One Singer to Mourn
by R.T. Allenson
It hit him like a car crash.
Jim was laying back on his recliner when he found out the world had ended. The news was sudden and echoed in his mind and he found himself scrambling towards the great glass panel of his moon dome, staring out into the darkness intently.
Presently he found the Earth, a singular blue gem amidst the vastness of space. There was nothing he could see from within his vault of metal and glass that gave any indication that something had happened. But the red light was flashing, what he had prepared for and feared had happened – human life had been extinguished, the world had ended. He found himself touching the glass window where the earth lay adrift longingly while memories of days gone by flickered within his mind. For a moment he imagined that everything was still alright.
“Message received.” a voice rang behind him. It was his receiver; someone was still alive, Jim thought. He hurried back to his recliner where his receiver was. “Play message.” he commanded. The device flashed a green light in approval and began playing:
“…the ground is still shaking from the impact. I wasn’t able to reach the bunker in time…doubt I’ll survive out here…It’s so bright…can see the wave coming from the horizon. I’m next, Jim..I hope this reaches you…wish I could be with you..I lov–.”
For a moment Jim was silent; he had almost forgotten who the voice on the message was. It hit him like a car crash, echoing in his mind as he felt everything around him and within him shatter like glass. The memory of their parting was still fresh and this time the finality of it had sinked in. There were things left unsaid between the two of them, things that would never be done and ultimately lost to time and into the grave. “Death always leaves one singer to mourn.” he mused. “One singer and a song that in time he will take away.”
For the first time Jim felt cold, colder than he ever was since he decided to live out his remaining days within the sanctity of his moon dome. Though he had braved the loneliness before, he felt this time will be a harder emptiness to bear now that there was nothing else to go back to. Jim sighed and took one last look back at the glass panel where the earth was and then, sitting down on his recliner, turned on the receiver and began playing his last message again..and again.