The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Lost Girl (excerpt)



For millennia beyond counting, the gods have been building universes. Their creative powers are a marvel to behold as they bring forth wondrous worlds filled with remarkable creatures.

Yet, none of those universes are as amazing as the gods themselves. Think of the extraordinary powers they have and the wonders they can perform. One can’t help but ask: What are they like? Are they all-powerful and all-knowing?

Well, not exactly…

Even though their powers stagger the imagination, they’re not as different as you might think. In fact, in their own world, the gods are rather ordinary. On their world, they have none of the amazing abilities they use to create other worlds. It’s this very ‘ordinariness’ that gives us a common bridge with which to understand them.

All the gods live together in the same town on top of a great plateau. A dense jungle surrounds them, broken occasionally by hints of rivers or lakes far in the distance. Only in the north does the panoramic view change. There, the land is shrouded in mist. From the center of that mist rises a blue-green mountain, taller than anything else on the horizon. Its top is flat, not unlike their own plateau. Some people might be curious about such a place, but no god has ever gone there to examine the mystery.

The gods have always lived on their plateau. No records remain of the founders, and no one knew where they came from or why they chose this place. Everyone agreed the original builders had done their job well, and The Town was self-sustaining in every way. Indeed, there was little reason to care about anything beyond their town because they had everything they needed right there. At least, that’s what the Chamber of Commerce said.

Maybe that’s the reason no god in recent memory had ever left The Town. No explorer had returned to tell them if their world was round or flat. Were there oceans or other continents on their world? If there were, no god had ever seen them. They didn’t even know if other intelligent creatures shared their world.

What could account for this apparent disinterest? It is not a lack of curiosity that keeps them within the borders of their town. It is fear.

You see, in their world, there is no death. The gods live forever. That is unless something tragic happens. The gods are not immortal. They can be hurt — even killed. So, if they want to live forever, they have to be very careful.

And that means avoiding unnecessary risks. The one thing all gods agree on is this: the safety of their world ends at the edge of their town, where the woods begin. Beyond the woods lies the Unknown Territory which represents everything that threatens the safety of their world.

Our tale is of a lost girl, but it’s much more. It’s also a tale of three young gods and how they overcame their fears and dared to do unthinkable things.


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