Late Night at The End of the World

Have you ever felt the ground change? I have.

It was late November and we were walking across The End of the World. Under our feet, the earth had turned solid with ice. It was hard to believe that the earth had a hot, molten core when the surface was so solid and unyielding. Each blade of grass was sharply outlined and rimed in an icy crust. The trees were stark and naked, the stars bright overhead.

“Look,” I said, pointing to the north.

“The aurora,” she said in awe, her words forming a cloud around her face.

“Norman said we would probably see it this week. I wish we were on the telescope tonight,” I murmured.

We looked at other impishly for a moment before abruptly changing direction for Stickney. The mud puddles of a week ago had frozen into miniature seas of ice, ruffles on top and all. It was so dry that our lips were cracking.

About halfway there, we gave up and flopped on the cold ground.

“Fuck it,” I said, “let’s view it like modern primitives or something, through our own eyes.”

We looked up into the sky, uncomfortably aware of every sharp, cold rock under our backs, every twig and pebble. Our hair slowly filled with ice, and flakes of it drifted around us. The world seemed sharply outlined that night, like a comic before it has been colored, shapes bold and distinct on the icy landscape.

“They are probably wondering where we went,” she said finally.

“Also,” I pointed out, “it is really fucking cold. The ground does not freeze where I come from, dude.”