The Light at the Sky’s End
By Jeff Baker
“There it goes!” Carlos said. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
Bryan stood on the beach awestruck. The setting sun was suddenly surrounded by brilliant rings of light. Beautiful.
“Yeah,” Bryan managed to say.
Carlos had given Bryan a long, complicated scientific explanation; during the period when the smaller companion of the double star was behind the larger one, the fluctuations of the star’s light react with the mists from the sea to produce rings or a spiral.
“You sure do know how to take the wonder out of everything,” Bryan had cracked. Then he’d seen the phenomenon himself; the wonder was still there.
“The natives on this planet used to say it was the eye of God when he was displeased,” Carlos said. “At least, that’s what they inscribed on the tablets we found.”
“What happened to the natives anyway?” Bryan said. “The ones who stood here and watched this long ago.”
“Don’t know,” Carlos said. “Nobody’s ever found any trace of them.”
“But we will, right?”
“Right.” Carlos said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
The two of them stared at the rings around the setting sun reflected in the sea and Bryan wondered if it might really be the displeasure of God.