THE DEATH OF AWANA
She clenched the object,
she sank to her knees,
the day her planet died.
Awana, gem of the Nol galaxy,
rolling lavender hills,
clear blue oceans reflecting a sky
that had never once been smeared
by ominous clouds.
Twirling and swirling, bodies moved around in a mass of cloth and trembling limbs, an intoxicated mimicry of dance. A common birthday celebration hosted by a noble from Bist, made unique, only by the presence of one man; though the word man could hardly describe the terrifying and divine presence of Prince Sol. As the guests moved, they watched him and left empty a minimum distance of twenty feet around him.
Sol watched the crowd, raising a clear glass to his pale lips. Silent. Still. The image of restraint and control. Falling apart. He took another sip, his irritation growing as he listened to the obnoxious voices surrounding him, and felt their black hearts stoke the darkness within. He raised the glass to his lips, red liquid flowed, and Awana's clock tower rang out seven times.
Rick would come to talk with him occasionally, easing some of his tension and distracting his darker thoughts. Even after several thousand years of friendship, Sol was still surprised by the man's calming presence. However, he was always quickly pulled back to the party: some noble or merchant hoping to garner the favor of the house of Lupaine. The clock tower rang nine times.
Sol held the cup in cold, shaking hands, all his concentration focused on not breaking the delicate glass. Tense in mind, body, and spirit. He was struggling.
Sol usually lived in isolation, but Rick believed that continuous exposure to people would give him control over his powers, and although Sol didn't share Rick’s optimism, he allowed his friend to drag him around. Though, he had to admit that he was happy to be on Awana. It was one of the few places in Nol that he felt was truly beautiful; certainly, worthy to be called the gem of Nol. There was a lake on the planet's only mountain range that he had been longing to visit again. Untouched by civilization since the planets birth, he remembered how it shone, isolated within the high mountain peaks, like the central jewel of a crown. The happy thoughts gave him peace. He was relaxed and in control.
Then, she approached, the star of the party, hips swinging, chest thrust forward, and dressed in red. She had been watching Sol since that morning, Now, her instincts screamed, she would make the most powerful man in the universe hers. So, she sauntered on. The distance that everyone kept out of respect and fear, she crossed with arrogance. Coming face to face with Sol, she looked into his eyes. Countless men and some women had been entranced by a single glance of hers, Sol would be no different, she thought. He closed his eyes. She smiled reaching up.
The clock began to ring out the tenth hour.
She gently caressed his face, purring.
"You can look at me," she said, thinking he was overwhelmed by her beauty, and not her foolishness.
Rick's eyes snapped to his friend, cold sweat dripping down his face. "Sol," he screamed reaching, but it was too late.
Sol opened his eyes, the glass in his hand shattered, and the girl stared into the abyss: darkness, torment, pain, Madness, Madness, Madness.
Black tears streamed down pale cheeks, Sol's power burst from his body devouring everything it touched.
The ground fractured, erupting the planet's molten core. Red magma ate through the planet and was in turn consumed by Sol's darkness.
Rick reached with his powers, teleporting everyone he could off the planet. His voice came out in strained gasps, apologizing: to the people, to the planet, above all to Sol. His pleas were drowned beneath millions of screams and a planet being torn apart.
Sol moaned "stop," desperately trying to pull his powers back, the futility of a man attempting to hold an ocean in his hands. His body catatonic to his will "stop."
And madness answered back: There will be no stopping, there will be no end. You are a monster. You are darkness. You are madness. Victim of your own powers, Sol eternal prince of Nightmares. Lord of fear and pain. Deity of death, misery, and isolation. I am your power, I am your lot in life, you cannot deny me.
"Save my children"
"Save me, someone help me!"
"Please, please, I don't want to die"
Lena watched from the space shuttle with others who had been rescued by Rick Lupaine. It was the first and last time she would see her planet from space, and the image of the purple and blue orb tuning black was forever burnt into her mind. When it was over, nothing remained, the darkness receded to a central point, and even the dust of her world was erased.