Tiny Stories: Naiara And The Missing Piece

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Naiara was a precocious child and at the age of 10 her intelligence quotient tested at 443, far above that of her mother, who was the smartest woman Amador had ever known, and he himself lagged behind them both, for on his brightest day he was merely averagely smart at best.

That hadn’t stopped him from trying to stimulate her voracious appetite for knowledge with books, magazines, and family-friendly websites. Amador encouraged questioning and anything that stumped him was turned into an adventure of learning the answers together.

They visited museums, attended concerts and live events to help to expand Naiara’s knowledge and ignite curiosity and excitement about a variety of areas of potential interest. Amador also made sure his daughter got an ample amount of playtime with children her own age to help her develop proper social skills.

Naiara inherited a love for a good yarn from her mother, Viviana, so Amador made a habit of spinning fantastical tales in order to keep her mind occupied, which sometimes backfired as she would poke holes in his story logic, and sometimes worked like a charm when she joined in on the worldbuilding of the fable.

Then there were times when her boredom was such that no story would assuage her desire for the acquisition of knowledge, so he began providing her with challenges. The latest one was designed to keep her occupied for a while.

“There are a number of global challenges that exist today: food insecurity, refugees who often lose their lives during dangerous journeys in the hope of finding a place to live that offers safety and stability, climate change, gender discrimination, and child abuse,” Amador paused, caught his daughter’s eyes and asked, “Do you know what I mean by child abuse?” He knew she understood but the father in him had to make certain.

“Yes, Papi,” Naiara nodded. “Child marriage, child labor, and trafficking.”

“And you understand what these things are?”

Her expression saddened, “Yes, Papi.”

 “Then your assignment is to find solutions for these problems.”

“Written or oral?”

“Your discretion.”

“All right then,” she said, her brow knotted as she walked away, the telltale sign that Naiara’s mind was already on the case.

And for the following eight days, apart from mealtime, Amador scarcely saw his daughter as she confined herself to her room and devoted herself to the project at hand.

On the ninth day, Amador and Viviana were called into the living room, where Naiara decided to deliver her presentation. She was proud of the solution she came up with, he could tell by the flush of her cheeks and how tightly she gripped the index cards in her little hands.

Naiara cleared her throat and began, “The Universe is not infinite. It expanded just wide enough to allow worlds to form. And those worlds were meant to spawn beings. And those beings were meant to learn the ways of the Apparatus Universi in order to keep the universe running, for The Universe is not a living thing, as most intelligent people have postulated.

“The Universe is a machine constructed by the Vetus Mundi Tinkerers, a race of cosmic free-thinkers and craftsbeings who, though long-lived, are not immortal, and eventually succumbed to the end fate that awaits us all, while waiting for their successors to arrive to remove the heavy burden from their weary shoulders and carry on in their stead.

“But the changing of the guard never occurred. Somewhere down the line, the sacred knowledge meant to be handed down the generations until the various races sufficiently evolved to the point when they were ready to transition into tinkerers, had been mistold, mangled, and eventually forgotten.

“Now The Universe is winding down, beginning to fail because a piece is missing. Some small, yet vital part has somehow come loose during millennia of daily operation and is set adrift on the spaceways, with no one to find it, no one who even knows what to look for. This has caused an imbalance in the way of things and the ripple effects are responsible for the illogic that led to our global challenges.”

What on Earth was she talking about? When Amador presented these challenges, he had no clue what solutions his daughter would come up with but this was certainly not the response he was expecting. It sounded more along the lines of one of the stories he invented to distract her. Did his daughter not understand the assignment?

As if sensing his confusion, Naiara said, “I know you have questions and comments but I ask that you please reserve them for the end of the presentation. And now, if you would please join me on the roof for the conclusion.”

 Amador was about to protest but Viviana squeezed his arm and whispered, “Let’s hear her out, I’m sure this is leading somewhere.”

They made their way onto the rooftop patio, where a pale crescent moon shone like a silvery claw amidst the blanket of stars that stretched to infinity, and the occasional barking of faraway dogs broke the silence of the night. Naiara stood dangerously close to the roof’s edge.

“Be careful, mi Amor,” Viviana warned.

“I’m fine, Mami.” Naiara smiled, but something about her demeanor had changed now that they were out in the open air. Before her parents could question it, the young girl continued her presentation.

“The answer was here all along, hidden in plain sight amongst the stars, and all it took was the proper mathematical equation to tumble the locks set in place at the beginning of time to limit human perception and knowledge. Now it has made itself visible to my mortal eyes, making me gravid with omniscience and I know what I must do.”

“Madre mía,” Viviana exclaimed as, before their very eyes, the stars in the sky began to shift and move but it wasn’t the stars themselves, it was a cloud of stardust that twisted in upon itself like a murmuration of starlings until it formed a circular platform that lowered itself to the level of the roof near Naiara’s feet.

Viviana was about to protest but this time it was Amador’s turn to squeeze her arm. He whispered, “I understand all this less than you, but this is something she was meant to do. I know you feel it, too.”

