Inspired by Nina Merry.
This one is for her.
I watched the red-orange sky as the tall grass tickled my face. My hands moved around it, the light wind pillowing the abnormally green pasture. My hand brushed against his. Though the day was warm, his hands seemed clammy with fear.
“You okay?” I spoke quietly. My voice seemed more mouse-like than I had expected, as though it weren't even my voice. Sitting up from the hillside, I brushed the fallen strands of hair out of my face, but with my back to the wind, it was difficult.
“Yeah. I'm... as fine as any man would be at the end of the world.”
I looked out into the sky. The sun was gone already, but the fire of the rest of the planets coming to their supernova state lit up the sky with blood.
The man sighed. I blinked a few times before the clouds began clearing, moving across the sky so quickly that they could hardly be seen anymore.
I laid back down to the earth. The fear of death made way to enlightening peace. I held the man's hand.
“You are a sweet young lady.” The man cleared his throat and gripped tightly on my tiny hands.
“Thank you, sir.” I whispered. The wind began to dance more wildly as though to send us more warning.
The horizon began turning purple while the sky straight above me stayed orange. Stars visible in the entire sky illuminated the middle section a bright red as they felt the strains of extreme pressure, as though they would soon burst.
“Why did you save me back there?” My voice felt unfamiliar even still. “I don't know you... and... well you could have died in the rioting.”
The man loosened his grip on my hand. I breathed deeply.
“I saw you there, and felt as though it was best you didn't see the end that way.”
Though I did not trust him, the view of the sky was breathtaking, despite the obvious end of it all. Not to mention, he did indeed save me from the last-minute looters ravaging the city streets. Out here, I could feel the last beautiful graces of the earth before we all passed away. Unsure of whether I should thank him for saving me, or question him for ulterior motives, I stayed quiet, taking in the sky and its deep colors.
“You don't trust me.” He sighed, as though he read my mind. “And I understand. I just think you should see the earth one last time in its greatness.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath through my nose. I could smell the fires of the city behind us, while simultaneously picking up the scents of rain in front of us. Around us, the smell of daisies sat close.
I made a decision. “Thank you, sir.”
My fingers closed around his big hands and squeezed gently. I could feel the positivity radiating from him, an excellent way to finish this life.
“How do you think this world will finally end?” I questioned, my voice cracking.
“I wasn't at first... but...” I admitted shyly.
“Its okay.” The man responded. “The world will end in flowers.”
I sat up again and looked the man in the eyes. “End in flowers?” I questioned.
He laughed and sat up with me. Wrapping his arms around my shoulders, he gave me a hug, then pointed out to the skies.
“Each of those planets is going to explode.” He started. Chills went down my back, but he continued anyway. “And when they do, flowers are going to rain down on us.”
His eyes seemed so genuine, so sincere. He was either an artist or just insane. I hoped it was the first one, and wrapped my arms around him as well.
His chest radiated warmth as I buried my face in his embrace. I felt tears, though I could not be certain if they had come from him or myself. I felt my face, only to find I had been their maker. I tightly wrapped myself around the man, and screamed.
He held tightly back and let me throw my tantrum, before finally lifting my head and pointing out an engorged planet in the sky.
“Look!” He screamed, the wind nearly blocking out his voice entirely. “I think its starting!”
It had begun to rain from the far off clouds. The wind had carried the droplets over to us. The strength of the wind could have probably lifted us up into the sky, but luckily it did not take us anywhere further than where we sat. The hot rain melted over me as the planets in the sky began to shake.
I pushed the hair out of my face as it billowed in the torrents of wind and rain. The sky turned bright red, lingering beside from the purple horizon. A tiny planet behind all the rest shook violently against the bloodied backdrop as it came close to its doom. I squeezed tightly against the man.
The planet burst with an explosive scream. The pieces of burning planet shattered everywhere, falling from the sky toward us. I gripped the man's shoulder as he held tightly to my waist. I couldn't bring myself to watch any longer, and tightly shut my eyes against his chest. He felt warm.
“The flowers! The flowers!” he screamed in delight. I opened my eyes, but stared down into the dirt below us.
“Flowers?!” I yelled. He let go of me and stood up.
I watched him stagger toward the horizon, though he didn't move far before the wind blew him down.
“Look at them bloom!”
I gazed into the sky as ash began raining over us. All I could see were pieces of planet, ablaze and ready to collide with the helpless planet earth. One by one, the pieces began looming closer, until one slammed itself to the ground.
“They're not flowers!” I screamed, my voice shaking and cracked with emotion.
“Look at them as an artist!” He shouted, the conviction shaking in his hands. “Do not see with your eyes, my dear!”
I curled up in a ball and buried my tightly closed eyes into my knees.
“Its all over!” I yelled. “There is no beauty left here!”
Suddenly, I felt his hands on my shoulders. I jumped up, but his hands remained there.
I blinked before I finally lifted my head and watched another planet burst. Two more exploded in succession. I screamed, but the sound wouldn't escape my throat.
The burning bits of rock began misshaping themselves. I stopped screaming for a moment to stare at the pieces of planets coming toward us. One of them looked like a rose.
“Its... Its a rose!” I screamed. “And over there!”
I pointed out another piece of rock as it turned into a blossoming daisy, like ones I would have picked when I was a child.
“A daisy!” the man yelled back.
I staggered forward in the wind and ash, the droplets of far off rain still penetrating my skin. I could have cared less. The flowers were all I wanted, the last moments of beauty as our world ended.
“They're making bouquets.” He said, moving forward with me. “Proof! The world is ending!”
Gazing into the burning sky, I could see the pieces of planets start to move together, around each other and forming a bundle. The flowers slowly revealed themselves, ablaze and ready to bring their grace to the earth.
Then when all the planets in sight, aside from Jupiter, had exploded, I knew that the beauty wouldn't last.
“Jupiter will end us all.” He said, softly, holding me close. “Planets exploding leave nothing but flowers.”
“I will remember that.” I said. “They're far too beautiful to forget.”
“Remember that instead of any pain.” He whispered softly in my ear.
I stared out into the sky as the biggest planet became the biggest bouquet of lily flowers I had ever seen.
And all I could remember was the beauty of the earth as it died.