Unnecessary Planet

07/15/2013 03:14 pm ET | Updated Sep 14, 2013

This story is taken from "Mundane Uses of Magical Objects", my upcoming book of surreal anecdotes and flash fiction fairy tales for adults.

They lived on the unnecessary planet doing unnecessary things and were generally unnecessary people. It happens like that some times, when the universe produces things both really great and little enough to be superfluous. It does so not because nature likes doing extra work. It's just got so many things going on at the same that its hard to keep an eye on everything. It is perfectly acceptable to waste some resources when you have big goals in mind.

What nature's big goals were -- the unnecessary people on the unnecessary planet could not possibly know. Who would tell them? And, frankly, they didn't want to know anyway, maybe suspecting in the back of their collective mind that they were only around because of some kind of oversight. And in such situations -- you are better off keeping a low profile. They were happy enough doing unnecessary things.

But then it happened. The inevitable mistake of the unnecessary people -- the desire for significance. And so a group of the little people began to think big thoughts. Why were they here? Who else was here? How could they let whoever else was here know that they were here also? And so on and so forth until they built a spaceship and sent it out with a delegation to the other planets. And when the necessary people on the other planets saw these guys -- they were very surprised -- who were these unnecessary people? And so they blasted the unnecessary delegation with death rays and then found their unnecessary planet and blew that up as well. With death rays -- very necessary rays!

And it seemed ok that they had done this. It was as if they made up for negligence in what was really another one of nature's mechanisms of self-regulation. But, alas, it soon turned out that the unnecessary planet was actually not so unnecessary as it was plugging a hole in the space-time continuum and when the planet was gone -- the hole sucked into itself the whole universe until only a dot was left. Or actually, it was probably a comma -- a dot with an unnecessary squiggle. What are you up to, Nature?!

If you like this story, you can check out another one here.