground – cracked and forsaken – pointing to the sky…
The nut softened in briny soil, felt the perfect pull of the earth keeping it in place and beckoning it to send roots. It warmed, swelled, absorbed energy, puffed itself and burst; splitting and surging into the ground below and the air above. Its natural energy to fight fought against gravity and sent shoots up into the light and salty air. Its natural instinct to be secure sent roots running eagerly into the damp humus-filled earth. What earth … what a lovely earth. The new plant’s growth followed the sun, learned a pattern of day and night that was new to its ancestral planet-hopping trees, all now long dead. The small tree sent leaves out to play in the wind, to store energy and pushed out great curvy branches that if anyone had seen would have said were smiling.
Old trees uprooted by floods and hurricanes lay at rest in the surrounding ground and the nut tree grew stronger and taller, curling its new roots on and on around the ancient bodies; feeding, supporting itself, adapting.
If any humans had seen the tree they would have picked its fruit, eaten its great seeds and marvelled at its strength, size and beauty and the nutritional powers of the great skull-sized energy-rich nuts. But they didn’t see, they couldn’t, they never would…