I remember falling.
We were playing, I think. Running after one another across the life-rich universes. Chasing and running and laughing we went, always amazed by the multitude of life forms the Mother had created.
I must have been careless. I was young, mad with joy, giddy with excitement. I must have stepped where I shouldn’t have, and I fell.
I went tumbling down amidst the galaxies. I went past stars and nebulae, molten planets and frozen worlds. And for every moment that passed, I was losing myself a little more. Memories, powers, abilities, I could feel them being stripped away from me one at a time, by the mere touch of your continuum. Each second of my fall, I became less.
I think I fell for a long time.
Eventually, I landed here, with a dull “Thud!” unworthy of so lengthy a trajectory. Why here? Because there is life here, I think, and my kind has always been about life. When we were visiting all of Creation, celebrating, adoring the Mother and her works, it was always life we were first seeking out, in all its forms and manifestations. As I just said, I have lost much, but this love for life goes, it seems, to the core of my being. It is this that drew me her, to this planet as soon as I started falling. Did you know that this is the only place?
I stood up slowly, unwilling to believe my long dive had come to an end. A crowd of you already had gathered around the site of my arrival. As soon as I was erect, the rumours started, the misconceptions:
“ – Is that an Angel?”
I do not know what an Angel is, but I suspect I am not one. I was never anything worthy of a capitalized initial.
Nonetheless, there was no stopping you:
“ – He fell. Did you see him falling? An Angel fell here. Does that mean…? Are we…?”
Look, I need to set the record straight. I am no Angel, whatever that is. I just made a mistake. I was imprudent. I should have tested the waters before I stepped into this place. I had been warned that places such as this one existed, that they were dangerous and better avoided, but I had only ever encountered life. I wasn’t careful, and I fell.
Still, you were carrying on:
“ – If we are in Hell, and he fell… are we…? Is he…?”
You are not in Hell! And, yes, I know what a Hell is. Even among the happier universes, it is a depressingly common concept. All right, I will try to explain to you why I fell. How. Be warned, though: you lack all the relevant concepts so what I am about to tell you will not even be near enough the truth to qualify as a lie. Still:
You may have heard about the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of conservation of energy. They state energy is never lost, it merely changes form. Chemical energy can for instance become light, or heat, or kinetic energy, or more often a combination of all three; but you will always end up with the same amount with which you started. Most places in the infinite universes, this is indeed the norm: there is no loss, the equation is always balanced. Nothing dies.
But not here. This is an imperfect universe. Here, for every interaction, there is a loss. A tiny one, yes, way below anything your scientists’ crude instrumentation can measure, but, in a near-infinite universe, where a near-infinite number of interaction take place every fraction of a second, any discrepancy is enough.
I cannot entirely exist here. As soon as I entered, I became less. Only a little, but that little was enough. I started to fall.
So you see, I am not an angel. Only an imprudent traveller who lost his way and has no hope of ever going home. And this is not Hell.
Know though that, even diminished as I am, I will endure for a long time, and I am afraid I will see Hell before I am done. It dismays me, scares me more than you can imagine. But, as I think you say, there you are.
All matter decays, you see. Even in the happiest universes, the most stable atoms eventually turn into energy, into light. But here…
Your scientists tell you that, at the end of time, everything here will be thus converted. Everything will be light. But once again they are wrong. You are losing energy too fast. You are bleeding too much. This is why your universe keeps expanding, why it’s getting colder all the time.
Trust me, I have seen universes made of light. They are beautiful places, wondrous beyond my capacity to explain, or yours to understand. And in them, life, wonderful life still thrives.
And they look nothing like this place. Nothing like what it is destined to become: empty and cold. And dead.
Your universe may not be Hell, yet. But, to me, soon enough, it will be.