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His Blackness -- Fiction Writer's Group Flash Fiction for 2/9/20

The Fiction Writers Group Facebook group issues a visual prompt every week for a max-300 word flash fiction piece. This week's prompt is:





Note: The first fifty-three words of the following was first submitted to January's 53-word flash fiction prompt at Press53.com. It didn't win, so I expanded it to 300 words.

SF, PG, 300 words


His Blackness


The protons streaked through the perfect vacuum, their anti-twins whirling in the opposite direction. Faster and faster, they were squeezed shoulder to shoulder. The vanguards dove for each other, their attraction inexorable, their collision inevitable. In a flash brighter than a million suns, the black hole was born and it began to eat.



At first, Jim Hardwick was thankful that his unmanned accelerator was orbiting Jupiter. But when the lab disappeared, and Jupiter’s Great Red Spot became a smear, then a thin line, he and his colleagues knew they were in trouble.


Telescopic news cameras broadcast the spectacle as the whole world watched Jupiter elongate into a comma, then a dash, then was gone. The reviews and re-shares were off the charts. But His Blackness, as some news wag called it, was not in a stable orbit anymore, and it was still hungry.


As the black hole fell through the asteroid belt, it sprayed the inner planets with a shotgun blast of pebbles and rocks. The lightshow of meteorites wowed everyone again, but Jim didn’t watch them. He knew they were just the warmup to the real show. The last show of all.


Panic started when the black hole, spiraling through the Sun’s magnetic field, threw out massive solar flares. The auroras were spectacular, but there were no cameras to record them or satellites to broadcast them. The world’s electronics had all been fried by solar hurricanes.


The panic grew when the Sun was seen to visibly wobble, tracing a spiral across the sky. Resignation finally set in as it shrank and the black hole’s accretion disk began to glow. The disk’s x-rays would eventually sterilize the Earth, but the darkness would freeze it first.


A guilt-ridden pariah, Jim stood on the mountaintop and watched the sun disappear into oblivion.

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