They came up with this name after a series of questions. Science people are still people, at the end of the day. And we all know people are tiny creatures in need of a bigger entity to guide them. So each time the scientists discovered an answer, they also saw the logic underneath. A strong, well explained logic. It was all physics, chemistry and applied laws discovered by other dead smart people.
So they named it The Brain. It was easier to refer to, in this way.
Journalists made appointments to see the scientists, to interview them about this new thing that they were referring to.
‘So, how was the world created?’
‘It was The Brain who did it.’
‘Right. Who or what is The Brain?’
‘Young man, The Brain is – for you to understand more easily – God as we know it.’
‘So, there is a God? Is this what you’re stating?’
‘No. I’m stating that there isn’t. I’m stating that there is The Brain and he created it all. Ok, imagine the universe as a human body. The Brain is the brain. Get it?’
‘So, are you able, through The Brain, to explain everything now?’
‘Yes! Well, not exactly, but everything that has been created without us knowing how it was done, was created by The Brain - even us. For example we can all create things, right? I can create something that will make you marvel at my abilities and wonder how I did it. But I really did do it, with my brain. Don’t tell me that you know how the TV works, I do, but you don’t. It takes smart people to understand smart stuff, smart stuff that The Brain creates. Get it?’
The Brain was bored of walking around, between galaxies, with nothing to do. He had created worlds, given reason to creatures and won a game of darts. What to do next? So he put on his nightcap and went to sleep on the moon. The moon wasn’t really his sleeping place, but doesn’t a bit of diversion bring a new meaning to a boring eternal life?
The Brain lied comfortably on the moon and looked at one of his favourite creations, the earth. When the earth was just a baby, The Brain had called it The Ball. The Brain used to play with The Ball, that’s how he got so good at all these ball sports. But then he became bored. One week, the Brain thought about what to do with the ball, he thought about it every minute of every day and night. He couldn’t throw it away, there were too many dear memories there. So he turned it into a planet, made a living ecosystem on it with animals, plants, clouds and humans. Then he did something that made him smile at the thought of it now: He gave humans the knowledge of playing ball games! He created loads of other planets after that, making those humans blue, orange or purple in skin colour. But only the first humans played the ball games.
The Brain gazed through the clouds at the humans. They had done well for themselves, the last time he had checked-in on them the poor things were trying to invent electricity. The Brain didn’t give them a chance! But he was wrong.
It was Rome, the place he was gazing upon at the moment. Singers in the streets, beautiful ladies waving their white dresses in the moonlight, love and peace sheltered Rome from the universe.
He noticed a girl. She couldn’t have been more than 18 years old. A beautiful Italian girl; she looked up, from her window, straight into The Brains eyes. He felt a shiver on his ethereal spine. He knew instantly that her name was Beatrice, a fair-headed virgin in a white dress, her skin soft, her moves delicate, her eyes deep and her dreams high.
The moon shook as The Brain realised the feeling that human awakened within him. She had chased his sleep away with an innocence he had never known before. He said her name to himself, Beatrice, and thought about what to do next. He wanted her for himself.
The Brain observed Beatrice for some time and was pleased by her choices. She was a good student, an obedient daughter, a cultivated young lady, a pious person. She was a beauty and she was graceful. She was what the brain always wanted, though he never imagined falling in love with a human.
The first time he talked to her was in her sleep. In her dream, she was sitting on a walnut bench, reading a poetry book. The hills were pink and the wind was slowly touching the tips of the grass leaves.
‘Turn around!’ he whispered in her ear.
She did. As she looked at him, her face gradually turned to stone. He was an immense mass of nothingness, like a giant balloon of air, his shape changing as he spoke.
‘Don’t be scared, little Beatrice, I don’t want to hurt you.’
She showed no fear on her face, that’s how scared she was. In bed, in the real world, Beatrice’s nightmare was making her wipe heavy tears, their warmth cutting her cheeks.
‘Who are you? What do you want form me?’ she managed to say.
‘I am The Brain, the creator of it all. I came to you in your dream to announce you that I want you for myself.’
Beatrice didn’t know what to reply.
‘Don’t you have anything to say?’
‘I know I am dreaming, and the priest told me that the devil sometimes comes and tempts you in your sleep. But I am not scared. There is nothing that you can do to make me, this is just a dream.’
‘The devil? Beatrice, there is no such thing as the devil.’
Beatrice almost smiled at him. ‘Yes, the priest said that too, that you’ll try to convince me of your non-existence.’ She was happy for finally being able to use this new word she read in a magazine, non-existence. The brain smiled at it too.
‘Ok, how do you want me to prove it to you?’
‘To prove what?’
‘I don’t know; ask anything. Don’t you have questions you want to ask? About yourself, about this world?’
‘So is everything clear to you?’
‘Yes. I’m not scared of you. I can listen, but you won’t make me believe in you.’
The Brain didn’t know how to deal with that. He paid his compliments to the girl and decided to leave her dream and come again more prepared next time. He thought it would have been easy, because what more can a human want, than him?
After taking some time to think on it, the brain returned; not in Beatrice’s dream, but in her mirror. It was Sunday morning and she was getting ready to go to church with her mother and her grandmother. She didn’t tell any of them about her dream; she had been too scared to in case they would think she had impure thoughts.
‘Hello, Beatrice,’ said The Brain from the other side of the mirror. 'I came again, as promised.' But she didn’t say anything. ‘Beatrice, can you not see me?’
‘I’m trying to ignore you.’
‘Well, you’re doing a great job. There is something I want to show you, in order for you to understand who I am.’
‘I need to be in church soon, I don’t have time really.’
‘What if I make time stop?’
Beatrice contemplated on the idea. ‘Come on then, make time stop!’
So the Brain did it. He froze the time at 6:12pm. ‘I want to tell you about this world’ said The Brain and images appeared on the mirror. First it was a black picture, a still image of nothingness. Then it all started spinning and a light appeared in the centre of the picture. The light got bigger and brighter, and then bigger and brighter some more. Then it all turned into a mass of lights, imperceptible at first but as the lights moved further apart they started to appear more like little stars. It all looked fascinating to The Brain, as he played the images for Beatrice.
But she stood there, in front of the mirror, not moving a muscle.
He showed her the earth, water moving apart and making room for the continents to be created. The mountains rising, the grass growing, the dinosaurs, he showed it all.
But she didn’t move.
‘I heard about this. I don’t like it.’
‘But this is the truth!’ said The Brain, dazed by her reluctance to see the truth.
‘I don’t believe it. But it doesn’t matter. What do you want from me?’
‘I... I want you, Beatrice, I want you to love me and to be mine forever.’
Beatrice looked at the clock, its display frozen at 6:12 pm. Her mother, a tall, heavy woman entered Beatrice’s room like a storm.
‘What are you doing? Why are you not ready?’
‘We still have time,’ said Beatrice, pointing at the clock.
Her mother leaned her head to the right and handed Beatrice a set of two batteries. ‘After you’re ready, change youre clock’s batteries, I noticed it had stopped yesterday evening. And hurry, Bea, we’re going to be there after the priest and that’s one sin that can throw us straight into the devil’s arms, my girl. And I told you to stop reading all those science magazines, they do nothing for your soul, they’ll just make you doubt yourself.’ said the mother and took the two science magazines from Beatrice’s desk.
Beatrice looked at the mirror again. Her face was beautiful, shining as if she knew a well kept secret.