Day 1, Hour 0 – The last time I stand on Earth.
Day 1, Hour 1 – The last time I can hold a conversation without more than a minute gap between the message being sent and recieved.
Day 1, Hour 3 – The last time the Earth is the largest thing I can see.
Day 1, Hour 7 – The last time the Earth is the closest planet.
Day 1, Hour 8 – The last time I can pretend that I might be able to hold a conversation with those on Earth.
Day 1, Hour 10 – The last time I am not separated from the Earth by an asteroid belt.
“We’ve lost.” The surrounding heads nodded in agreement, and Theo sighed.
They hadn’t lost a game all year, but it looked like that streak was over.
“Wait… maybe not.” Thirteen heads snapped in the direction of the speaker, eager to see who had defied their communal melancholy.
It was, of course, their coach.
“We’re 9 points down, and there’s 30 seconds on the clock. There’s exactly one way we can win.”
Silence. They all knew what he was referring to. It was ludicrous, of course, to think that they could pull it off.
“The Folly.” Theo voiced the impossible.
“But coach, no-one’s tried that in…”
“I don’t care how long it’s been since someone’s done it.
The snake rears its head, and Roelle recoils. At her best estimation of a safe distance, she crouches to peer at the creature: having never seen a snake before, it’s a bit of a novelty. Curiosity balances fear as she examines its eyes, searching for hidden understanding that would never come.
She realises her mistake as she turns towards her husband: a darting out of the corner of her eye signals a reptilian attack. She stumbles backwards, falling back on her hands as the snake darts towards her face.
Rolling to the side, she cries out as the dust from the kerfuffle invades her eyes.
It is said that you can see the soul of a person in their home, and this was never taken more seriously than by the Karu people.
To the Karu, your home was the ultimate expression of the soul. Building your own home was the final step of a child to attain adulthood, and sharing it with another was the only requirement for marriage. After death, it became a shrine to your memory. Eventually it would be abandoned, to be reclaimed by the earth.
As a result, the Karu were a strangely nomadic people. The constant construction of new homes created a civilisation which crawled across a continent.
A shout at the door. A trip, then a fall.
There’s a sound that comes at the end of a world, an unmistakable almost-silence that fills your eardrums with unbearable pressure and your heart with unmanageable dread.
This is not that sound.
Her home is small and made of steel: light yet sturdy, thin yet airtight. Her pet mouse stirs the air of it’s tank, a cup of coffee steams sheepishly nearby. A pile of paper, mostly blank, sits messily on the floor. Generators hum at a bow-legged card table, which threatens to fall in reply. The bed nearby stands, unamused.