The Heavens and the Fred

††by m. james moore

††Reclining on a contouring wooden park bench in South Texas, Dr. Ernest Willingham drifted between sleep and wakefulness. His mind meandered randomly, until it snagged on a particular memory.

††The clouds slowly drifting by on the pleasant spring Sunday afternoon initially caught his attention-not because of a particular shape or form, but simply being clouds. This image led his mind to the cloud-of-matter discussion at the local university last Friday, which examined the origins of the solar system. His vision, once unfocused and seeing double only moments before, aligned properly once again.

††He recalled the heated remarks about whether a mass of dust and chunks of matter could spontaneously begin rotating like the older About the Universe textbooks suggested, and pondered the arguments again as the cloud drifted out of view behind a large mesquite tree, soon followed by yet another equally gray mass of floating humidity.

††It was suggested that perhaps static electrical charges brought various masses together within a cloud and huge accumulations, headed for others spawned a chaotic swirling motion eventually settling into one uniform disc.

††Another explanation set forth that a comet blasted through the cloud, or even another cloud collided with it, setting a rotation into motion.

††It was the new professorís idea that most objected to, that remained in his mind long after the discussion was concluded. It was an idea about the origin of the very cloud itself, from a fellow who had just recently earned his doctorate-a prerequisite for attending the discussions on campus. What the fellowís degree was in, Ernest couldnít recall.

††It had never really occurred to him to investigate where this casually drifting mixture of gas, dust and ice came from to begin with, but that it simply was a cloud of nothing particularly useful in its then-current state of apparent inability but to simply drift onward.

††The fellowís lack of acceptance of the Big Bang Theory put more fuel into the fire-that a cloud be floating about peacefully without some sort of propulsion that initially set it moving, or without some sort of cohesion to make it a cloud and not just multi-directionally scattering bits of what-have-you. Another point discouraged the comet or second cloud idea, rebuking how such a thing could possibly be traveling on an intercept course, if everything was all moving in essentially the same way-further and further from everything else, as what happens in an explosion.

††The fellow also shot down that a larger hunk of bits that came from the bang drew other pieces its direction, whereby gravity sling-shot the smaller bits in different directions, since the masses would have stuck together in the initial release. The fellow added that even if gravity might have had a chance of affecting trajectory of other objects after the supposed explosion, they would be traveling too fast apart from one another, even at slight angles relative, since there would be no friction in a perfect vacuum. He could also find no one who could answer why in the cosmos there would exist an infinitely dense point of matter and not another one in a seemingly infinite vacuum of nothing, much less why it would suddenly rupture its contents without having been triggered by something else.

††From there, the discussion became silly. It wandered to evolution, all points being repeatedly and systematically shot down effectively, such as where the missing links from ooze to "Lucy" were, much less to modern man. He also quoted scientific studies that noted that all jaws supposedly determined to be ancient versions of man consisted of either modern apes, a tooth of an extinct pig, or a human with arthritis deformations.

††The fellowís degree must have had some sort of theological basis he remembered thinking, when all of a sudden he heard a voice speaking to him.

††"Dr. Willingham?"

††Ernest looked to his left to see the fellow strolling his way. ††"I thought that was you. Recalling the discussion again, I see?" ††"Yes, I was, actually. Doctor..." Ernest said, realizing heíd never quite gotten the name of the brilliant mind.

††"Dr. Verily. Adam Verily, but you can just call me Adam," he said, completing Ernestís reply.

††"Adam it is, then. I was impressed with your ideas, but you never told your point of view on how the universe came into being. Now being asked, how do you respond?"

††"I did."

††"You did? I must have been daydreaming when you made your point clear in the discussion. You see, I tend..."

††"To daydream if something strikes your memory, yes, I know,"Adam said. "What I meant to say in response to your question was that I made it."

††"You made what, the theory? I am sure it will be globally appreciated and could impact the worldís idea of existence if you were to type it up and publish it in..."

††"No," Adam interrupted again. "I made it. The universe."

††"You made the universe? Iím not quite sure I follow your theory," Ernest said, reaching for his cell phone to call the psychology department and schedule Dr. Verily an appointment.

††"It is very simple: I... made... the... universe."

††"Did you now? What did you say your doctorate was in, basket weaving?"

††"I created doctorates. Without me, no doctorate that exists would have existed."

††Ernest began punching numbers on his phone. "Iím scheduling an appointment for you with Dr. Bern in psychology. We canít have a foolish young man going about saying he spoke the earth into being. You need some help."

††"Doctor who?" Adam asked, cocking an eyebrow and showing a slight grin. ††"Doctor..." Ernest thought for a moment. He honestly couldnít remember now whether there really was a Dr. Bern, much less whether they even had a psychology department. The cell phone he was just dialing was now no longer in his hands, and he was just beginning to wonder what exactly he was doing with his hands in the air, and what exactly a cell phone was, anyway. ††"You know, Iíve seen your attitude a bit too much lately, and Iím beginning to think Iíll just start over," Adam said.

††"What you need is some psychiatric evaluation, my friend. Now." Ernest was considering just driving the fellow to the state hospital at that moment, in fact. ††"In fact, I will start over."

††Just as Ernest reached for Adamís arm, the clock tower just past him vanished. He turned to see the cafeteria at the end of the road completely disappear, leaving a patch of mesquite trees thereby. All sound of traffic immediately hushed, and the cool breeze suddenly terminated.

††Looking up, there were no clouds anywhere anymore, and looking back down revealing the two to be standing on a cooling volcanic rock surface.

††"What is hap..." Ernest began to speak, but the bright sun was promptly snuffed. Then, suddenly, Ernest could no longer think or feel. In fact, no one ever remembered him or had ever met him, now.

††Ernest? Who is that? What am I even typing abou..

††1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the... hmmm... no, letís call it something else this time... maybe... Fred. No, thatís too silly. Letís try...