by Brent C. Smith
The sun disappeared just now, like a light bulb popping in an empty basement, leaving darkness so complete a brain invents color to compensate. There, then gone, in the space between seconds.
Did you feel it?
I did because I see the plan. I know the same way I knew that mugger on Park would be tackled by a cop at the next corner. The way I knew Emily would step in front of that SUV with the luggage rack. Here one moment, gone the next. Just like the sun.
Five hundred seconds. That's how long it takes sunlight and gravity to reach Earth. Five hundred seconds of normality, and then poof! go the lights and we hurtle into space on a freezing tangent to nowhere. Rocketing along a new path. Or maybe the one we were supposed to travel all along.
A reasonable man would do something useful with the time left. Something memorable. He would tell somebody he loves them and kiss them goodbye. He would tell Emily. But Emily is gone. Gone and gone. I didn't get five hundred seconds. It wouldn't have made any difference if I had. Predestination it's called.
"I've outgrown you," she said.