I remember the stars and a thousand colors roaring through the night angelic, so large as to be terrifying, so terrifying that we fell on our faces and wept out prayers. No gods heard them, so fast by us they rushed with the cosmic winds, and took with them the stars and most of the beautiful parts of the night. Since then we have not looked up. Since then, we have not fallen down and prayed. Since then, we have all wept.

I remember an endless clap of thunder echoing off infinity and resounding through our oblations. I remember the priest who screamed until he ran out of breath and died. I remember the mother who smothered her children to her bosom, hunched protectively over them, until they died, and then she died of sadness. I remember several tall men who did not get up again after the spectacle, having given up on life by just giving up. I remember some of the children whose parents went mad: they stood their ground and watched the vault of chaotic sky calmly, and nodded at its climax. They talk only to each other, now, and love only each other.

I remember standing up afterwards, wiping tears and sweat from my eyes and staring around. There were very few of us left who were not children and totally changed. Most of the people were dead of one thing or another, and few dozen who lived were in various states of physical or mental decay, or both. I married a woman a few years younger than me who was so much out of her mind that she depended on the sight of me for anything. If I rounded a corner, and she could not see me, she would break down and become helplessly hysterical, inconsolable for hours. I loved her a great deal anyway. The children all respected me.

She was the last one I saw die. I'm the only one left. Most of the old people just went after a few weeks, a few months, a few years. Many of the young people, who were not the watchful children, the attentive children, committed suicide in the black night by looking right into that forever stretching immensley above us. Many my age left, wandered off, and died somewhere, no doubt. And then she died in her sleep. She just didn't wake up.

That was...years ago. I've looked at the inky oblvion-firmament dozens of times, hundreds of times and not gone mad, and not died. I prayed just this morning as I wept at the grave of my wife. I prayed that she was with the roaring stars and the colors of space and heaven. I wimpered out my prayer, and now I am ready to rush across the void into infinity, into oblivion, to die.

Nodeshell No More

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