Ficlets

Proserpina

Charon hangs unmoving in the star flecked sky, redder than the Sun, thick with organic slush. The fires of the ancient red giant are guttering, banked in her old age by the ashes of helium, but she has one final gift for her wayward children. Her starlight is patient: it takes five hours to cross the gulf, and each precious photon is gratefully received. Bright ice turns swiftly to dark water, greedy for warmth. Thick plumes of organics and minerals rise from the silicate core through benthic vents, ascending through an ocean greater than the vanished seas of Earth, broaching a surface stirred by the gentle tides of Nyx. Sugars and phosphates dance their lovers’ waltz. The oceans are a riot of cyanobacteria, spilling oxygen into the thickening atmosphere and fueling an ecstatic orgy of creation. The black waters flicker with blooms of phosphorescent algae, and for a moment Hydra occults the setting sun. It is almost the end of evening, but there will be warmth for the life of a world. New eyes watch the sunset fire burn across the young oceans of Pluto, and though there are not yet minds to comprehend, there will be time enough.

1938

Even After The End There Are Still Good Days

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