This is the story of the beginning, and so you shouldn't go looking for endings here.
In the beginning there was. Was what? Just was.
There was and there was and there was, all sorts of was, all kinds and colours and kins of was.
So much was there was, that the whole was was terribly confused.
(This was before wasn't, you understand, and every possible thing was).
There was so much was, that something had to be done about it, and so it came to pass that ninety-nine was out of every hundred decided, all at once and forever, to become a wasn't.
Things were much more comfortable after this, but there was still too much was, far too much.
So again, ninety-nine was out of every hundred remaining was flipped over inside itself and became a wasn't.
I don't know where they went. Maybe they started being wasn'ts here the moment they became wases somewhere else. In any case, it wasn't our problem anymore, and that's the important thing.
Now. If you can imagine, we're still at the beginning, just a little bit further in, and now there's enough space to make sense of what there actually was there, without things getting too crowded.
In the almost-beginning, there was a flatness, and on the flatness lived The People.
I don't know where they came from. I suppose they were just one type of was that didn't become a wasn't. Just chance, I suppose. If the whole thing was run again, maybe it would be different.
The People were alone in the darkness. The nights were cold and vast. Their bodies were small and delicate and finite. The rest of everything was endless.
"Dig for the bones!" shouts Commander Cross, and the men do as they are bid.
Before long the air is full of dust, and not a hand there that is clean. Sweat sticks, hearts hammer, and the sun beats down, heavy and uncaring.
It is Bants who strikes the hard white, pulling back at once like he has been bitten, and giving a cry like a babe. Commander Cross comes a-running, pushing forward while those around draw back.
He reaches down and heaves up the find in one weather-beaten paw...
President Trump has announced that the United States will be formally withdrawing $534 million in aid to Gondor.
The Numenorean state has historically been an ally of the USA, but has voted against the United States in a recent UN motion condemning what is perceived as an increasingly pro-Mordor stance in the White House.
“Let them vote against us. We’re taking names,” said the President, speaking earlier today through a palantir which glowed intermittently with a sinister red eye. “We’ll save lots. If they were with us, maybe I could, you know, get them some rings. But they have chosen instead the path of pain.”
Tensions between Middle Earth and the United States have been high recently, following the admission that the CIA had been involved in stealing nine black horses from the Rohirrm. Despite initially denying these claims, the White House has since stated that the horses were key terrorist suspects, and that their extradition to Mordor was entirely legal.
The move to cut funding comes amid renewed concerns that last year’s US election was tampered with, though the current administration have repeatedly stated that they employ almost no orcs.
A recently leaked recording that shows the President relaxing in a hot tub with a senior Nazgul has been dismissed as ‘locker room banter’ by top aides, who are also quick to point out that - on this occasion - the POTUS definitely didn’t attempt to grab anyone by anything.
Check out my satirical novel about the health service, Presenting Complaints.
The government has confirmed it is to move ahead with controversial plans to build 20,000 new affordable homes on the Barrow Downs.
The houses, which will be constructed from locally sourced materials including wood, stone, and the entombed remains of ancient, evil creatures, are said to be ideal for first-time buyers and for landlords who don’t care if their tenants are gradually siphoned off to feed the unspeakable hunger of dark creatures beneath the earth.
“It is important that we continue to address the housing crisis,” said Prime Minister Theresa May, presenting the white paper to a special meeting in Rivendell last week. “The site is ideally located in an area of haunting natural beauty, and the weather there is usually great, apart from the fog.”
She went on to point out that the new houses will be firmly in the commuter belt, or at least this will be the case with the advent of HS2, now set to link London to Scotland via Bree, and which is due to begin construction shortly after the end of the Third Age.
Speaking to one of our reporters in a private interview, local Barrow Wight Terry Stubs said, “We are very much looking forward to welcoming new residents to the area. It is wonderful that we are being given this opportunity to dispel pernicious stereotypes about who we are. Barrow Wights are very warm creatures. We have so much to give.”
“Cold be hand and heart and bone,” he added.
