Microfiction: Final splendour

This one was 200 words exactly unedited so I took it as an omen and left it at that.


When the reverberations of the last explosion died away, a dense pall of dust rose and enveloped the earth. In the darkness, all growing things shrivelled and died and with them, first the poorest of the poor then the middling rich, until the last resources were exhausted by the richest of the rich. The universe shuddered as the bright blue light was extinguished and darkness filled the space. Solar flares rose and fell in sympathy and comets deflected their orbits in sign of farewell.

The Earth cooled, and dust, glittering with radioactive splendour, settled on deserts and polar ice caps alike. In its shroud, the Earth still turned, a grey rock that would in time splinter in the freezing cold of space and scatter like the debris of a sand storm across the universe.

Earth breathed its last breath and its spirit gathered for flight, a thing of primal beauty, green and luxuriant, sweet-scented and loud with the rushing of torrents and the song of birds. Enfolded in the golden rays of its sun, the essence of Earth rose. Days and days turned until the moment arrived when the door opened, and Earth drifted, glorious and free, into the otherworld.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Microfiction: Final splendour”

  1. Magic. The way I read this it could be the idea of a world lifting off (partly influenced by the picture which I love) and going elsewhere, jaded by the way things are. It reminded me of that incredible film from the seventies? Silent Running. One of my all time favorites. I know you don’t watch TV but it was a big SciFi film back then, and the premise was the earth was destroyed and they’d taken the ‘last’ of nature away with them to preserve it, and in two enormous disks they carried the beauty of the world out into space to try to save it. I saw it as a very, very small child and still I remembered it, and will always. This picture and the lovely story you wrote just reminded me so vividly. It was very powerful.

    1. I’m glad you like the story. It’s an idea that appeals to me very much, things having an essence that will pass from this world to another as simply as passing through an open door. The film sounds like my kind of thing. You guessed it, I don’t know it, but I’ll look it up.

      1. I think you would really like it. But it’s a bit scary with you because you’re a real non-tv type (and nothing wrong with that, I am forever telling myself what I could accomplish if only I were to wean myself off!). Let me know if you do watch. It stayed with me as your writing does. You are someone who can color even black and white landscapes my talented friend.

      2. I watched the trailer for it. Reminded me of the old Star Trek episodes. And Soylent Green with Charlton Heston which I have seen. Same epoch, I’d say and same sort of message. I enjoyed it even though I can’t help but associate CH with Moses.

      3. ha ha ha! Soylent Green cracked me up but it was good in a cheesy way. It is a little dated but honestly the beauty of the idea of carrying nature into space never left me. CH IS Moses! Thank you for my morning chuckle you fabulous girl!

      4. The idea of grinding up the stiffs to feed to the multitudes was pretty daring though. Did you ever see the film Snowpiercer? We started off watching it en famille. By the end there were just two of us left. I loved it! Nothing to do with anything really except there’s a scene in that where the oppressed good guys discover that they’ve been fed locust purée. It fell rather flat because we know that lots of indigenous people eat insects and it’s become quite trendy for us who don’t have to.

      5. YES! I loved it too! Oh my goodness I had forgotten that part, you should write a poem with locust puree as your title! You always make me think my friend. Now I want to watch that again.

      1. Really? Wow I missed that gem! So love that film. Was it good watching it again? Had you not seen it for a long time? I think I last saw it about ten years ago.

      2. Well you are a person of taste to have seen it 15 times, in fact I totally relate to that as I have seen Blade Runner probably that many times!

  2. They say that this will happen at some time in the future and I thought of the video called the Blue Planet I think its called by Carl Sagan where he shows us a view of the earth which as the camera goes further and further away from us we are but a pale blue dot in the universe. It makes you wonder at the significance we represent in the vastness of the universe….as always I love the way you write and again you have given me something special to read…

    1. Thank you, Michael 🙂 We are completely insignificant in terms of the immensity of the universe, but supremely arrogant to imagine that we are all that matters in it. There could be dozens of planets supporting highly intelligent life out there that have looked at the chaos here and decided it’s just not a good idea to get involved.

  3. This was fantastic, Jane. The picture caught my interest but then your 200 word piece had me captivated. I felt like it could be the intro to something… But still was wonder as a micro piece

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