afterwordsAFTER WORDS

This was the third night the lights had come flashing into the bedroom window.  Six of them — each with a separate rhythm.  It was like music shining through the night and the half-light city.

The first night, she’d woken her boyfriend to show him, but he’d hurmphed and wouldn’t get out of bed.  She told him about it in the morning, but he yeah, yeah, yeahed her and went to work.  On the second night, she didn’t even bother trying to wake him up and went outside instead.  The lights were over the garden, moving and twinkling like halogen fairies  She found herself tapping her bare foot in the grass and swaying her hips.  And then she was dancing with them.  She reached her hands up and they came down to her, just out of reach.  Were they singing?  Then they were gone.

Tonight, she was ready.  She waited like child-time Christmas, too excited to sleep.  And there they were.  She went outside and, laughing, pointed the flashlight into the sky, clicking it on and off to a nursery rhyme rhythm.  The lights stopped twinkling and shone directly at her.  There was a tiny hum.  Sara thought she was thirsty.  It was the last thought on Earth as the Athorians reversed the electrical charge on hydrogen and instantly dehydrated the entire planet into dust.  Moving through the drifting leftover cloud to avoid the Moon careening towards the Sun, they wondered why such a primitive species as humans would suddenly declare war on them — for no apparent reason.


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