Author : Ian Rennie

The sky is bright, not noonday bright but rather like the flickering of old fluorescent tubes. You can make out clouds against the light, a sort of dirty grey, but nothing beyond them. No stars any more.

Everyone’s panicking, and I’m not sure why I’m not. I’m just sat on the roof to watch the end. Nothing I can do now, really.

It’s strange how quick everything changed and the end came. This time last year we were happy and ignorant at the bottom of our gravity well, not knowing about the universe we lived in. Then, all of a sudden we detected signals from alien life forms. Not one, but multiple ones.

This provoked the panic you might expect, but not as much as what these aliens had to say.

See, when I said signals from alien life forms, I was trying to be precise. Not alien worlds, just their inhabitants, their refugees. Over the last few decades, their planets had been destroyed at an ever increasing pace. Only those with FTL drives had made it out as something ate up entire solar systems and replaced them with nothing. They pointed out their former worlds to us. Their stars still shone in our sky, as they had outpaced the light of their own destruction.

From all over the galaxy and beyond, we saw refugees, all heading towards Earth, for one simple and horrible reason: Whatever was happening was focused on us: the universe was a contracting sphere around our solar system, and eventually around our planet.

The strangest part was that one group of refugees claimed to know why. They were a technomystic sect from the opposite spiral arm to our own, and they claimed to have had a vision of the cause of all this.

It was a man called Ambrose Jones. He was born to middle class parents, had an unremarkable time at school, got a job as a supermarket manager, married a girl who grew up two streets away from him, and died twenty years ago of pancreatic cancer. One small, utterly unremarkable life.

According to the technomystics, whatever had created the universe created it to see this one life, and having seen it, they were shutting everything down.

The sun went last month. The hard radiation from its death would probably have killed us all, except that, as the whiteness took it over, the radiation went with it. At some level I think something wanted us around for the end.

The last cloud I could see just drifted upwards, hit the whiteness, and vanished. As I lie here and wait, something funny just crossed my mind.

Everything happened for a reason.


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