At the fringe of my imagination planet Earth careens along its orbit. Billions of lives forge ahead in the struggle to exist. As numerous as they are, they still amount to far less than a single grain of sand in the grand scheme of the universe.
At some point the Earth, weary from centuries of abuse, relinquishes some undiscovered force of its cohesion. Whatever has held the globe together for so many eons loses its grip fingertip by fingertip. Not too far away the face of the tidal-locked moon bears silent witness to the beginning of the final sigh from the blue marble.
Her skin cracks to reveal her heart. The orange-red glow from within seeps out slowly in some places. In other locales it erupts and stabs fingers of fire into space so violently that atmosphere is pulled along as well. Huge plates of crust tumble outward and the oceans become sparkling clouds of crystalline popcorn.
The exposed core of nickel-iron flares beyond white hot for a few moments and the photons released stir the dust in the Sea Of Tranquility. The mantel and core remnants diffuse into a dark, orange, and momentary equilibrium. Then the glow begins to fade unevenly.
The remnants of sea percolate thru the debris and transform from liquid to solid, to liquid, to gas, at random. The final puff of the liquid of life becomes the force that keeps everything expanding outward. Ice crystals explode and droplets flash into steam. Steam begets simpler gasses in a final gasp. Gaia sighs out of existence.
A few boulders slam into the moon with devastating force. With no nearby gravity well to stay its path any longer, it falls outward. The rest of the leftovers spread out along the orbit to form a new asteroid belt, albeit a thin one. The parting moon and the other planets, even though far away, contort the belt into a wavy parade of frolicking particles.
The last vestiges of humanity are expressed in the electromagnetic spectrum. Frantic phone calls and urgent text messages caught between dying satellites seek receivers many lifetimes distant. Likewise, shortwave and other radio communications scream out into the void, their producers silenced forever.
Perhaps on some lonely little tumbler fate may have smiled. Maybe an underground bunker, leftover from a war that never happened, preserved a handful of people. They might broadcast for while longer, but in the vastness of the universe, help will never come quickly. They will either run out of resources or a collision with other debris will silence them. Either way, both their starvation and a collision will happen. Inevitabilities abound in space.
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