Frank entered the small cottage, the smell of steak and kidney stew floated in the air and his stomach, much to his surprise, growled in anticipation, his Nan sat in an overstuffed chair,
brown pale leather faded and worn with age, her small frame almost hidden from view, a ball of yarn twisted and turned on the floor like the last fight of a wounded python,
knitting needles clinked together in her calloused hands, 80 years of hard labor and forced into retirement,
she had been a registered nurse on call for the childrens ward at Saint Pete's in Owensville where she spent most of her time cooing over newborns and offering words of wisdom and
a calming voice of support to anxious mothers, she liked to keep busy and knitting had become her new pass time,
a skill she artfully mastered in no time at all but Frank struggled to understand why she wanted to create things that would soon vanish along with everything else as the world came to
an abrupt end, He shook his head as he reached for a still warm bowl of stew sitting on a freshly laid table cloth, a skin had set over the thick gravy,
he picked up a spoon and slowly stirred it back into his dinner as he made his way into the lounge,
Nan smiled up at him as she place her knitting between herself and the armrest of her chair "Nice for you to join me" her eyes and smile teased him,
crows feet tucking themselves in with other deep lines, small dimples were almost unnoticeable, her thin lips painted ruby red, parting to show teeth chipped and yellowed with age,
she had a way of putting him at ease but that smile slowly faded as the static on the TV crackled slightly before clearing to a newsroom,
a large man was sitting tediously on a bar stool in front of a torn greenscreen,
a corduroy turtle neck stuck to him like an unflattering second layer of skin folding in on itself and revealing pale skin on his side,
he tugged and pulled at the fabric until the patch of skin was almost covered, a dusty blond mop sat upon his oval face,
he cleared his throat and took a deep breath before his monotone voice echoed in the makeshift studio.
" Good Evening folks I am James Lathe, in today's top news stories, gas prices plummet again, bringing them to a record setting low of 11c per gallon as supply continues to exceed demand,
even after the strategic closure of 16 mining sites.
Federal staff ended a 4 day strike on poor work conditions, amid a worldwide state of emergency, after reaching a deal for an undisclosed settlement.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set the doomsday clock back to 7 minutes to midnight, a feat we have not seen since 1947,
it appears that since the end of the world will come at the hands of something that is not man made, we are no longer a threat to ourselves,
therefore setting into motion the hope of world peace during our darkest times.
President McMillan addressed the nation today,
defending his decision to push a bill to humanely euthanize all US citizens with terminal diseases in hospice care or with medical conditions deemed draining on supplies and increasing
the workload on medical workers, who like the rest of the nation have now been limited to a maximum of 20 hrs of work per week.
McMillan is expected to announce his decision on whether he will push the same bill to humanely euthanize those in aged care facilities later this week.
Hurricane Hazel is expected to make landfall on the Florida coast Wednesday morning.
The category 3 storm is expected to bring winds in excess of 110mph and Florida residents are being urged to prepare their homes and stay indoors.
Evacuations have not yet been issued for the state.
More on these stories later, up next NASA spokesperson Lydia Thompson will be with us live for an update on Chaos, the monstrous rogue and physics defying black hole on a path towards earth,
Frank savored the first spoonful of stew, letting the flavors bounce across his taste buds, the sweetness of french tarragon and earthiness of rosemary, swimming with memories of past winters,
falls, open fires and laughter, a lifetime ahead welcoming him with warmth, familiar smells and comforting aromas, he shook the memories away, letting his eyes steady on the television set,
now displaying a 'live update coming soon' banner, a loud high pitched series of beeps signaled the start of the live broadcast, Frank sank into a rustic walnut and pea green sofa,
tucking his feet up beside himself and setting his bowl onto an old coffee table carefully carved out of a tree trunk, feeling his nans eyes on him,
he quickly lifted the bowl again before placing a coaster beneath it as he set it back down on the table with a small sideways glance at her as she nodded her approval,
he leaned back and pulled a musty woolen cushion onto his lap, holding it close and feeling the warmth of its cover over his abdomen.
"Good Evening ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, James Lathe returning to you with my guest Lydia Thompson. Lydia what can you tell us on the latest developments with Chaos?"
A middle aged woman nervously straightened her oval glasses and dusted off a bleached white lab coat, a baby pink t shirt peeked out from the buttoned down collar,
her name tag shifted and swung loudly against a poorly placed wireless mic, she exhaled as her eyes shifted from the ground to the camera "Unfortunately James i have no good news this evening,
Chaos's approach has been hard to map, with its daunting size stretching beyond 6 light years in diameter and all predictions have failed at this point,
we simply don't have the technology needed to process the data on something of such size, but i can confirm it is gaining speed,
we estimate that Chaos is now traveling towards us at 23 times the speed of light, which as far as we know is the cosmic limit, to go any faster would mean presenting us its singularity,
at this current speed we expect earth to be pulled in beyond the event horizon in roughly 24-48 hours, once the moon vanishes we estimate we will have at the most, about an hour left..."
"Lydia what can we expect to feel as Chaos approaches and the effects begin to be felt here on earth?"
"It's hard to say James, were running on theories, with no real proof to back our claims, but simulations of smaller black holes that our computers have the capabilities to process,
have suggested that the first thing we will notice is an increase in temperature as friction of the black holes gravitational pull on our atmosphere begins to heat it up,
i cant tell you exactly when the effects will start to be felt, in theory anytime between a week and 24 hours before extinction, in places where it is winter,
it's going to start feeling more like summer and in places where it is summer you can expect it to feel like an intense heat wave as our average temperature begins to rise by
around 1 degree Celsius every hour, ice caps are going to melt, glaciers to,
but earth will cease to exist before we notice the sea levels rising as a result of that" Clearing her throat and steadying her voice Lydia continued,
"As Chaos gets closer our gravity begins to be shifted,
we will likely be struck by several large asteroids and many smaller ones that are being pulled in towards the stronger gravity around Chaos,
depending on impact sites damage could be sparse or large areas could be decimated, if you see an impact, please seek shelter immediately, stay away from windows,
cover your ears and keep low to the ground until the sonic boom passes,
if you are thrown around by the impact please use the leaflets and medical kits provided by you local civil defense earlier this week to splint broken bones and close open wounds,
unless you are bleeding beyond your own control do not seek medical attention, emergency systems can not handle an influx of patients.
With around 4 hours remaining until we reach the event horizon Chaos's gravity is going to be so great it will begin to affect the photoshpere,
causing light to travel in circles around the black hole, taking the shape of auroras, red and greens turning the sky into a fluorescent bulb,
time and space will begin to shift you will be able to see the back of your own head, reality will become warped,
as magnificent as this will look it will only last for a few moments as we pass into the event horizon...our point of no return"