Fallen from the sky

Ethan Rose

The Amplus064 meteorite had made its way through the Galean Sector, ambled slowly through the densely populated Alegorious Beta Fields and made up time by taking a shortcut through the Zultoid Galaxy in order to reach its destination, which in The Big Multiversal Travel Guide was listed as the ‘Milky Way’. Specifically it was looking for the Solar System containing Earth.  It had, some 3 light years previously, stopped to ask a rather gruesome looking Space Cucumber for directions and now it could see its final destination – Earth.

Earth was the planet that Ethan Rose called home and currently he was sitting in a deck chair on the roof of an apartment block sipping a Sex on the Beach cocktail through an elaborately curled straw gazing into the night sky.

“A meteorite begins its life as something much bigger, much more significant. A chip off the old block, you might say. They soar through space, smashing into planets and causing huge impacts on their arrival. They can cause great damage, and change a planet’s structure for aeons to come. But their impacts can sometimes be diminished by the planetary atmosphere and certainly as time passes, regardless of the initial impact, everyone moves on and forgets about the meteorite. It falls from the sky as though an angel falls from heaven, and with it comes a blinding light that burns brightly for only a short time, before fading away forevermore.”

It was a mild evening, the clouds had parted to show the stars in the dark night sky, sparking like the diamond teeth of Trolls under police flashlight. Despite the calm of the evening, Ethan thought that something appeared to be out of the ordinary.  He had narrowed it down to one of two things: Missus Gorbachov in the apartment block across the street lying face down on her apartment floor, or the ball of fire getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger in the night sky.

“The truth about meteorites is this; the closer they are, the scarier they appear. That said, on reflection, what you tend to find is that once a meteorite gets close enough for you to smell the sulphur on its breath you quickly realise it’s a tiny, burned up shell of its former self. That the light that once burned so brightly is long since extinguished, and that it is good now only as a mere paperweight. A disposable novelty, shoved into the back of a drawer and forgotten about.”

A sparrow fluttered upwards, resting on the buildings edge and looking up at Ethan.  It turned its head side to side a few times. He hadn’t ever seen a human up here before. Also, the bird thought, it was very warm all of a sudden. Which was odd.  The bird looked up, saw the meteorite, made a sound like a fork scraping against a plate, and flew away.

“Falling from the sky, you both shone brightly for a good while, Zappa… Neptune… But now, as you get closer, and closer to your ultimate destiny, you shine at your very brightest. Both of you overshadowing the darkness around you. Each of you doing so in your own way.  You each follow your own trajectory but you must both recognise a few things; your paths are destined to collide very soon, and that once they do there will be a very bright burst of energy before you each fizzle away into the darkness of the abyss.”

The sparrow soared down the side of the building, twisting his body as he reached the curb level and shot across the road, where he bounced off the windscreen of a bank clerk named Sonya. Sonya was late for work and, besides, it was only a bird, wasn’t it?

“Me? I’m the exception to the rule. I burn with the constant brightness of a thousand suns. I am from a family born of fire, rising from the ashes of the past brighter, and stronger than ever before. Each generation greater than the last.  I am beyond meteorites, beyond asteroids, beyond planets and suns. I am astronomical, I am universal, I am multi-dimensional. I am the metaphysical manifestation of immortal brilliance. So it stands to reason that you, Zappa, and you, Neptune, will naturally pale in comparison to a man who shines as brightly as me. It isn’t that you are insignificant; just lesser so.”

The meteorite seemed now to be dimming in its brightness and slowing in the sky.

“The collective  impact of light years of travel, of interstellar collisions, and then reaching the atmosphere are clear for all to see as a meteorite finally reaches its final destination.  It finds itself corroded by the annals of time and burned away into nothing noteworthy by the heat of its own light.  It tends to find itself extinguishing and going out not with a bang, but with a whimper. Much like the pair of you, who will fall from the sky quietly into your own final destination: Insignificance.  And as you fall, the Phoenix will rise!

The sparrow sat on the curb, his tiny brain pounding.  He shook his small head a few times, and was then knocked unconscious by a very small, very hot pebble.