#251 A New Star

by Matthew Carey

No, too much. Too much. TOO MUCH.

It didn’t matter. He was already gone. The technician’s hand fell from the dial and his body slid from the chair. The technician’s face was the last thing that the researcher saw, sightless white eyes fixed forever at the shock of fatal visions. And then, in an instant, the researcher was gone too.

The laboratory grew hot so fast that the assistants barely felt the radiation sear through their bones. It was a quick burst of unbearable pain, and then nothingness. Down the hall, in the cafeteria, the tiles smeared out in long white stretches, tables warped and counters sagged like liquid wax. Workers on break flared up and burned away.

The building itself burned up, pulsing out a white phosphorescent flash that obliterated the rods and cones in the eye of anyone unlucky enough to be gazing in that direction. And anyone looking that way, or standing that close, was also burned up, the radiation wiping away skin and muscle with a stroke, eating the bones, deleting everything physical with a heat too powerful to allow even smoke to survive.

It grew quickly. It took away the city, and then the countryside. There were no reports. The surface of the continent was scorched away in seconds. From ocean to ocean. And then the oceans themselves, and then everything else.

And the earth continued in its orbit, a blazing white ember. A new star in an unseen sky.

1 comment:

JRVogt said...

A new star instead of a black hole. Nice change-up of a modern fear.