In the empty pub, Jade turned on the lights, poured pints of GPS for Jay and Rucksack, and made herself a cup of coffee.
Rucksack took a pull from his pint. “Let’s see that world again.”
Jay pulled the globe out of his daypack and set it above the table, floating in between the three of them. The little world spun slowly and silently. Jay told them about Everest, the strange impossible night, his fleeing to India, and his various attempts to get rid of the globe.
“I don’t understand,” Jay said. “How is something like this even possible? And why me?”
“It’d take someone far wiser than me to explain how it’s possible,” Rucksack said. “But I said I’d tell you all I can, and that’s what I’ll do. Just give me a moment to figure out where to begin.”
Jade stared hard at the globe. This is what the world looks like from space, she thought. If I were standing on the moon and looking back to Earth, this is what I would see, only bigger. Is this little world populated with teeny tiny versions of us and everyone else in the world? Do they have any idea that they live in a traveler’s backpack?
If this is the world but in miniature, Jade thought, then what are we living and walking and traveling on? She looked at the ceiling. How do I know we’re not living in a backpack too? A cosmic pack, flung around the universe by some itinerant being, some itchy-footed god who now and again takes us out and looks at us like a souvenir?
“It’s been a long, long time since there was one of these around,” Rucksack began. “They’re rare beyond belief. When one appears, it means big changes for the world. The appearance is striking. It really is like a wee world, though as I understand it, it’s more just a visual reminder.”
“A reminder of what?” Jade asked.
“That the world is at stake,” Rucksack replied. “Every bit of it, from land to life.”
They all stared at the globe, then Rucksack continued. “You’ll find something like this carved and depicted all over the planet: a small world, floating over a person or a group o’ people. Though it’s not really a world. In any language, culture, or mythology, it’s always described as an egg, but the proper name is dia ubh. That’s me native Irish. It means ‘god egg.’”
“Eggs crack,” Jay said.
Rucksack nodded. “And eggs contain a force of life, though in this case it’s far more than a tasty breakfast. When a dia ubh opens, it shines a great golden light. At that time, the world stands on a razor’s edge. If a force o’ good and love stands within that light, great kindness and learning happen in the world. If a force o’ evil and hate stands within that light, great destruction falls. When a dia ubh opens—and before you know it, this will open—the world’s destiny has brought us to a moment of decision.”
“What kind of decision?” Jay asked.
“The choice is what the choice always has been and always will be,” Rucksack said. “Life or death. Continuance or final destruction. Yes or no.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish