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                                THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT.

"Happy birthday, son. Hereís a little something in the way of a present for you."

"Why, thank you father. What is it?"

"Why ask me what it is when you can open it up and see for yourself?"

"Oh, wow! Itís a universe! I always wanted one of those. But really father, you shouldnít have spent so much money on me."

"I didnít buy it. I made it for you."

"Made it? Gosh, it must have taken you hours."

"Actually, it took me six whole days."

"So thatís why you stayed in bed all day on Sunday."

"Yes. Now look; this is not at toy. Some of those planets have living things on them, so be careful."

"I will, father, I promise. They seem to be evolving very quickly, donít they?"

"Quickly by our standards, yes. Time moves much more slowly for them. Iím going now. If you have any problems, you know where to find me, donít you?"

"Yes, father. Thank you very much. Itís a terrific universe, the best one I have ever seen. I love you."

"I love you too, son."

*******

"Father, father! Come quickly. Something awful is happening in the universe."

"all right, son. Iím here. Whatís the problem?"

"Oh, father. One of my planets just exploded."

"Ah yes, I can se it from here. Itís Earth. Donít worry, son. It wasnít your fault at all. They seem to have had some sort of a nuclear war."

"Oh, Daddy. That was my favourite world. It had blue skies, deep oceans, trees, flowers, birds ... "

"Donít upset yourself. I can soon make you a new Earth."

"Oh, can you? Will you? Thank you father, thank you ... But this time, please, donít put any people on it."

"Donít worry, son. I wonít. I promise."

                    *** 

Note - This was my first ever published story, appearing in 'The Force' a college Magazine in Manchester in 1987

Arthur Chappell

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