Campfire topic #1747: How did the world come to be?

Submitted into Contest #40 in response to: Write a story about one event from the different perspectives of multiple friends.... view prompt


Funny Fantasy Mystery

In a place that doesn’t exist, in a time that didn’t happen, eight friends that never met sat around a campfire, telling stories. The topic of their discussions this time was world creation, or how the world came to be.

“Ah, that’s an interesting topic indeed,” said an elderly gentleman with white hair and a lush mustache. His eyes were fixed in some distant point inside the dancing flames, as he prodded the question with his mind, squatting by the fire. “Would someone else like to go first on this one? I need some more time to think it through.”

“Sure,” said a tall and slender man with long straight hair. “I can go first, if it’s alright with the rest of you?” He looked to his companions.

Nobody complained, save for a man in his middle years, wearing a mighty black beard and a green turban cloth, who grumped a sigh.

“Somethign wrong, Muhammad?”

“Not at all,” the man replied. “It’s only natural that the son of god goes first on this topic.” He raised his palms to reinforce his words. “I’m just a humble messenger.”

“Not this again,” sighed another man who sat in a wheelchair by the fire. His voice did not come from his mouth, but rather from a device connected to his brain, which made it sound electric. “Can’t you two just get along? You’re both wrong anyway.”

“Stephen!” exclaimed a fifth man, sitting between the wheelchair man and the moustache man. He wore a vintage black suit and had a strong german accent. “Show some respect, will you?”

The man in the wheelchair mumbled something.

“So, can I begin then? Or would you like to go first for a change, Muhammad?”

“Nah,” Muhammad waved his hand. “Is what you get for being nearly 600 years late to the party. Take it away Jesus.”

Jesus nodded and cleared his throat. “So, the topic of world creation. As we all know, in the beginning, there was darkness. Then, came a voice. My father’s voice. And he said; let there be light!”

The flames burned brighter for effect, sending a column of sparks up to the heavenly night skies above.

“It took my father seven days to complete everything. First he divided the light from darkness,” said Jesus, pointing up at the stars. “Then he created the oceans and the land,” Jesus stomped his foot. “He covered the dry ground with plants. Then he went on to create the Sun and the Stars, providing light and energy for his new creations. Next, he created birds and sea animals, and after that he went on to create land animals and all of you, human beings.” He eyed the fellow who sat furthest from the fire, the flame’s shadows dancing on his face. “Well, except for you. I’m not sure how to classify you. But anyway, when all that was done, on the last day, he rested. And it was good.”

Stephen couldn’t help himself. “Why did he do it in such an order? Wouldn’t it be better if he created the stars before he created plants? That way photosynthesis could begin uninterrupted.”

“I’m sure he had a good reason for it,” Jesus said. “My Father never did anything that would not have a purpose.”

“I fail to see that reason.”

“Alright,” the man with the german accent jumped in. “You’ll get your chance, Stephen. Let’s listen to Muhammad now.”

“Ugh,” Stephen commented. “Your last name should have an extra -ing to it, since you’re so Bohr-ing!”

“If you won’t contain your snarky comments until all of us are finished, I’ll turn your voice off!”

That seemed to help.

“It’s alright,” said Jesus. “I wasn’t offended. Please, let’s not chastise one another here. We are all grown men, having an interesting discussion by the fire.”

The men murmured and the atmosphere lightened up again.

“I will be next then,” Muhammad said and stood up. He cleared his throat and eyed his audience. “My friend Jesus told a good story. He got most of it right, but there are things where he could improve. Here’s what really happened.

“God, which is one and only, Alah, created the whole universe. From a single unity, he made everything, in one cosmic explosion, that Stephen there would call the Big Boom-”

“Big Bang!”

“Whatever. God said; ‘come together, willingly, or unwillingly’ and they all came together willingly and thus stars, planets and the moon were created, following the natural orders He assigned to the universe. You see Jesus, God only took six days to create the world, not seven.”

