2. The End of a World

The train station melted away with a loud fizz.

The people standing outside shimmered, and ceased to exist.

The rest of the planet dissolved into grainy whiteness that faded and vanished like a cloud of steam.

Somewhere in the aether a cosmic being shrugged and moved on to other experiments—with a sturdier universe, next time—leaving the cleanup to others.

Death was overwhelmed by the billions of displaced, bewildered souls that presented for transfer ahead of schedule; a rather bad day.

The white-haired man finished his coffee and walked through the closed cafe doors, to take care of other business.

The blue-haired girl woke in darkness, lying on a concrete floor in the basement of the cafe.

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