On an unrelated topic, we continue to hope for any information regarding the whereabouts of our missing correspondent.
But criticisms have been raised that the site has been chosen simply to act as a gateway through which the nearby Old Forest can then become a potential area for further development.
“That’s absolutely right,” confirmed the Prime Minister. “Once this goes through, we can probably get an Ikea and seventeen McDonalds approved, no sweat. True, we’ll have to figure out a way of getting rid of that crazy hermit in the woods. Maybe we can bribe him with a judge’s spot on the next series of The Voice. And ring-a-dong-a-dilo! Problem solved.”
Mrs May, who is rumoured to possess one of the nine rings for mortal men, then pulled her black cowl over her face, hissed a little, and flew off on her giant winged lizard monster.
The kingdom of Narnia is to ban the sale of halal meat, it has emerged.
Talking from the dais at Cair Paravel, High King Peter made the announcement to a gathering of fauns, various talking animals and - confusingly - Father Christmas.
The amount of halal meat produced and sold in Narnia has increased in recent years, with a corresponding downturn in sales of traditional Narnian goods, such as Turkish Delight and anything frozen and then turned to stone.
Meat in Narnia is currently consumed by various talking beasts, who see it as amoral to eat other intelligent animals, opting instead to eat only dumb animals, such as chickens and estate agents.
The decision has been met with some criticism, especially from Calormen, which is strange because it definitely isn’t just a placeholder for negative Arab stereotypes.
Speaking at a symposium of magical lions on Wednesday, Aslan faced strong criticism that the move was a manifestation of religious intolerance. The son of the Emperor-Over-The-Sea responded by claiming Narnia simply saw all life as sacred, and that this would probably just be the first step in a gradual move towards vegetarianism, subsequent veganism, and ultimately complete reliance on photosynthesis. This sparked vitriolic disagreement from Simba, who was quick to point out that all life was a circle, and eating slower, weaker creatures was only natural. Shere Khan seconded this view, with especial emphasis on the eating of man-cubs, but was subsequently expelled from the symposium on account of being a tiger.
Asked about the controversial move, Queen Susan - whose interests include boys and nylons - said it would not really have any impact on her, because she mainly lives on cigarettes and strong gin, and doesn’t eat much anyway because she wants to look after her figure. This prompted a frosty silence from the other kings and queens of Narnia, though they later issued a press statement that the four of them would soon be making a ‘very special’ train ride, after which they were sure Queen Susan would ‘not present any more of a problem’.
President Trump is to travel to Westeros to announce that winter is not coming, after all.
“Need to address fake news coming out of Oldtown,” tweeted the President. “So-called ‘experts’ in the Citadel need to get their facts straight.”
The POTUS is due to arrive at King’s Landing on Tuesday, where he will stay as the honoured guest of Queen Cersei Lannister for three days of planned discussions about how to strengthen ties between the United States and the Iron Throne. He will also partake in the traditional Westorosi activities of hunting, praying to the seven-faced god, and brutally exploiting the common folk. In exchange, the president is expected to teach the Queen about some of his favoured activities, including use of social medial, public relations, and brutally exploiting the common folk.
The president is to be accompanied by senior aides, and sources close to the administration suggest that key diplomatic objectives will include trade negotiations, cultural exchange, and learning how to make 700ft magical ice walls.
The president has indicated his position that the army of animated corpses led by the Night King is not a man- (or children of the forest-) made phenomena, but in fact simply represents the ebb and flow of long-standing natural cycles. Mr Trump has gone on to confirm that he will happily sell oil to House Lannister, but that no one should expect this to stave off the winter that isn’t here, because the waste products of fossil fuels definitely don’t do that sort of thing, anyway.
On his return to America on Friday, President Trump is due to address a rally of climate-change deniers in the giant floating stadium where New York used to be, unless he contracts greyscale, or is killed by the Mountain after inappropriately groping the Queen, an event which some are calling likely if not inevitable.
A fracking operation in Kent has unearthed a Balrog, it has emerged.
