The Game

June 1984

Copyright 1984 Dianne Skoll. All Rights Reserved.

The planet was dead. But far away, across the endless gulf of space, a Power was stirring. It said, "Let the game begin!"

And a small change came over the planet. Molecules combined with molecules, until there existed Life.

The first living organism changed, mutated and spread, until Life filled a pool on the planet.

Life sensed the Sun. It accepted the challenge, producing Life which fed greedily on the Sun's warming rays. Life grew, until it covered the planet in green richness.

Life sensed oxygen. It changed, slowly but purposefully, until it produced Life which thrived on the heady gas. Life split into Plant and Animal.

Animal sensed the dry land above the ocean. It evolved, until after millions of years, the land and sky were filled with insects, beasts, birds---creatures of every description.

Animal grew confident. It grew bigger and more powerful. Soon, Animal made its first mistake. It became too big for the delicate balance of Life. The dinosaurs were eradicated.

Animal sensed the need for intelligence. Animal produced Mammal: Dolphin, Primate and Man.

Man was the highest pinnacle of Life. For the first time, Life sensed Life. It accepted the challenge and produced language, technology and civilization. Life harnessed Life, and soon Animal made its second mistake.

For the first time, Life warred against Life. And Animal created tools to hurt, tools to destroy and tools to kill. Finally, Animal created the Button.

For one thousand years, a mere fraction of the total existence of Life, Animal existed with the button. Then, Animal made its third and worst mistake.

Animal pressed the Button. Fire rained from the sky, and deadly rays engulfed the planet. And Animal was annihilated.

Slowly, Plant receded, losing its Life-power, weakening under Animal's cancer-causing rays. At last, Life existed only in one small pool on the planet.

And a small change came over the planet. Molecules combined with molecules until the last of Life died.

And across the gulf of space, a Power looked sadly at the planet, at the words "Game Over."