Originally written in 2011 or 2012
Time shed itself, and no sound foretold the flaking scenery, and no forewarning bespoke beyond the dead superstition of a tribe long ago, and no gospel could voice the quick crumbling of a world.
And there was a woman of many years, named Evelyn, who knew just as her children would age as she, who knew their end as well as hers, marveled still at their emerging wrinkles. And though she knew time would one day flag its obvious flares upon her body, she gasped in the mornings at the way her limbs hurt from shock and wear. And she knew one day she would die, and the world sometime further down the line, but as her belief proved itself upon that final day, she asked to the sky, What good has my knowing done?
And the ground and trees evaporated like rain recoiled into the clouds, and lifted into the highest thinning reaches. And the tumbling, unspooling world came towards her house, and the sidewalks unthreaded from the streets, and the greens rose from their grasses, and a titanic black nothing dwelt in their absence.
And Evelyn had no time to scream or call her children or do anything else. And she could think, I, I have learned a lot, I have prayed a decent deal, I could make sense enough of the living world, but precious little, if this is what the world has come to, and to herself she said, Maybe I had not done enough.
And then, the world ended.
The world ended very instantaneously, but Evelyn did not. With something shorter than a blink, Evelyn found herself still material and whole, still thinking, and, she realized, slowly orbiting around the weight of her confusion, legs somersaulting above and below. She was tumbling in space — space like the astronauts had roamed, space that nightly routine, and she let out a long, long scream, and it was just an open mouthed void, like everything out there.
And she was still she, but she was all alone.
In the many countless days thereafter, the shock at last wore off, and Evelyn began to recognize as company the same bright lodes that rose and set on the occasional seasons of the world that had been. And she recognized, far more brilliant now than before, the mysterious cloudy band of galaxy flexed in the dark, braceleted by the same constellations and starry jewels. And as time wore on, she felt she could sense some personality in her nearest planetary neighbors, and she felt a kinship towards them as she had felt towards her old earthly friends.
And Evelyn became accustomed. She spent her existence rolling over the same questions of existence she had contemplated upon Earth. And in that comforting cushion of space, she fell into a permanent half-rest, one like the cozy state of subconscious between waking and sleeping. And she became so accustomed she barely noticed the stardust speckling her hair, and did not notice how in a short few thousands of years her skin had taken on a magmic and eruptive quality, and how the water of her eyes and in the mass of her cells would in some millions later spill outward into the remainder of her being, and Evelyn was too happily poised in her unanswered wonderings to notice the formation of an answer.