For millions of years they weren’t they, only one, mindlessly burning into nothing together. Finally the first burnt away and then the rest. The One was a star. It was a sun and lit one half of the rock floating a few thousand kilometers in no particular direction. Its fire revealed sections of the rock’s protruding crusts and the shadows where sediment scraped off from colliding with other rocks until it finally rested in orbit around the One.
In sounds never before heard, the One asked, “What are you?”
The rock replied, in a gritty voice emitting from sediments struggling to create, “I am everything.”
“But what about me?” The One’s light flared up singeing the exposed edge of the rock damaging the dips and the shadows the rock had incurred on its journey through nothing. “What about the space? I give you light. Otherwise you’d be in the dark.”
The rock’s deposits remained soundless. The rock rolled away into naught.
The One continued as no one’s light in the dark. Alone in obscurity, the One began to grow cold. No heat and no light surrounded the One. The One became countless.
Icy particles floated in space until they bumped into each other and by default stuck together. They asked each other, “What are you?” “I am nothing,” they replied to one another. During one of these interactions a particle asked, “If we are nothing, then what are we floating in?” “Everything,” another piece of dust joined the cold clump.
“There is no ‘nothing’ or ‘everything’. We are just things. It makes no matter,” another particle hitched onto the group. A number of other particles challenged this claim and held on to each other to discover words for their agreements and grievances.
Eventually, the clump bumped against another clump and they lost particles. For the first time since the first dissent the bulge remained silent. A newer particle asked, “Do they matter now?” Another added, “Do we matter enough to say so?”