The library was bustling today with life as I walked with my son this Saturday afternoon through the front turnstile type of glass doors of the front end of the building. I was leading him to the back corner section of the library where we could find exactly what he’d dragged me there for today, a book about vampires his best friend in his class at school had convinced him was “super ultra cool”. I honestly did not mind what my kid was reading so long as he was reading.
Jenno was running on ahead of me towards the section of the children’s area where he could find the teen reading level book his friend had introduced to my kid of 10 years old. I took my time and glanced around on the library’s end caps to see if they had anything interesting for Mommy to read during the week while kiddo was at school. No good today, I preferred to read the latest hottest erotic novels just to see what was all the rage, but it seems that Fifty Shades of Grey was still top of the list as the main end cap in that section was loaded down with stacks of copies of the trilogy. Such a bore was that series since I’d read it immediately after it’s release and found it to be so dry and dismal that I went back to my old copies of romance I had since college. Jenno’s father had packed up and left a few years ago and since then I had not seen the point in dating as my sex drive was basically nonexistent and I had my trusty novels to keep me company at my leisure.
Jenno was already looking at and grabbing a few other books off of the shelves nearby it seemed that had caught his interest. He was prone to finding the latest in fantasy and science fiction that were much above his reading level in school. Thankfully that kept him fairly occupied while I would prepare dinner most evenings for the two of us when I would get home from working at a local call center for a medical company. I had that job going on eight years now and it paid what little bills we had so I decided to stick it out until Jenno was off to college. After that, I planned on going off to a different area of the country to try my hand at something different. Some job where I could use my hands no doubt. As a kid, I had always wanted to raise a little farm of my own with vegetables and fruits of all kinds, so maybe that is what I would end up working on. Who knows.
As I was wandering towards the window, I noticed something odd about the sky while glancing towards the hills in the distance. This valley would on occasion get some odd bouts of rain during the Spring, which is the season we are in now, but what I was seeing, seemed to be somewhat, well a glowing splotch across the sky. It seemed to be growing very slowly as I stared out the window and almost looked like a fire crawling through a forest from catching in the brush like I had seen one particular summer growing up near the woods as a kid.
In fear, and paranoia, I ran to the front desk where I knew they sometimes had a television playing the news in the background for the employees to watch and asked the front desk librarian to switch it on immediately and put on the news channel. The girl who was clearly just there for a minimum wage job, slowly went over to the TV and switched it on with a flick of the remote and changed the channel to the local news station. On the screen was a shot of what I had just seen out the window, a glowing fiery line across the sky. The news anchor was speaking very brokenly and stating that the end of the world was here and to say goodbye to your loved ones. He went on the describe just what was occurring in the sky above our country as the elimination of our planet’s dismantling and depleting magnetic poles due to the most enormous solar flare ever recorded in history. He explained then that due to the collapse of the magnetic poles, our atmosphere was left open to the deadly effects of the solar flare’s horrible wrath which would ultimately ruin Earth’s land, creatures, and all living things. I stared at the screen with my eyes widening each moment and listened to each word intently. The teenage girl heard the first few words and began screaming at the top of her lungs for all in the small library to hear that the world would be ending in the matter of mere hours left in the day. Screeching and yelling began to fill the air as everyone realized that they would soon be dead along with everyone and everything on Earth.
Immediately I ran back to the section of the library where Jenno was and saw he was searching for me too as he’d heard the screaming loud and clear and realized what was happening. He cried out when he saw the tears running down my cheeks and ran into my arms sobbing. I held him tight and told him we would stay together until the end and that I loved him very much. I realized then that their was nothing I could do to change what was happening and it seemed as I looked once again out the window that the glowing was taking over the sky slowly and found that the solar flare was reaching out to our blue planet to wreak havoc on us all. Moments to go, I thought quickly that it did not matter if we ran now, their was no place that could keep us from the death that would soon come to claim us.
Jenno and I were to stay here in this library, he and I until the last moments came. I decided this myself as I looked around and found everyone else in the building grabbing their loved ones and some were running out of the building, while it seemed the rest were doing as I was and claiming a spot to stick this out until the end came. I carried Jenno’s scrawny little 10 year old body over near the front desk so that we could see what the news anchor was talking about at this point.
The news anchor had apparently left and the station was showing what appeared to be a repeating cycle of information about the end of world solar flare that was going to wipe us all out. According to the diagram that was showing, the magnetic poles had completely been destroyed and left the planet with no guard against the sun’s horrible flares that were now lashing out towards our atmosphere and would soon be coming straight out at us. The next slide showed the effects it would have on our planet in the next few hours. It depicted a nuclear type of explosion which would in the next 4 to 6 hours incinerate all living things on Earth and leave the planet devoid of life. This shocking slide was seen by myself and my child in my arms among a few other library patrons that stood watching the screen of the television to see what our fates were as of this moment. It was clear that no one, anywhere, was to survive.
I held Jenno to my body as I slid down with my back to the counter down to the floor in front of the desk. Around me children and adults alike were crying and screaming and hysterical. Some sobbing silently who were alone, and some yelling over cell phones to loved ones to stay calm and that they loved them. Chaos had found this quiet little library and was devouring us all.
Jenno. My son. I loved him and had raised him mostly on my own all 10 years of his life. And now, it was ending. As was mine. I was sad for him, and I was sad for myself. I was sad for the world. Was this truly the end? I cried. How long was I crying? Holding Jenno while he sobbed for what seemed like hours in my arms. The glowing was shining through the window and had turned into a bright orange now blaring in our eyes and on our skin. I could feel it burning my body already. The ozone layer, the TV had said, was to disintegrate as well which was supposed to protect us from radiation from harming us. This was gone. We were burning already. The more time passed, the hotter it was. Soon, the flare would reach us and touch us and we would be gone.
I tried my best to shield Jenno from the worst of the heat by holding him in front of me with my back facing the windows of the library. It felt as though my skin was melting off. Maybe it was. I endured the pain to keep my son from feeling what I felt. Most people were doing the same, trying to shield others from the heat. Others were staring straight into the distant sky where the fire was coming from in the sky. The flare would reach us shortly. I was sure of this. My skin was blistering from the heat and the flare was visible now and appeared to me as a sword of flames reaching from one end of the sky to the other. This sword would cleave clean through all living things and leave not even the thought of a living cell behind.
All of a sudden, their was a huge flash of light in the sky and everyone surrounding me as well as Jenno lifted their heads to look out the window and stare at their lives flashing before their eyes. I whispered into Jenno’s ear that I loved him. We were instantly incinerated. Along with everything else and everyone else. The planet consisted of dust. As though a nuclear blast had taken every soul and swept us each away. We were gone.