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Not sure about it? Here's one of my favorite stories from this collection:
Wrinkled hands, like opposing molds, mesh as the couple strolls across the golden-sand beach. They smile at one another—a whole conversation in a simple look. Their hands are made for each other, just as their lives have been.
Before them, twin suns cast a warm, yellow halo across the horizon. It will be the most spectacular sunset of their lives.
“Where do you think they’ll all go?” the woman asks, eyes drawn to the hazy sky out over the crimson ocean, where tiny pinpoints of light spark, stretch upward, then disappear into the black unknown of space.
The man shrugs. More star-ships rise in the distance. “There go some more.” They walk a few more feet in silence. He asks, “Do you regret staying?”
“Of course not.”
She pulls him close, wraps her arms around his neck. A salty mist washes over their frail skin as waves crash over the rocks, spraying foamy red sea water into the air around them. She wipes some foam off her arm, remembering the first time they visited this particular ocean. Its dark depths create the illusion of bloody water; but remove the water from the ocean and place it in a clear container and it becomes more pink than red.
“We’re much too old to be gallivanting across the universe. Our home is here. The End will be here.” She squeezes his hand. “We are here.”
He wants to take her in his arms and cry. Not a sad cry, mind you, but a happy cry, unashamed—to shed tears that reflect a joy-filled life, a full life; a life spent with her.
“So, where do you think they’ll all go?” she asks again.
“Wherever they please, I guess. Most will go to Earth, I think.” He pauses, then continues with a disheartened voice, “I feel for those that do, though. Last I heard, Earth’s busting at the seams and can’t hold another soul.”
“I like to think the majority of them will find another planet like this one. Do you think we’re the only ones that stayed?” It’s a silly question, but she asks it anyway, longing to hear the sound of his voice more now than ever before.
He collects his thoughts, allowing the silence to stretch for a few moments. “I’d like to think that somewhere—maybe on another beach like this one—another couple is doing the exact same thing we are: asking the same questions, stating the same answers. Like us, I believe they’ve made their peace with their fate, and the fate of our planet.”
Above them, star-ships continue to jump into hyperspace, but their gazes are no longer on the heavens—now, their eyes are only for one another.
“It’s hard to imagine the entire planet’s been evacuated.” She pauses. “Well, mostly evacuated.” The one's leaving now were the holdouts—waiting for the last moments before leaving.
A moon rises, reflecting green light across the beach. It shines on the red ocean and the green hue changes the red waters to purple.
“Yes, it is,” he says, stopping to take her in his arms. Something flutters in his chest. The time for The End is near. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” She presses her head of silver hair against his chest and they wait.
Thirty-two light-minutes away, the twin suns come closer and closer to their violent end. For millions of years, the twin suns have danced around each other, their gravitational forces tugging them closer together until they collide and explode into a supernova of astronomical proportions.
It happens while the couple hold each other on the beach. It starts as a violent magnetic storm. Burning charges of gas begin to ignite between the two fiery giants. Then in a blinding flash the suns tear themselves apart, expending pulsing waves of radioactive energy in every direction. The waves stretch through space in long fiery fingers of reds, purples and blues as the blast radius grows.
From their spot on the beach, the horizon now hides the suns from view, so they never see it happen. The only light they have, the only proof that the suns are still whole, comes in the form of reflected moonlight. Then suddenly, the reflected moonlight dims. A few minutes later, radiation bombards the opposite side of the planet. It penetrates the atmosphere and envelops everything. The couple on the beach are gone in an instant. A few minutes later, the first wave of the suns' fiery remnants engulfs the planet, incinerating it in an instant.
The End had finally come, and for the couple on the beach, their end came the way they expected—the only way they wanted it—they were together.
If you enjoyed this story, be sure and download the entire collection over on Amazon.
Get it now: Beyond the Closet Door
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