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The Sun Also Sets Mumble

An indeterminate but nonzero measure of days into the future, there will be a sunset of unsurpassed beauty. Its splendor will be determined not by the vibrance or richness of its color, or the nourishing heat it casts out into the solar system. This sunset will be beautiful because it is special, far more than any snowflake has ever been. This sunset will be beautiful because it is the last. It is not that the sun will disappear it has, after all, been dimming steadily for the duration of !arth"s short history#, but because in this indeterminate future, the !arth will be abandoned, left to the machinations of a cold and uncalculating universe. Man has emigrated in spurts and droves, taking to the stars like moths to flames. !arth is $uiet, e%cept for three who have been waiting for one last sunset before they depart. &eesoo Song lies propped like a marionette in her re'uvenation chamber. &er skin is too(smooth porcelain, her brow unwrinkled. She is sketching Mandelbrot animations, gently tracing spirals and whorls in fractured sets. &er thoughts are turned not to the setting sun, but rather to the stars. &er cheeks are wet, and her chest is still. She is a sleepless dreamer, lost in the words of worlds long lost to her. She has not left her room in decades. &eesoo is no )osferatu, but even the dimmed light of the sun would burn her to dust, dooming her to drift endlessly amidst the motes of light in the sky. &er sons &oon and *im(&wan kneel in the family meditation pool, crying fat phosphorescent tears. The tears link in unbranched chains, molecules clutching desperately at one another like lovers. They glisten with oils that help maintain youth, that help guard against the degradation of age. +athered, they swell, bursting open into the neon lotus that is synonymous with sadness.

The brothers do not speak, but *im(&wan"s hands shake faintly as he holds &oon. They do not regret the passing of the sun. All things go. The dam of tears has been burst by beauty, and the hot gushing is drunk greedily by the !arth. There are so few tears to go around, and the !arth is so very thirsty. The brothers Song are silent, but they hold no regret. They are stricken by not by melancholy, but by ,urke"s monster. )othing has been lost, and much gained. So cry if you must, but not for the passing of things. -ry for the 'oy of doing. -ry for the sunsets on countless other planets. -ry for the great beauty of the being, for the future holds an indeterminate but nonzero chance of hope.