Flashfiction: Sunset

Note: I’ve had a few barren weeks, where it has been hard finding any words at all. So I put a call out on Twitter for prompts, to see if anything could help get me past this dry patch. A picture prompt (which you can see here as the header image) and a line of dialogue merged together and gave me this. It’s not perfect, but it’s words.

“It’s a very distinctive sunset,” the man said, his eyes fixed firmly on the pinks and blues that swirled together in the evening sky. “I’ve only ever seen colours like that in photographs.”

His companion sat next to him, as silent as ever. Together they had visited hundreds of planets, and seen thousands of sunsets, but this was more beautiful than any of them. It reminded them both of home, that distant place that neither could return to.

“I could imagine living here forever, and seeing that sky every day.”

The man stood, his companion mirroring his movements as they collected their belongings. They didn’t have much, just a small bag each, and a long metal tube that a passer-by would recognise – incorrectly – as a piece of pipe. The man took the bags from his companion and handed his tube over in exchange.

As the man watched, his companion measured out twenty-three paces and silently slammed the end of one tube into the hard ground. Twenty-three paces in the opposite direction and the same action was repeated. The companion returned to the man’s side.

The man reached into his bag and retrieved a small device. With his eyes still on the colourful sky, he pressed a series of buttons.

“I almost regret this one,” he said mournfully.

His companion spoke for the first time since they arrived on the planet. “No matter how beautiful, its time is at an end.”

The man nodded, his finger hovering over the last button. “Goodbye,” he whispered to the sky.

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