“That’s what I also said,” said Jesus. “Six days of work. One day of rest.”

“Hrmf, fine,” Muhammad sighed. “Well then, God did not create all species separately and individually, as Jesus claims. He created life and seeds for it, and life evolved on its own, following his guide. Only man was an exception to this. God gave special gifts to man and thus made him separate from his other creations.”

“What about the Earth?” asked Stephen.

“What about it?” asked Muhammad.

“How did Alah create the Earth?”

“He didn’t,” Muhammad explained. “The Earth came together willingly, following the laws he set for the universe.”

“Clever,” Stephen commented, but did not hint as to whome it was aimed at; Muhammad or Alah.

“That is all I have to say,” said Muhammad.

“Thank you for sharing,” said Niels Bohr. Then he nudged the man squatting next to him. “Ready yet, Einstein?”

The man with the white hair didn’t respond, as if completely involved in his thinking.

Bohr turned towards the others. “Best to give him some more time. Would anyone else like to be next? Since we’ve started with religion today, perhaps you, Budda? Or Mukutu?”

Budda opened his mouth to say something, but he didn’t get the chance. As soon as Mukutu heard his name, he stood up. He was a short man with thick black hair, and chocolate skin, coming from a secluded little tribe in Africa, consisting of probably no more than fifty people.

“I tell story of how world is,” he said, his accent thick, but understandable. “I Mukutu, from tribe Tukibaka. We believe there be two great Sky Serpents up, in the heavens, one gold and fiery like Sun, the other silver and cool like Moon. They fight for dominance over sky, each night and day. At night, Moon wins, but in morning Sun wins. As they fight, they bleed and make oceans and rain. They cut chunks of their flesh with their claws and make earth and mountains. We, Tukibaka, rose from their flesh and we drank their blood. Once one Serpent kills the other, the end of world.”

He then landed back on the ground, legs placed in front of him, touching the soles of his feet together. The rest of them were silent, even Stephen had no comment to make.

“Thank you Mukutu,” finally said Bohr. Mukutu smiled, showing his teeth as a sign of acknowledgement.


All heads turned to the handsome young man, who sat cross-legged next to Jesus, wearing a vivid orange robe. His eyes were closed and he wore a serene smile on his face, his hands resting in his lap.

“Buddha? Would you share with us how you think the world came into being?”

The man took his time, looking as if he was in deep meditation, before he finally opened his eyes. He rubbed them with the back of his palms and yawned.

Jesus and Muhammad looked at each other. 

“Were you sleeping?”

“I’m terribly sorry,” said the Buddha, smiling. “But the fire is just so nice and cozy. And your voices are deep and pleasant to hear, especially yours, Mukutu.”

“We were discussing how the world was formed,” said Stephen, his electronic voice scratching. “Would you care to share? Today, perhaps, so I can be next?”

“What’s the rush?” smiled Buddha. “Reality isn’t going anywhere.” He raised a reassuring hand before Stephen could object. “I promise to be short.”

“Let’s hear it then.”

The Buddha looked at the fire and remained seated, motionless. The reflection of the flames danced in his eyes. “The world is.”

That was all he had to say. Jesus and Muhammad nodded and contemplated those simple words, and Bohr also wore an expression of insight. Einstein was still deep in thinking and Mukutu smiled. The figure who sat furthest from the flames, as if not wanting to be illuminated, didn’t show any signs of interest in the conversation at all. Only Stephen had to object.

“Yes, the world is. We know that. How did it come to be?”

“That is a fascinating question!” the Buddha said. 

“Would you care to give your answer?”

“But I did.”

“That was not an answer,” Stephen objected. “It was just a stupid and obvious statement.”

“Stephen, Christ almighty!” Bohr exclaimed.

“Yes?” Jesus raised his head.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way… Stephen, would you stop insulting people already?”

Stephen rolled with his eyes. “Bohr-ing!”

“Eureka!” Einstein exclaimed all of a sudden. Bohr jumped up and nearly kicked the old genius in the fire.