The company behind the operation, which has said in a statement that it delved too greedily and too deep, has apologised for unleashing the fearsome Maiar of shadow and flame on the world, but has said that it is fully prepared to comply with a government investigation into how to stop any future monsters being unleashed.
The Balrog, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has descended on the town of Tunbridge Wells in an orgy of death and destruction, and is now recruiting followers to act as henchmen as it begins construction of a vast underground lair. It has said that it is an equal-opportunity employer, and will consider applicants from any ethnic or religious background, though a complete lack of morals and being proficient with a scimitar would be considered a bonus.
The government is planning to pass a motion that would hopefully allow the Balrog to be deported to Europe as part of a hard Brexit, probably to somewhere in Holland.
Speaking on behalf of the EU, the President of the European Parliament has allegedly said that this shall not pass.
Check out my compilation of 18 short stories of the comic and the fantastical, Tales From The Storystream.
At first there was pressure, so much pressure, squeezing in the darkness. It mounted and mounted, and finally the huge architecture of gas could take no more, and ignited - which was part of the reproductive cycle of the species - and things were rightly begun.
Hydrogen to helium, helium to lithium then to carbon, carbon upwards to iron, and a miasma of of other things, baked in mothers and grandmothers all the way back to the beginning of time itself, which itself was not a beginning, only another phase shift up the helter-skelter of reality, which is stranger by far than it is possible to know.
The little sun yawned, stretching out wisps of plasma a million miles long, regarding her etiolated body - a system of perhaps a dozen planets - with the first stirrings of consciousness. There were little rock planets, hot, tiny things like specks of superdense jewellery swirling around her head; and there were larger planets, gatherings of matter left over from her own body - her flesh and blood, and her ovaries, too, for like mammals, stars are born with all the eggs they will ever have.
This took a hundred million years, a minute lapse of time within the cycle of such organisms, and in that time the little star blinked and looked around, and realised she was regarded by a hundred million mothers, who twinkled and whispered to her in nursery rhyme pulses of radiation, and she basked in their regard. She was new and ancient at the same time - like every living thing the Universe ever has produced - and she was warm, and knew that things were well.
“Who am I?” she asked.
The Machine For Existing
Lazarus watched the next wave as it swelled. The latest Universe rippled, flashing from a point to a cloud, a cloud to an eternity of sparkling matter and light, and then collapsing back into itself in a mouldering entropy of decay.
“What?” Said Peck, frowning slightly.
Lazarus stared at his friend. It was true, they had existed since before the beginning of time. No doubt they would exist beyond the end of eternity. Still - Peck really was a dolt, sometimes.
“It’s just…” Lazarus hesitated. He watched the next bubble of spacetime whispering its way into existence, balancing on the edge of possibility. It was full of promise, full of potential. But Lazarus knew how things would go. It was always the same. How could he express that to his friend? Was there a word for it? The disappointment he felt every time the sparkling potential crashed down through inevitable spirals of dissipating energy, matter condensing and radiating, forming and exploding, the dance of atoms up the elemental chain, the formation of planets - brief dense clots in the infinitely spreading, thinning cloud of existence - and then life, fragile, sensitive, as delicate as a daydream, blooming, flourishing…and then fading (after a moment or a million moments, it mattered not), crushed under the final, inevitable realisation that the whole of its host reality was locked in - a closed system - an energy signature which was destined for only one thing: the long flat line, and the end of all potential before it had even properly begun. And if that wasn’t bad enough, to have to sit here, like Lazarus and Peck sat, lodged in the phase-shelf between the endless expanding bubbles of Universe after Universe, to watch it again and again, forever…
“Never mind,” muttered Lazarus, turning away and flipping a stone off into the front of the latest expanding Universe, where it lodged in the heart of a fledgling galaxy, displacing the central black hole, which in turn flew off, starting a chain reaction which terminated the entire Universe in a soft, disappointed hiss.
“Hey!” Complained Peck. “I was enjoying that one!”