The Collapse of Ranisha

by Kenneth Green © 2002

Leaves and dust whirled an eerie dance in the predawn light. The life-giving sun began its rise over the horizon of Ranisha as it had for thousands of years. It had not always been this dark-red, however.

This moment in the sun?s history was very unique. It was ancient and extremely massive. The time had arrived to leave its imprint on the universe. Regrettably for the inhabitants of Ranisha, they grew in this sun's light.

Tymuth stood in the main street of his village and watched in awestruck wonder. He had heard the shaman's predictions and wanted to see for himself.

For a youth of twelve years, the death of a star seemed like a distant and impossible thing. The shaman foretold that the sun would get so heavy that it would crash in on itself. This would then have the effect of pulling his planet right in after it. Tymuth did not really understand, but he wanted to experience it and determine for himself if it was true. Besides, what else was there to do if the whole world was about to die?

History told that the sun had not always been red. In a time long gone, it burned with a yellow light. Tymuth could hardly believe such a thing possible. He thought a yellow sun would make everything much too bright. A yellow sun seemed almost as absurd as his home, his family, and himself being destroyed by it.

He wondered what it would feel like. Maybe it would happen so fast that he would not feel anything. He expected that it might not be that simple, though.

At first, he did not sense anything unusual, except that the wind blew strongly. Leaves and dust continued to blow everywhere, pelting his arms and face. As the sky brightened, he realized that other villagers stood and watched as well. Most of them had looks of awe and fear. He noticed that some cried and others knelt on the ground. Still others had their eyes closed and their lips moved in silent prayers. There was very little discussion as everyone waited on what might happen next.

The land shook and Tymuth grew more terrified. It looked as if the sun grew larger instead of smaller. Several buildings finally gave up their fight and crumbled to the ground.

The screams of his fellow villagers nearly frightened him as much as the impending devastation. The hairs on Tymuth's neck stood, his eyes watered, and his teeth chattered uncontrollably.

There were large crevices that formed gaping scars in the ground all around him. Fellow villagers, friends, and family fell into several of them. Tymuth wept in agony and sorrow. The predictions turned out terribly correct. Illogically, he hated the shaman for telling them; perhaps the predictions had caused this disaster.

He kept hoping he would awake from this nightmare and everything would be back to normal. He could go fishing, play with his brothers, or just talk to his parents. Yet, there was no waking up for any of them.

The sun was an immense, burning furnace now. It nearly filled the entire sky and created ominous shadows everywhere Tymuth looked. His last and longest thought was that they were all going to crash into the sun and burn. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, he was wrong.

The red giant star finally collapsed. The impending death and destruction was frozen in time. A remote witness could see Tymuth, his home world, and its people dangled forever in the moment of the catastrophe.

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