Happy Thursday to you — and you, and you, and you — I hope it’s going swimmingly.
Why, thank you for asking! My Thursday is going very well. I’ve got pork chops marinating to turn into a spicy green chili for tacos, I plan to dancey-pants my way through a couple hundred calories (zombies are terrified of dancing, if you were wondering), and today is the day I shall dive into editing Shrike with the fabulous Margie Lawson’s EDITS system. If you’re a writer, you ought to drop what you’re doing and sprint over to her website (which I helpfully linked to above) to avoid editing-itis and other painful maladies.
If you’re not a writer, shrug your shoulders and read on!
Today’s lone EOW entry is brought to us by Matt Sloan. Enjoy!
by Matt Sloan
I watch them from above, in the cold dark silence, as they go about their final hours in ignorance. This is their last chance to live, to love. I have long known that my course ends here. Their scientists have not yet seen me – I came out of nowhere, out of the blackness, and only in their final moments will they know how blind they have been. They will ask ‘how could this have happened’, they will fight and argue and struggle. They will concoct the half-brained, futile schemes of a race that knows its extinction is imminent. Their society, so civilized and advanced, will crumble in fear and desperation.
Do they think I asked for this? I didn’t want this either. But I think like them; I had dreams once too. If I could change my course I would, if only to protect them. Life is not so common in the universe. Would I if I could, I would pick one of those lesser planets where the creatures have yet to crawl, quivering like newborns, out of their primordial swamps, to take their first breath of air and begin the long road of evolution which will, if fate allows it, lead them here.
I have long since accepted my fate. I will perish also, the last of my kind, as I fall screaming through their atmosphere. I muse over their names for me, forming them over and over in my consciousness – I pick out each the syllables in turn, I whisper them to myself. Asteroid. Meteor. The End of the World. I infer meaning to these words, but in the end only one name means anything. One of their scientists said it best. I have, also, ‘become Death, the destroyer of worlds’.
Most of them have never seen their planet like this – the satellites circling like shining insects, glinting in the radiant light of sun and sea. When night falls, the lights crisscross the dark side of their world like arteries and veins, and I think to myself that this is truly the lifeblood of their planet, where people have gone and people have conquered.
As I watch, their sun begins to rise over the first of the major cities, and I cannot help but sigh. As I pass the Moon, their only natural satellite, I see the monuments of their success, the farthest any of their race has ever been from home. If only I could have warned them, if only they could have travelled further.
I’m close enough now to see individuals – lovers, best friends, parents and siblings, sharing in love and loss. Newborn babies come screaming into a world that is taking its final breaths.
I cannot watch anymore. I close myself off, preparing for what is to come. I whisper an apology to the Earth, the planet I have come to love, and become the destroyer of worlds.
Only four short days to get in your entries for the End of the World! If you’re just now hearing about it, get your booty moving and click the image above for all contest details!
- The View: EOW Entries (emmiemears.com)
- Surprise! Vengeance! EOW First Flash! (emmiemears.com)
- …And I Feel Fine: EOW Stories (emmiemears.com)
- Just a Hunch: EOW Entries (emmiemears.com)
- And The Earth Gives Way: EOW Stories (emmiemears.com)
- Change: EOW Entries (emmiemears.com)