“Don’t scare me like that!”

“I have found it!” Einstein proclaimed, raising a finger up and eyeing the men by the fire.

“Found what? Your sanit-”

“Gravity! Relativity! The universe is static in time and possesses an uniform distribution of matter on the largest of scales, therefore making it a spherical spatial curvature! It all makes sense! All we need to do now is introduce a cosmic constant, which will serve to determine-” He froze in mid sentence. “No, wait. That’s stupid. I didn’t account for redshift and rate of expansion…”

“Well, do you have it or not?” pressed Stephen. “Can I present my theory now?”

“I don’t know,” said Einstein. “I just don’t know…” He shook his head and smiled. “The universe is a mystery!” 

“Not really,” said Stephen. “Here’s the real version of how the world came to be. Listen closely.”

“This is gonna be good,” Jesus whispered to Muhammad who chuckled. Mukutu showed his white teeth, indicating he was listening closely. 

“Basically, it’s all matter and energy, randomly interacting with one another, interconnecting and forming into solid objects. At the beginning, as far as we know, there was the Big Bang, a cosmic explosion that sent all matter and energy out into the universe. Slowly, over time, millions and billions of years of it, the matter randomly formed into stars and planets, which arranged themselves into solar systems and galaxies. One of such galaxies is our Milky Way and one of such systems is our solar system.

“4,6 billion years ago, our planet Earth was formed from the stellar dust and gas, randomly orbiting the Sun. The conditions were just right for the planet to be big enough to hold an atmosphere, but not too big to become a gas giant. Our distance from the sun is ideal for life to have evolved and the presence of water was also very fortunate, to support life. 

“Slowly but surely, as life began, it evolved into more and more complex organisms, totally at random, of course. From small bacteria to the first fish, from fish to the first amphibians, then tetrapods and eventually mammals and human beings. There’s no wuwu or magic involved, just accretion, evolution, and random fluke luck. And here we are.”

“But, that is exactly what I have said!” protested Muhammad. “Only, you forgot to mention God, of course.”

“I didn’t mention god, because I only deal with solid evidence and facts,” said Stephen.

The atmosphere suddenly became very tense and Bohr quickly jumped in before words would become fists. “Thank you for sharing, Stephen. Now, since Einstein stated that he just doesn’t know, I will take the last stand on the scientific frontier.” He stood up.

“Like my colleague said, it is a great mystery, this universe. And like Buddha said, it is a fascinating question, how did the world come to be? I spent my whole life trying to find an answer. And here is what I have found.

“Everything is a cloud of possibility. Matter and energy, they both exist as pure infinite potential, until a decision is made for them to take one specific and exact form in the universe. I have devised a model that explains this in great detail, called Quantum Mechanics. Our Earth, as well as the whole universe, came to be in the exact same way; it existed as pure potential, until a decision was made and it became what it is now.”

“Who made that decision?” asked Jesus, hoping the answer would be ‘your father’.

“I don’t know,” said Bohr. “The craziest thing is, that the lab experiments tend to show it is us, humans, or any measuring device, that are the observer. And everytime we look, we cause the universe to be in one way or the other, but not both ways at the same time! Our observations collapse the field of possibility into a certain outcome!”

“Yes! Exactly!” exclaimed Buddha and smiled. “I see that science is catching up to this. Good job!”

Muhammad shook his head. “I just don’t understand, why does man go to such lengths to try and think up some reason for there to be anything but god.” Jesus patted him on the back.

“So basically,” said Stephen, “you’ve joined their camp, Bohr? Talking about some godly decisions and potentials?”

“Not at all, dear colleague,” Bohr said. “If anything, I believe I stand somewhere in between the two.”

“Balance important,” said Mukutu and nodded his head.

“Superstitious ignorance,” blurted Stephen. “Why didn’t we just play monopoly tonight? These conversations never get us anywhere…”

An awkward silence fell on the group of eight friends. The fire crackled softly, forever sending its playful shadows dancing on their faces. Then, after some long minutes, Bohr finally broke the silence.

