Confucius, vermicelli, supernova


This story is the result of a "three word challenge", 6th August 2011

the thtee words I was given were: Confucius, vermicelli, supernova

Confucius sat at his favorite corner table and stared down at his plate of vermicelli. He had recently acquired a taste for ancient Italian pasta, but today the little worms of his noodles couldn’t arouse his appetite.

His mind was elsewhere entirely: The star they called V8 was going supernova, and there was nothing the fusion-doctors could do about it. What could a sage like himself hope to do? Quantum physics had failed to secure their survival in this frontier colony of the reformed humanity, now the populace was turning to any and all it’s former experts it could revive from the history banks.

No one had told Confucius this until just today, of course. They had allowed him the luxury of adjusting to this strange civilization he was now part of. It helped that he didn’t need to learn the language or how to use the strange tools and magical artefacts that humans used now.

He thought of this world as ‘Now’ and of the one he used to know as ‘Then’, not really understanding that the difference between the two was much more than just time. what he did understand though was that he was not in some kind of afterlife, at least not in the spiritual sense. This life was as real and physical as the one he knew and remembered.

He also understood that the humans of this place, of this time, of this reality even, had somehow called him to their aid. They had explained that they had created him according to what their records told of his life and work. Not that he felt in any way like a creation. He felt very much like himself, he had all his memories and thoughts to a detail that was unlikely to have been handed down over the centuries in scrolls and stories. He could remember exactly the texture of the scroll he wrote his wisdoms onto, could remember the smell of the ink, and even favored the year he finished his last major work. They didn’t make anything like it here though, so he poked some more in the little worms of his pasta.

How could a sage of asian wisdom help save humanity from their home star going supernova? It didn’t matter that he had no idea, he was going to die like all the rest of them if he didn’t come up with something soon.


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alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors

Martin Spernau
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