This is the end, but it's not what you think. Trust me.
| Steven's words caught in his throat like square pegs. He looked at Emily and looked away, not trusting himself. His words choked, emotions sharp and unforgiving. He blinked, sniffed, and let out a shaking sigh. He'd never thought today would actually happen. It was wrong.
He looked up a bit, hoping to drain his eyes a bit back from where the wetness came from, and tried to speak. They had just come outside and sat down on the porch swing.
"I know." She said. She looked at him.
"I know." She looked sad.
Emily took his hand in hers, laced their fingers. Waited.
"This isn't how things are supposed to go." he finally managed. He looked up and out over the porch. Last summer they had a picnic in that yard when his parents were away.
Steven was young, about a year younger than Emily. She was beautiful and he was handsome, they were strong and healthy.
Emily rested her head on his shoulder while he stared out across the front yard and into the horizon. The sun was setting and the sky was blood. It had been a record setting day, temperature wise.
New highs at six am, another at noon, another at four. Now though, as the sun sank and the sky bled, as his emotions controlled him, the night was turning to ice.
"Remember that time when we were getting sandwhiches at the Pilgrim, and those hippies out front had that puppy and those drums and they were selling that incense?" He asked.
Emily smiled and nodded. Her eyes were full now too. She had gone back into the Pilgrim and bought a three foot sub for those two hippies and thier dog and thier drums. Steven had already fed his sandwhich to the dog by the time she had come back, so they all sat and ate hers together.
"Yeah. That's when I knew you didn't suck, entirely." he said.
"What do you think comes next?" she asked.
"It's probably going to hurt alot." Steven said this straight faced but busted into a grin and had a true, honest laugh. Even Emily thought this was just a little bit funny.
There was a wind blowing now, loud, and louder. It cried and howled and screamed. It was a glass banshee being ground in a garbage disposal. It was scrap metal being pulled behind a rusted truck. They sat on the porch in the rocking swing, watching the wind tear the leaves from the tree in the front yard in an explosion of twists and whorls. The first time he'd taken her hand, nerverously, had been on this swing.
"It's not the end of the world, there will still be, stuff. The trees will be here, there will still be dogs and cats and puppies and drums." She said
Steven just shook his head and looked at his hands. He had calouses from work. He noticed a bit of dirt under a fingernail and felt bad he hadn't showered after work.
"None of that matters without you though. It's all just crap. We've got candles we never lit, we've got cake mix for Christ's fucking sake, we're never gonna make that goddamn cake."
"Maybe it will be better.." She said. "Maybe it really is just a start to something new, maybe this is all for the best. Maybe we'll still be able to see each other. Maybe...mabye it's all BECAUSE we think it's worthless without us."
Steven stood up and pulled her to her feet. It was almost over. It was almost time to go, he knew it. When the end is really, truly, finally there, you can't deny it. You can't hide, you can't run, you can't cry anymore. You stand up, you say your goodbyes, and you take that truck on the chin.
Emily had tears running down her face. She leaned in and whispered to him.
"I love you too" he said, and he pulled her close and held her tight. "Close your eyes."
The light was leaving the sky, but there was enough. The sun had stopped sinking and he could feel Emily shaking. The world was a picture, nothing moved. Only they were real.
Things was crawling out of the lawn. Hands mottled, the colors were hard to make out in the light. The soil parted softly and the grass withered, turning brown then white. The wind had stopped and the leaves and debris hung in midair.
More of the things came crawling out of the lawn and lined up in front of the porch. They chittered and hissed and clacked and sniffed.
In the distance Steven saw a shape in the sky. It was white and yellow and shone like a huge winged star. It was a man, and he was aflame, he had wings of beautifull white fire. He saw more of them, then more. The thought comforted Stephen, even as the things from the lawn swarmed over he and his beloved, and tore them apart.