“What do you think, Sauron? You’ve been awfully quiet this whole evening.”

“I find your lack of imagination insulting, but am amused by your guesswork.” The dark lord of Mordor sat on his black mace with arms resting on top of his bent knees, staring intently at the fire, while remaining some distance from it.

“Uh, remember me who invited him again?” commented Stephen. “I could perhaps excuse the others, but Sauron? He’s a fictional character! He isn't even real!”

“No more real than any one of us,” said Buddha, staring at his palm with some deep knowing, and his usual smile. He looked at Stephen. “And yet, he sits there. Just like you do. Would you deny this fact?”

Stephen blushed, caught in his own words. “Stupid zen people, twisting your every word…”

“Well, how about it, Mr. Dark lord?” asked Einstein. “Would you humor us with your explanation?”

“Yeah,” said Jesus. “We all shared our own thoughts. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you.” He looked at the rest of them, especially Stephen. “Right guys?”

They all nodded, including Stephen, who got a stern look from Bohr.

“Very well then,” said Sauron, his voice booming from behind the crude iron helmet. “You are all mistaken in your musing, fools of men. Listen to this.

“I am Sauron, servant of Morgoth, who was a servant of Iluvatar, the One who created the Valar. The Valar sang the world into existence and they shaped its lands, seas, rivers and mountains. They took care after the seeds of life Iluvatar had placed upon the world and also sowed seeds of their own. This is the short version.

So I know what you are thinking right now; Iluvatar is a god who created everything. But no. This is false as well.”

Stephen frowned, no longer able to contain himself. “Wait, you knowingly believe something that is false? Even Jesus doesn’t do that-”


“-how deluded are you?”

Sauron didn’t speak. He just stared into the flames and as he did, they grew stronger. The men had to back up as it became too hot to bear. And then, shapes began to appear in the flames. Images, and a face of a man, smoking a pipe and smiling benevolently.

“Behold, my true creator,” said Sauron in a reverent voice.

Jesus put a palm over his eyes. “Who’s that?”

“Hey that’s Tolkien!” said Einstein, pointing at the image in the flames. “Look Bohr, the man from our own time!”

“We already knew that,” said Stephen. “You are a fictional character, created by an author. This proves nothing.”

“Yes,” Muhammad, strangely agreeing with Stephen. “Why do you break this illusion? Why not just say this Iluvatar created the world and let that be your belief? What is the point?”

Sauron looked up from the flames and the image vanished. He eyed every single one of the men. “The point is that you all need to go meta on your beliefs,” said Sauron. “You who believe in a god and you who believe in physics. What if you’re also like me? Fictional characters, written by society, parents, education or indoctrination, to believe certain things that are actually illusions?”

Buddha smiled and gave a nod to Sauron. The rest of them looked at him with confusion. 

After a long and very uncomfortable silence Sauron sighed, disappointed with his friends’ lack of participation. “Where is that damn monopoly anyway? I want to purchase some lands and build my Isengards and Barad-durs on them!” 

May 04, 2020 08:26

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18:07 May 12, 2020

It was both funny and philosophical at the same time and neither of them eclipsed the other. I really like the jesus-muhammas interaction. Very epic 👏👏 Do check mine too Stay safe, cause this time you can't trust any of them to stop the pandemic!


Harken Void
21:07 May 12, 2020

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! Will check yours as well. Haha you're right there! Thanks, and stay safe yourself!


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A. Y. R
22:37 May 11, 2020

You managed to sum up each character's perception of themselves and their world really clearly! And that ending was simply just the greatest!


Harken Void
08:26 May 12, 2020

Thank you very much! Haha yeah, I love that ending too!


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Tvisha Yerra
16:29 May 09, 2020

I love how all cultures were included in the story, and the funny ending! This story deserves more likes!


Harken Void
19:28 May 09, 2020

I tried to include the most widespread ones, and the ones I know at least half-decent about. I'm glad you liked it, thank you :)


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