The Iron Writer Challenge #118, The 2015 Summer Solstice Preliminary, P. D. Eastman Champion

When the Worlds EndedMathew W Weaver

Mathew W. Weaver

“We’re going to DIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Not the most encouraging words to hear your president scream out on the podium in front of the United Nations. But you couldn’t blame him, really. Not after the huge sphere ballooned up in the sky and then hurling down in a hail of blazing debris.

Then came the screaming chaos, and the literally world shattering crunch.

I should have been dead; but for some reason, I was dangling uncomfortably on twisted ropes. Above me was an open cloth balloon, and right beside me hung a pink skinned creature with yellow hair and the most offensive body odor I’d had the misfortune of sampling.

My first alien encounter.

We’d screamed for a while; first at each other, then at the endless clouds beneath us, and then for no general reason in particular.

Now that we’d grown tired of screaming, we stared down at the vast blue emptiness beneath us.

It was illogical; maybe I was dead and dreaming.  It was hard to accept that the tinfoil wearing Terra Conspiracy activists were right; that Urle really was on a crash collision with a planet they dubbed Terra.

But here I was, sharing a parachute with a Terran who was now clearing his throat uncomfortably.

“Hello,” I ventured.

“Hey,” he swallowed, “I’ve never seen… blue skin… before. I guess you’re from Niburu?”

“Niburu?” I frowned.

“The planet that crashed into ours,” he pointed up.

“Urle,” I corrected, “Yeah. I… I’m from Urle. So, um… you’re Terran?”

“I think you mean human?”

“I suppose so, maybe.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

We both looked away.

“Do you… would you happen to know how we got here?” he asked.

“Last thing I knew, the president ordered a warp drive factor on all available flight capable crafts,” I said, “I think they were plotted to a moon somewhere in the Zebu cluster. I was in my minivan, shifting up.”

I twisted my tentacles nervously.

The Terran reached up to pop his jaw back in.

“Well, the last thing I knew, I was jumping out of a plane,” he said, “That’s when… boom.” 

“Maybe my warp drive malfunctioned,” I suggested, “Sent me here instead of… there.”

“That would make sense,” he agreed, “I guess.”

“Why were you jumping out of a plane?”

“Dunno. Seemed like a good idea at the time.”

I shrugged.

He sniffed, “So this is the end of the world.”

“Worlds,” I corrected.

“Gonna miss it, though,” he sighed, “Booze. Ice cream. Drugs.”

I wiped the corner of my fifth eye.

“I wish I had Dad’s lucky time clock just about now,” I murmured, “Never left home without it.”

“I’m sorry,”

“It’s alright. Nothing you could do.”

We lapsed into silence, drifting some more.

“Where d’ you reckon we are?” he wondered.

“Dead?”

“Was my first guess.”

“Maybe we warped to some close by planet,”

“Was close to my second guess.”

I looked at him, pale and ugly as he was.

“Well, we’re in this together,” I said.

“For better or worse,” he agreed.

There had to be something beneath those clouds, and my antenna trembled as we descended.

The worlds had ended, and the future was waiting.

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