The End by Samuel Best

Samuel Best is a Creative Writing graduate from the University of Strathclyde and has been published in British, North American, and Scandinavian magazines. His debut novel Shop Front was described as “a howl and a sigh from Generation Austerity” and he founded the literary magazine Octavius.


The End


We’re stood out in some field in the middle of nowhere, maybe a mile or so outside town. I mean, a mile isn’t that far, but tonight we could be on another planet for all the life around us. We’re sharing a bottle of rum, drinking it straight in mouthfuls that make us shudder. Above, the sky burns as meteors leave lightning trails. In the middle of town a crowd gathers; we might even be able to see them from here, if we looked. Your teeth chatter and I pass the rum over.

‘Will there ever be anything so beautiful again?’ you ask, letting the bottle hang from your hand.

I reach over, my fingers grazing your skin, and you go to pass the spirit back. I set it down amongst the grass and it tips over. There isn’t much left to spill.

Standing back up, I take your hand in mine and squeeze. Our eyes are still fixed on the sky, a hundred bone-white needles piercing the night. I don’t really know what to say to you, and that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re here now, seeing this. The sky is on fire and there is no future beyond us. Our eyes sparkle and blaze like little stars, and when we blink the whole world goes black.

Samuel Best can be reached via Twitter, @samuelboag.