Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: Just like That!
By Jack Taylor
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“Are you positive that’s the way it happened?” Five year old Thomas scrunched his eyebrows as he stared skeptically at six year old Bart sitting cross legged and bare footed in his shorts and T-shirt.
Bart just nodded and watched the ripples from the stones the boys had skipped across the first ten feet of the pristine lake. The ripples distorted the reflection of the towering pines and blotted out the image of smooth pebbles that hid under the water where the fish had been feeding moments before.
“If it was me I’d of used a million-gazillion transformers and the biggest computer in the whole universe.” Thomas sank down next to his friend and wrapped his arms around the knee that now supported his chin. The two minnows in the bucket beside him swam around in circles ignored by their captors.
“There weren’t any transformers back then,” replied the self-assured guru fresh from his day at school.
Thomas was stymied for only a moment. “Then I’d of got a billion-hundred cranes from that old stadium they’re building and I’d of stacked them all on top of each other until everything got done.”
“There weren’t any cranes back then,” stated a patient Bart as he unwound his pretzeled legs and burrowed his toes into the cool damp sand.
Thomas ran his stubby fingers through his strawberry-blond mop and took his time examining the snowcapped mountains in the distance. His eye drifted to the clouds floating lazily by. He pursed his lips and frowned as hard as he could. “I bet Superman and Batman and Spiderman could have figured it out.”
“There wasn’t any Superman or Batman or Spiderman back then,” the little teacher intoned as his disciple tried to fathom the mysteries of the universe.
Thomas rose slowly to his knees and snagged a stick that he plunged into the bucket to stir the waters. The tiny fish darted and scurried pointlessly to avoid the unpredictable path of the intruder into their new world. “I bet my sister Cindy could have found out how to do it on the internet.”
“There wasn’t any internet back then.” Bart stretched and rose to his feet and waded into the shallows of the now stilling water. The action created more ripples and a swirl of mud as the pebbles were disturbed. He watched the reflection of his mid-night hair vanish.
Thomas abandoned his fish and actually began to strut as a flood of new ideas engaged his mind. “I’ll bet Principle Hartley could have called on his cell phone and got everything taken care of in a second.”
“There wasn’t any cell phones back then. No schools or principles neither.” Bart moved out of the water and stepped up on a small fallen log that formed a bridge over a stream that fed the lake. He began to shuffle gingerly across.
Thomas watched the balancing act but stayed where he was. “I bet the President could have got the army and the marines and the navy and told them they couldn’t go home until everything was done.” Seeing that Bart was concentrating on his crossing Thomas jumped in with a few other thoughts to secure his debate. “If that wasn’t enough he could have got the Coast Guard and the Reserves and the FBI and all the police in the whole world.”
Bart finished his last step and hopped off the log onto the other side. He glanced up at an eagle riding on the thermals and then glanced back at his friend awaiting his reply. “There wasn’t any President or King or Prime Minister and no army and no navy and no police and nobody else back then because there wasn’t any countries.”
Thomas clenched his jaw and jutted out his chin as he spit out the words. “Now I know you’re fibbing me.”
A smile played across Bart’s lips as he watched Thomas start to walk away. He waited silently and sure enough Thomas only went a dozen yards before stopping and slowly turning.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” asked Thomas.
Bart took a step forward toward the edge of the stream that separated them. “Ask your mother if it’s so. Once there was nothing and then ‘just like that’ God said “be” and SNAP it was. If you don’t believe your mother maybe one day you’ll get to ask God because he was the only one there when creation happened.”
Thomas strained hard to believe just once.
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