Grace Crandall, Student

The day that Saturn rose instead of the moon, most people panicked.

No, that’s incorrect. The moon was not replaced, simply joined. Saturn rose beside it each night, filling the night sky with its vast expanse. It blinded the stars. News channels suddenly seemed to only broadcast about the speed in which the planet was approaching us.

Half of the population pretended to accept their final days, while the others tried to get saved in as many religions as possible.


I was not panicked. When a person wakes up every day believing they’ll die, things like this don’t scare them much. For me, the slowly approaching planet was another obstacle to face. Another weight on my own shoulders.

So I continued my life, watching people run in circles around me, trying to escape their doom. “How can you be so calm?!” they shouted at me. “The world is ending!”

My world is always ending, I usually replied.

And I almost began to feel love for the planet as it continued to approach us. The disastrous rising ocean levels were a thing of beauty. The melting ice, and the shifting of the planet as the gravity tugged at it, was a glorious transformation.

Saturn glowed purple, grey and rusty brown. The rings continued to circle around it as usual, and if I squinted, I could begin to make out asteroids flying past the planet. Saturn seemed so large, and gentle, and beautiful. It was hard to imagine it plowing into this world, destroying ages of technology, memory, and human life. It was enough to make you sad.

I found myself turning away from humans during this time. It was too painful to know that those frightened eyes you looked into would soon be specks of star, floating through the universe.

People didn’t seem to notice me when I was falling victim to the dark parts of my thoughts. After all, depression is a danger we have grown to ignore. But now that we faced our tangible fate, they thought I was different.

Courageous, I suppose.

Like every other night, tonight I was on the roof, facing my murderer.

Most of the time I could hear the thumping music from the parties of teens in the neighborhood. I suppose they were desperate to get some sort of satisfaction and happiness from their numbered days. Tonight, though, I heard nothing besides the soft cooing of sleepy birds in the trees, and sad, soft music drifting from our old neighbor’s house.

The music would usually annoy me: the sappy kind of love songs that elderly people like to listen to. Tonight, though, it seemed strangely appropriate.

Ironic, even.

We were being chased by a great destroyer, who would not think for a moment about crushing our planet into dust. Yet, we still had the hope to listen to love songs.

I laid back. The air was crisp and cold around me, and I could feel the wind rippling through my sweater. My eyes were glued to the planet, taking up the entire sky. It looked down at me, as small as an ant, outstretched on my roof. The impending light extinguished most of the stars. I raised a shaky hand to the sky, and began to count the remaining specks of light. A few weeks ago, it would have impossible to number the fire in the sky. But right now, I could count exactly four stars.

I counted them. And counted them again. Over and over, as if the fact that there were still four stars in the sky would put a halt to the planet.

The air was stiff with anticipation as far away, the deadly planet continued to approach.

I felt death close to me. Across the Earth, Saturn touched. The rumbling shattered the quiet air. This was it.

Living each day as if I was dying, exhausted by anxiety, I had learned to find beauty in the sadness.

And I could not deny that Saturn was beautiful.