Humanity’s Final Eight Minutes [Short Story]

They insisted on messing around with the Hadron collider. But no one could have imagined they would suck the sun out of existence. You’ve heard the one about the black hole that sucks up the world like a hoover but it didn’t happen that way. No, here we are with 8 minutes before the sky goes dark and we hurtle out of orbit. We’re not going to survive. Religious leaders across the world said their final prayers. Presidents and nation leaders gave their final speeches. Words of solidarity and consolation. In these final catastrophic moments, we discovered that elusive peace. The one that evaded us for tens of thousands of years.

You’d expect worldwide outrage at this disastrous situation. Our anger aimed at the scientists who brought about the end of life as we know it. But for the few who actually knew what was happening, it was too late for anger. The men responsible for wiping out humanity called their loved ones. They, in turn, called their own family and friends. Most of the word had no idea what was going on and maybe that was better for them.

Some did get the final message and spent that little time embracing their wives and children. The lonely ones enjoyed a last indulgence in their favourite food, drink or pastime. But if only you could see the billions worldwide seeing out their final seconds not even knowing. To witness the tourists bathing on the beach confused about why they were freezing on a hot summer day. Or to observe the doctors and nurses still treating patients. Or the heartbreaking sight of babies born but for a few short breaths.

#EndOfTheWorld trended on social media. The internet was awash with videos and images of people saying their farewells. The British PM made a public apology to the people of the UK and the world. Middle Eastern dictators prayed for forgiveness in front of their countrymen. Known war criminals confessed their crimes and expressed their regrets. Under normal circumstances, this would be cause for celebration but not now. It all seemed like a bad dream, could it be real?

There was no plan b. No underground bunkers, no emergency shuttles to terraformed planets. No recorded history would ever exist about what happened next. We can’t even speculate over which theory proved correct. Does our planet float across space or fall into orbit with another star? Did the black hole suck up the entire milky way? Never has the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know “ been more appropriate. Didn’t we keep repeating how one act of carelessness would destroy us all? And yet it still happened.

In a few short minutes, we either froze to death in unison or vanished into nonexistence. No living soul lived to tell this tale. Thousands of years of fighting came to nothing. For the briefest of time, we discovered our humanity… but it was too late.

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