‘Opening: The End’

He opened his eyes and looked out a vertical tunnel into the night sky. His breath billowed like steam from his mouth and dissipated into the black. Images came like photographs and were replaced one after another, but once replaced, they were gone forever.  He cried as grandfather, his Unitron telescope and the Milky Way slipped by.

The dirt beneath him was cold. It clung and sucked at him. He didn’t have the strength, or the will to fight against it anymore. This was it. Although he was only a child, he knew his time was short. He’d seen animals die. The farm taught nothing, if not the callousness of death. His breathing came in quick, short spurts. Muscles spasmed and jerked, he felt alien inside his own body, but he understood. As his chest hitched up and down in irregular patterns he considered this life, the one he really never had a chance to live. The physical pain was gone, but his emotions were in turmoil. He felt like an observer, a cast member of his own life. He watched his chest rise, then fall, and waited. His entire focus, all of his concentration was centered on making it rise again. It did. He shuddered as it fell. His wait was longer the next time. Too long. As the color washed away from his vision, and the black replaced it, he thought,

I’ll do better next time.