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Shut Up

Arthur Robinson was born and raised in small town New Zealand and now resides in Melbourne, Australia.
Someone at the party says we're lucky to get such good seats and someone tells them to shut up.
The rock is almost as big as the Moon now, bright white in the sky, surrounded by stars. They're all out, because we're as far from the cities as possible. Too much light in the city, even though the power got drained to launch the Arks at Mars. Lots of burning buildings, burning cars, burning people. Lots of cults and militias, playing at priest and soldier with just days until the end.
The party was still going two days later. We'd been stocking up as soon as the official announcement was made, even though almost everyone already knew before then. Someone by a battery-powered radio told everyone to shut up and we did and we listened to replays of calls for help from the Arks. A chain of tiny rocks, tugged along like ducklings, had pulverized the fleet. The ones that still had people and the ones without were flailing, out of control. Some exploded, pushing holes through the Arks close enough. Some even crashed on the rock they'd spent so much time and wealth trying to avoid.
Someone at the party said it serves them right and someone tells them to shut up, but they're right. They knew, years before anyone else and they said nothing, draining resources as they silently lowered the lifeboats. Some of the Arks were supposedly full of treasures, paintings and sculptures, not even animals, not even a few thousand more children. We couldn't go get them anyways. The rock would be here soon, and besides, everything that could be used to get to space had been taken already. All we could do was listen to them, begging rescue from the damned they had left behind.
Someone said there was news, good news, and no one told them to shut up. The rock is getting smaller than the Moon. Those Arks full of riches, of those worth more, had pushed the rock. Their explosions had saved us, redeemed the damned. No one said that we should go save the Arks, but I would have told them to shut up if they had.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, February 16th, 2017

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