… again.

The machine is the only thing holding the universe together. It hisses and clanks. Sometimes he imagines he hears it screaming.

He calls it Atlas, for it bears the weight of everything upon its metal shoulders, this vast engine at the end of the time. In the sky above, the last star dies.

Loop after loop, star-death after star-death, big bang after big bang: Atlas carries on when all else ends.

The universe dies and is reborn. But Atlas goes around, time after time, and it is falling apart. He is not sure it will survive going around…

Word Count: 99

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and CEAyr for providing the prompt photo!

Read other stories here!

24 thoughts on “Bootstrap

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  1. This is the time one starts praying for a good mechanic to tweak it. Maybe the mechanic can be convinced to stick around to keep it in tip-top shape. A machine like that needs a devoted keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story… reminds of a google article that popped up on my phone saying that we had moved x – miles closer to a black hole that was swallowing our galaxy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What interesting imagery in this one! It feels very steampunk to me somehow, with echoes of some of my favorite steampunk stories where what seems like an anachronism is gesturing toward profound truths about all time. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

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