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Saturn's Man

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Saturn’s Man dangled his legs over the rings of Saturn and the stars burned his blue legs, making little red zits on them, making him red and blue, like the American flag. He tried swatting them away like flies, but he just burned his hands. He was bald and had big, friendly, white eyes and no mouth, just little holes on his body like speakers. I could see Saturn through these holes, swirling dark blue, like NyQuil. It was freezing cold here. I could breathe just fine though; and sitting next to him, I made little designs in the sand of Saturn’s rings.
“What will you do from here?” Saturn’s Man said. “Last human on Earth. That must be rough.” He crossed his blue arms, bigger than the arms of the Milky Way, and sighed, swirling blue gas coming out of the holes.

He was sort of annoying me, talking so casually like this. But whatever. No matter big and strange Saturn’s Man was, he wasn’t God, so he couldn’t read my mind. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just kill myself.” Weird, those words coming out of my mouth. I guess because death happened so often, it wasn’t a big deal. Maybe I was just in shock over everyone I knew dying and words didn’t matter any more.

“That’s a little boring, isn’t it?”

“Boring?” I said. “Boring?”

“All I get to do is watch Earth. Without that, things are mostly boring. But it’s strange, really, the way light travels, if I looked back at Earth right now, I’d still see humans wandering around until the day after tomorrow. You know, the way light travels and such. The apocalypse, from here, looks like it’s just starting. I can even see you. Strange, isn’t it?”

“It’s just the way things work.” I sighed, white clouds coming out of my mouth. “So, Saturn’s Man, if I can’t kill myself, what do I do? I can’t just go back to Earth and live there! Everything is gone, and what’s left is deformed beyond recognition.”

Saturn’s Man tried swatting some stars away but burned his hand again. He rubbed his blue chin, bigger and stronger than the Pacific Ocean. I rubbed my arms through a torn shirt. So cold, so strange, so quiet, so blue here in space, like calm water.

“Well,” he said, “thinking about it now, I suppose I could create new humans. But they wouldn’t really be human, not like you, but they would be similar enough to adapt to Earth’s new, ah, environment. They’d be more like me, and resistant against radiation. But, I would need to take away your humanity, and you’d become something else, what, I don’t know. So what do you say? For Saturn’s Man’s entertainment?”

I paused. “That’s not a just reason for taking away someone’s humanity,” I said.

“I’m not a human. I don’t do human justice. But, if you don’t want to do it, don’t. But it does seem to be sort of a waste, just killing yourself, when you can keep the human race going. Right?” His voice went through his pores in blue clouds.

I sighed. “I guess so. Alright, sure.” It didn’t really matter anyway, I supposed. Why not?

Saturn’s Man scooped up some dust and placed it in space, where it floated, looking like bile in water. With his fingers, he shaped it into a man and woman, bluish-gray. Saturn’s Man put his finger on top of my head, as gently as he could, for his finger was heavier than a dozen elephants, and soon, I didn’t feel cold anymore. A warm feeling poured into me, like I was a mug sloshing with hot tea. I looked at his finger. It was fleshy and the clay-like blueness had disappeared. He touched each of the people, and they became pale and fleshy. He blew blue gas onto them, and they began to rush towards Earth. I watched him make these different humans, tapping my fleshy humanity into them until there was none left. I think he created about 1,000 humans, but I couldn’t be sure. The humans floating towards Earth looked like a fleshy rainbow. I looked up to Saturn’s Man, and he looked a little smaller now, I was at least twice my normal size.

He looked at me. “Wow. Once humanity is taken away from a human, what do you get? Well, a green monster I suppose. How strange! I thought you’d just die, but I guess there’s more to humans than humanity.”

I tried saying something, but only flat flesh jiggled where my mouth was. I touched my face. Somehow, I could see, but I couldn’t feel my eyes, my nose, or my mouth. Everything felt scaly, and I felt that I could just rip through this new skin and become human again, but no matter how I moved, I couldn’t. I heard Saturn’s Man moisten his fingers and rub the slime onto my back, and he put something on my back.

“These are wings. Now fly back to Earth, human without humanity!” Saturn’s Man said. He placed me on his hand and waved goodbye. I waved back, and Saturn’s Man threw me. I whizzed away, like a fly he swatted, and soon I couldn’t see him, and big, beautiful stars sparkled past me, and still, even though it was cold, I felt warm, almost happy, like the tea mug, before crashing into Earth…



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