Naiara’s impressive vocabulary consisted of over 95,000 words, yet Amador could tell by the way their daughter’s mouth opened and closed in silence that she found none of them suitable for the occasion.

Finally, she settled on, “Thank you, Papi, for setting me on my path, and Mami, I promise you I will return and together we will go about setting things on the planet right.”

The young girl motioned for her parents to come to her as she extended her arms to cuddle them both. Amador had been hugged by his daughter before but never like this. Her embrace was stronger than anything he had ever known, as if a lifetime of hugs had been compressed into one single act…and he knew what it meant. This was goodbye. So, he snuggled in and squeezed a fraction tighter pulling his precious angel and his wife closer together, trying to merge them into a single being.

Though time looked the other way to allow the hug to be indefinite, after all the tears had been shed and everything that needed to be voiced had been said, Naiara slipped from her parents’ arms and kissed them both on the cheek.

“I love you both so much,” Naiara said as she stepped off the roof and onto the platform. The stardust swirled around her petite frame, enveloping her like a cocoon and she was lifted up past the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere, past the thermosphere, ionosphere, exosphere, and finally into space, where the tiny particles that made up solar wind swarmed around her stardust cocoon.

Although air and breathing were no longer a necessity, she sighed a young lifetime of relief and drifted peacefully amidst the cogs and gears of The Universe.

Naturally, Amador and Viviana were concerned for their daughter’s safety in the face of the universal unknown, but Naiara’s parting gift to them was expanding their minds with just enough understanding to allay their more serious fears and causing their already loving hearts to open like a cosmic flower so that she could establish a tether with them. Now, they would forever remain connected to her as she went in search of the missing piece.

Not The End.

23 responses to “Tiny Stories: Naiara And The Missing Piece

  1. Man, I don’t know where to begin. Unlocking omniscience with math, Universe as a machine, a genius cosmic traveling ten year old in search of a missing to reset the balance. Where do you come up with this stuff? A mind boggling story, Rhyan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my greatest fantasies just came to life in this tale, and that is to be able to drift through the infinite universe unhindered and just…explore…everything…for eternity. It’s such a brilliant story, and I think when things kicked up a gear for me was when Naiara said, “And now, if you would please join me on the roof for the conclusion.” I mean, this tickled an audible chuckle out of me, but it also checked another secret box for me: something spacy is going to happen and it’s gonna be wicked good! Your craftsmanship is so sublime, Rhyan. Just a beautiful story about love and hope and adventure and saving the universe as only a ten-year-old girl genius can do. You just can’t ask for more than this. I love this. So cool! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always find it interesting the things within stories that strike chords with readers. As always, thank you for the read and your kind words! Just like Amador, my intelligence level is average at best, so I don’t know how it would be possible, but for your sake, I hope that you get your wish to drift through the infinite universe unhindered, exploring everything for eternity. Stranger things have happened.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. So many thoughts on this one, Rhyan.
    First, I’m glad that Naiara is a girl. Typically a role like this gets handed to a boy because the stereotype is that they’re more bold and adventurous, so I love that she’s fearless.
    I understand that she unlocked secrets of the universe (first time I’ve come across the word “gravid”) and no longer needs to breathe air but does she also not need to eat, sleep and use the bathroom while she’s soaring through the cosmos?
    And her poor parents! I can’t imagine what they must be going through. Even though they’re cosmically connected, it still must be torture for them because they didn’t get to spend enough time with their daughter. Yes she’s smart but she’s way too young to be out on her own so far away from home.
    If Naiara had all this power, couldn’t she have taken her parents with her? Surely her loving parents taught her the importance of keeping the family unit together.
    Sorry for all the questions but that’s how invested I am in this story, which is a good thing, no?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm…that’s an interesting take, Suranne. To be quite honest with you, I don’t put much thought into gender assignment when I write these stories. They’re automatically either male or female. Perhaps I need to look into that.

      As far as Naiara’s bodily functions go, it all handled discreetly. That’s between herself and the stardust.

      Her parents understood that Naiara’s departure was for the greater good, and sacrifices needed to be made. It’s hard but unselfish.

      Her parents couldn’t have accompanied her because they hadn’t unlocked the secrets. If Naiara is successful, she becomes the new tinkerer and the entirety of her time and attention will be devoted to maintaining the Universe Machine. Her parents are better off living out their lives on Earth.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. A cosmic tale that could be the greater good that the world actually needs. The way you’ve constructed the girl’s intelligence and the setting of the Universe and sadly what it has come to be…I think you might actually be on to something, Rhyan. Are you sure you haven’t take a stardust spin yourself and seen things no one has seen? You might not reveal it but you’ve got some secrets. Waiting to know more… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kiddo, if I took a stardust spin across the universe, this blog would not exist, and Earth would permanently be in my rearview mirror. Then, without me running against you, you could rule the planet in peace. Cheers for the read and compliment!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. So beautiful, I love Naiara and made me think of myself as a kid (not that smart though hah!) I loved her goodbye and just imagining the stardust, and weightlessness and magic. A very kind story, thanks for sharing, Rhyan. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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