It's Better To Burn Out, Than To Fade Away

rating: +33+x


Probably the only good part of being lost in space is that I had all the time to admire it. Both the terrifying emptiness and the beauty that fills it. Funny, I still don't get how such contradictions can co-exist near each other. No, confirm each other.

One of the less exciting parts of floating around here was that no matter how I looked at it, I was doomed. Getting lost forever and suffering from starvation didn't seem a much better alternative to me. At least not compared to getting attracted by gravity and dying faster by burning alive and getting smashed to pieces. My corpse, if I left behind anything to begin with, wouldn't be even retrieved and buried in either case. Not even the labcoat-wearing suckers of the Foundation can do that.

Fortunately or not, I was caught up in the latter situation where gravity was pulling me in. Granted, I didn't want to admit it at first, but my denial didn't last long when I felt the force pulling on my muscles again. Personally, I think it was quite the welcome change after floating around but soon I found myself to be accelerating, without a way to stop.

And before I knew it, I was on a collision course with a planet. Great, just great. I struggled, flung around. Hell, I even tried swimming motions. But how the fuck was I, a simple man, supposed to defy gravity? Even if I could, one day I had to come down anyway, right?

I didn't know anymore. I didn't want to know anymore. I just didn't want to die alone out here.


I saw no signs of life on the planet. How unfortunate. Just some hurling storms above what I presumed to be beige-colored soil. At least, it made me realize that eventually, I would hit rock. "There really isn't gonna be anyone down there who is able to rescue me, isn't there?"


I successfully grabbed a nearby piece of debris on my long way down, hoping it would somehow aid in my situation or break my fall. As if it would, not that it mattered, I lost it moments later after it broke into several pieces. Damn.

My anxiety grew every second, but my gut felt excited like a kid on a rollercoaster. Instead of racing down, I was building my way up to terminal velocity. My mind had never disagreed so much with my body before.

God, couldn't this just have been a dream? I would've given anything to wake up back in my cell just before impact. I had dreams of that before, but this time, rightfully so, my situation felt more realistic. Alas, I guess dreams only stay dreams. "At least, my predicament is going to be over soon."

But I was wrong. How on Earth did I make a presumption that bad? By that moment I should already have felt the static that ran through my hair that almost pleasantly tickled me. Almost. I began to see an aurora with vibrant colors that I hadn't seen in years. In my awe and growing excitement, I didn't notice that my speed had grown once again and that I was passing into the next layer of the atmosphere.


As the distance between me and the planet became smaller, the drag on me became heavier and enveloped me. Unexpectedly, the friction felt like a warm embrace and made me feel warmer. Even more than the heat of the brutally exposed stars I flew by on my trajectory before.

But that feeling of getting hugged soon ended and made place for the painful sensation of being lit on fire. The friction made my skin feel like a match that was dragged over the same strip one too many times. My orange clothing became engulfed with equally orange flames first, then the burn wounds formed. With the traitorous warmth eating away and melting my flesh, I left behind a foul stench of burning flesh whilst becoming a meteor. Struggling wasn't a possibility anymore, as I couldn't move as freely anymore.



My sense of taste came back and blessed my tongue once more. A metallic tang became the overwhelming aftertaste on my taste buds instead of the expected burned one. Regardless, it was surprising after being unable to eat for quite a while.

Until this moment, I was able to hold myself together, or I think at least somewhat. But now, my emotions got the best of me. Confronted with death, my emotions made place for dread, and only dread. I was happy earlier to be out of space, and yet now as I was afraid to die.


The denser layers of the atmosphere welcomed me by turning my flames bright white. Somehow I hadn't been burned to a crisp yet. How? I don't know. Hell, I don't even know why I always have to suffer like this. Even without the Foundation around me. Damn it, I just wanted to go home!

My chest finally compressed from the pressure. By sheer miracle, my ribcage hadn't imploded in on itself under the heavy force I was subjected to. Unfortunately, my eardrums had a less fortunate fate at this altitude. All that remained were patches of unfiltered noise and painful ringing.

I couldn't care less. In just mere moments, my hearing picked up nothing but the terrible silence of space to the most unforgiving frequencies I've ever heard. But to me, even for a small second, it sounded like a beautiful symphony after hearing once again in a very long time. My inability to hear had given me more to be grateful for than my working ears before. However, I would not have the privilege to be so glad to hear again. Because in the end, I couldn't even hear myself scream.


Finally, I fell through some thicker clouds that literally and figuratively took my breath away. Oh, no… No, No, NO! Fuck, was this it for me? This is where it ends? God, please no! Did I put up with all this shit, sign up for all this shit, just for this? I really am never making it home again? Am I really not going to be able to live and tell the tale? Fuck!

But all my questioning didn't matter. When it comes down to it, in the end, I really was gonna die alone. So with my back to the surface and unable to look down, just before the climax I was left with the special kind of horror of knowing that you're dying soon but not exactly when. In my final moments, all I could wonder about was how long it would take before I would hit the-


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License