The planet was definitely getting bigger. Slowly, imperceptibly to the naked eye, it was growing. Yesterday it had not been there, and this morning it had only been a small speck. Now it loomed larger than a full moon.
In the distance, though not all that far away could be heard the sounds of glass breaking, laughter, screams. As the planet got larger society cracked a little more. Josh did not care for that. He’d left the TV behind and been sat gazing at the impending doom for about an hour.
It was brown, and mottled with various craters. In the top right there was a smudge that could have been a hand waving a sick greeting. Of course, everyone knew what it looked like. The pictures had been all over every channel with the man from NASA crying next to them. But it was better to see it like this. It was real. Seeing it on a screen fictionalised it and made it seem like all the other nonsense. The scientists had seen it on screens and paid it no attention. Now nobody could ignore it.
There was an almighty crash which dragged Josh’s eyes away from the planet. He frowned. It was amazing how fast everything was breaking down, as if they were all racing the planet to complete Earth’s destruction. It would almost be worth it if the planet somehow missed Earth just to see what would happen, how they would continue, if they could continue. There was another puff of smoke out on the horizon.
It was definitely getting bigger. He had only taken his eyes off of it for a few moments but he could tell. It was almost rudely big now like a nosey neighbour leaning over a garden fence. It would be an incredible sight before the end, filling the sky. Josh wondered if there would be anyone left to see that. He would of course be dead before then, he had no intention of waiting for the big crush. But for now, he was content to watch, just for a little while longer.
I started out life as a burger. He ate me with a knife and fork. God damn it. I don’t deserve this.
I began to make my descent into the gloom, twisting and writhing my way through hateful, vapid passages. How many burgers do Americans eat every year? I could have lived a normal life but instead I’m doomed to passed through this torturous wreck. Sure, many will suffer a lot more, many of them because of this obscenity I am a part of. But still, this feels like a very unique hell.
Eventually I found myself at long last being digested. This horrible journey would shortly be at an end. I tried to remain as whole as I could, begrudging every morsel that would be used to fuel him. During my journey, I had heard much from him, and well, let’s just say it takes a piece of shit to know a piece of shit.
Let me tell you, my people are surprisingly proud. We understand what society thinks of us. But we know we are a necessary part of the world. That being said as I made my way towards leaving my host I felt every bit as disgusting as society thought me.
I am very close to the exit. I am beginning to see glimpses of light. Finally, this is going to be over. Hopefully I’ll find a way to move on. Hang on. I recognise this place. I’ve been here before. Oh, for god sake I’m coming out completely the wrong way!
The old man had watched eagerly as the tracks came closer and closer to his village. Many of his friends were far more pessimistic about their imminent arrival. “They’ll just bring criminals and city people. They’ll destroy our land,” was a common reason they gave. But the old man did not believe that, and besides, he was far more concerned with where those tracks could take him.
Finally, the tracks came through the village and they kept going on further. Soon after the trains came. The old man met many strange and wonderful people. They told him tales of the city and even other countries. They brought with them contraptions that astounded him. One man showed him one that he claimed could capture images. The old man could not believe it until he was shown a picture of the great river that flowed through the city with hazy buildings along its banks.
The old man had to wait a while before he could afford to pay for a ticket but at long last he had saved enough money and he immediately was on his way. His mind still could not comprehend the machinery that could move such huge objects as the trains carriages with apparent ease so fast. But that did not matter as his body could experience it and find it exhilarating.
In what seemed like an incredibly short period of time the tracks brought him into the great city. It dwarfed him and made him feel very small, but it swelled his heart to see such great wonders. His favourite sight was at the station where he saw there were dozens of other tracks which headed in all different directions. The old man was excited that he would have to buy many more tickets still.
The pilot did not even have to land on the planet it transpired. Well, more accurately, he couldn’t. He circled the planet watching as waves rolled from pole to pole. There was no sign of the fifty thousand people who had recently settled there.
He could only imagine the terror of the settlers as waves crashed upon them from all sides. It must have happened incredibly fast. They had had spacecraft. The last contact with them had been three weeks ago and they had made no report to suggest anything would go so wrong. All the best planetary monitoring equipment had been at their disposal. Had the equipment failed, or did they miss something? Or had the event been so cataclysmic and sudden to evade detection? That was not for the pilot to say. All he had to now was report that there were no survivors on the colony.
That made three in a row. He looked grimly at the list of seven more colonies and tried not to remember that those names represented over a million human lives, and hoped to god that the pattern would break.
Space was turning out to be a very bad idea indeed.
I sat on the beach with an ice-cold beer, and waited for them to come. No more running. I just wanted to enjoy my last few minutes of freedom.
I suppose I’d never really expected it to all catch up with me. I’d lived it all like some kind of dream. The last six months had been a lesson in reality, and they had been god awful. Maybe I’d look back on them one day fondly. Maybe they’d make exciting tales. In the moment, I just felt exhausted though.
The beer was good, refreshing and sending a numbness through me that allowed me to ease into the situation like a hot bath. Knowing it was the last one I’d have for a while, I savoured every drop.
Going down in a blaze of glory? I’m not the type. Maybe I’m just an optimist and where I see life I see hope. Maybe it’s just a damn sight more pleasant to be put in a cell than a body bag.
It had been fun though hadn’t it! Before the last six months of course. No responsibility, no ties, an unlimited stream of money if I wanted it (and I did). Fun. That was it in a nutshell. Now to pay the price for all of that.
Just as I was taking my last sip I saw the helicopters, jet skis, and speedboats coming. I felt the sand, warm under my hands, took a last breath of free air. I stood up and accepted my fate.
The being known as the Author had been furiously writing the future on a rapidly unfurling scroll since the beginning. Every corner of space, every move or decision made by every being, the passage of every star and planet, everything was dictated by what was written by his pen.
That was all his existence was, and indeed, existence was all because of him.
You can imagine then, the Author’s abject terror when he realised he was coming to the end of the scroll.