A Brief Glimpse Over The Edge


“Did you ever see the end of The NeverEnding Story, where Atreyu awakes on Falkor and finds themselves lost, drifting around debris with no sight of home or the Ivory Tower?”

“A long time ago.”  He barely looked up from his book.  “Why do you ask?”

“That’s what it looks like out there.  Nothing but debris.”

“Maybe, the nothing really won.”  He went back to his reading.

“Maybe, it did.  If only we had something to guide us, something to lead us back home.”  She pressed her hand against the cold, clear glass window.  “I want to go home.”

“We can’t go home.”  He slumped back against the wall, stretching his legs out before him.  “The shock wave knocked us here.”

“But where is here?”

“The end.”

“You can’t be serious?”  She turned to look at him.  “Haven’t you ever heard that expression?  ‘There are no happy endings because nothing ever ends.’”

The Last Unicorn.”  She nodded, but she was still sad.  “There’s nothing we can do.  You know that.  Thinking of the past and its classics doesn’t change anything.  It doesn’t change our fate.”

“I don’t want to die here.”

“Look out the window.”

“I’ve been looking out the window.  The stars are too damn far away, so far away that their light is like a grain of sand.  We’re lost, and nobody is coming to look for us.  Doesn’t that scare you?”

“I stopped being scared when the rest of the ship gave way.  Nobody is going to come and look for us because nobody knows that we survived.  It’s just a matter of time, and then we too will die.”  He glanced down at the book in his hands.  “Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end.”

“It can’t end like this.  It can’t end like this for us.  It’s not fair!”  She slammed her hand against the window.  “We should have died with the rest of the crew.”

“Well, we were in here when it happened.  We’re lucky.”

“Lucky?”  She spun toward him.  “How are we so damn lucky?  They died quick.  We’re dying slow.”

“Look out the window.”

“Forget the damn window!”

“Look!”  Now, he rose to his feet with his book still in hand.  “We get to see something that nobody ever gets to see.”

“And what’s that?”

“The edge of the universe.”  He stood beside her.  “It’s like a black ocean with rocks drifting along its surface, and we drift with it.  Or if we push, we can fall over the edge, and then we won’t be playing the waiting game any longer.”

“It’s been days, weeks.”  She slowly touched his hand.  “I’m tired of waiting.”

“And if we push, we’ll meet our end.”

“Then, let’s meet our end instead of killing time.”  His grip tightened over hers.  “I’m scared.”

“I know,” he whispered.  “Are you sure?”  She nodded.  “I can fire up the rockets once more, but that’s it.  No more energy.  No more life support.”

“Then, that’s it.”  She glanced down at the book in his hands.  “A Brief History of Time by Stephen W. Hawking.  Any good?”

“Very.  I’m almost done with it.”

“I can wait.”

“For what?”

“The end.”

“We are at the end, sweetheart.  It’s better now, if we just let go,” and with that said, the book slipped from his hand and disappeared into the darkness below.