The Elders released him into the multiverse with fanfare and deep blessings. They sent him forth to become a Creator, just as they had in their own millennia. The formation of stars, new whorls of dust marked his entrance. They noted the spontaneous appearance of sentient life in more than one system. Such a miraculous occurrence had not happened in eons. The Elders marveled at this omen, and wished him well on his new existence.
What they did not do is warn him of the sacrifices he would be required to make, if he was to fulfill his destiny among the fabric of Creation. There was no talk of the pieces of himself he would lose in creating stars, molding planets, blooming life. They did not tell him of the pain. All for the best, the Elders agreed, relying in wisdom that was older than anyone knew.
Pain would speak for itself. Among a field of carbon and proto-stars, in a small galaxy born of his first efforts, he knew loss. It blinded him for a thousand years. What he thought would be a double star of unsurpassed beauty turned into a neutron star orbiting a black hole. He was unprepared for the ferocity of their gravity. They screamed in x-rays, gamma radiation howls mauling the fabric of existence. They lasted only a few beats of his cosmic heart before he lashed out to end their misery.
Among a cloud of diamonds the size of moons, he wept. The pain was beyond imagining. If a creature of energy, of dark matter and light, could be said to have nerves, his were stretched across the infinite. Background radiation, the hiss of hydrogen were rasps across the fibers of his being. He took refuge in the heart of a white dwarf, the spinning of which camouflaged the sound of his suffering.
The Elders watched from afar. From a cocoon of hydrogen gas and ionized iron tinged with copper, they nodded what passed for heads, murmuring to themselves but offering no counsel to their suffering son. They could not. They would not. Such advances would undermine everything they sought to teach. The propagation of the multiverse depended on the understanding at a molecular level of the cost of creation.
His heart bled. Star systems coalesced. Planets came forth from the terrible fires of agony. He let himself slide down a gravity well into the heart of a black hole. White hole of rebirth and a new layer of the cosmos lay before him. Fingers the size of galactic whorls reached out to collect dark matter, light matter, all that became clay under his caresses.
Moon and planets and star systems lay in regal opalescence on the blood-soaked canvas of what could only be called his mind. Energy, diaphanous and pure, yet fragile like the collateral creatures that sometimes came to existence on what they called planets. He would not know 'planets' or 'blue' or 'heart' as they. He was energy. He was Universe and Being, spanning eons and the distance between the Big Bang and the nothingness at the edge of creation.
Still, the ache of shattering loss haunted him. After so many millions of years like hours he felt drained. Too many fragments of himself scattered across the layers of the multiverse. He felt he could give no more. Weariness demanded he rest. Sleep frightened him, from his need of of it and the grinding anxiety of wondering if he would ever awake from it. But he gave in. The upper atmosphere of a gas giant served as blanket. A flock of moons, large and small, served as distraction to lull him into a sleep of ten million years.
In sleep, there were dreams. Solar flares become demons become lovers. In his dreams, he was potter, surgeon and blacksmith. He wielded tools measured in light years. Light grew within him, suffused him bore him out on interstellar winds until he knew not his measure. Something stirred in his core. A metallic brightness filled him with increasing heat. He laughed, and stars were born.
The heat grew. Soporific pleasure slowly transformed into a gnawing pain. He grunted, contracting around the ball of light and pain consuming his insides. His consciousness flickered in and out in a rapid coruscation through so many layers of the universe he lost his bearings.
He screamed. Stars expanded, planets burned. Galaxies reversed their spins. He thought he might die, if energy could be said to have the same failing as mortal flesh. The stars went out, then he awoke.
Yellow-white sunlight warmed his face. It streamed through a large window, eight panes of wavy glass in heavy wood sashes. The striped cotton of the armchair in which he lay was cobalt and white, pure white that reminded him of galactic whorls he once knew, upon which he once fed. Through the glass he could see a wooded valley floored with grass the color of emeralds. He knew that once, too, as the heart of stars. He was not alone.
There was a heaviness in his arms. He cast his gaze downward, shocked by what he was holding. It was a child. A girl child, from the looks of her. It sighed and breathed softly in its sleep. He felt his limbs become heavy, as if he were wearing sodden clothing. A smile stole over his face, and his momentary panic transformed into languid peacefulness. The girl opened her eyes. She studied his face, seeming puzzled but unafraid. She smiled back.
He knew then that he would no longer roam the multiverse, fashioning planets, stars and galaxies out of primordial flux. He would know pain, it was true. But he would know love. He was human now, and the stuff of life was in his heart, his arms and in eyes of purest blue.