Roger holds his breath, and begins to count in his head.
One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi.
BWARRRRRRRR an air raid siren blasts from hidden speakers.
Four Mississippi, five Mississippi, six Mississippi.
Roger watches a missile drop through the clouds.
Seven Mississippi, eight Mississippi, nine Mississippi.
Next to Roger, a mother screams while her child looks on uncomprehendingly.
Everything turns white and heat.
From two hundred miles above the Earth, the blast that consumed Roger resembles nothing more than the small flame of a candle.
Other flames begin erupting all over the globe.
The Earth burned.
Eyes watch the world turn to ash through a small porthole in the International Space Station.
Those eyes belonged to two astronauts who turned to each other.
“Champaigne?” asks one.
“Da,” answers the other.
Their eyes drift back to watch an ash cloud spread across the sky below.
© 2014 Mark Fiske