Submitted by madssukalikar
Haumea stopped in her tracks as she saw the man in black standing on the ledge. She ran towards him. “Don’t do it!” she yelled loudly. “Just get back!” The man turned around. “I can’t,” he said calmly.
“Of course you can!” argued Haumea. “Just take a step back and climb down. You don’t have to do this.” “But this is who I am,” the man replied.
Haumea could feel the darkness gathering around him. “No!” she implored again. “Whatever has happened, you can still be happy. You’re young. You can have a family and children… do you have children?”
The man shrugged. “Not anymore.” He looked at Haumea intently, almost boring his eyes into hers. “Do you?”
Haumea didn’t know what to answer. “I… I don’t remember.” Her mind was a cobweb of confused memories half remembered, half forgotten, all slipping away. Panicked, she asked, “Why can’t I remember?”
The man smiled wryly. “That happens when you’re around me.”
“But that makes no sense!” Haumea became aware of where she was. She was suddenly, inexplicably, standing on the ledge right beside him. “What? How did I get here?”
“Will you look down?” the man asked. She closed her eyes instead. “No! I’m scared of heights.” “Are you?” Haumea opened them again. No, she wasn’t. “Not anymore,” she said wonderingly. “That’s another thing that happens around me.”
Haumea looked down. A 50-foot drop. Asphalt pavement. Dark and hot and hard. “It’s a pavement.”
“Is that what you see?” The man looked amused.
“Isn’t that what it is?”
“It’s my home. I live here, where I’m standing, and down there as well.”
Haumea’s head was beginning to hurt. “Look, just stop this cryptic nonsense. Let’s just get down and talk about this.”
“I can’t.” “Fine! Then I’m getting down and calling the cops.”
“I can’t let you do that either.”
“What is wrong with you?”
The man gave a deep sigh. An old man sigh. “Lots of things. Mainly, I just destroy everything around me.” He stared again at Haumea, who was beginning to feel dizzy now. “Like you,” he continued. “I don’t really want to. But now that you’re here… will you look down again?”
Haumea did. And before her eyes, the pavement melted away into something eldritch, celestial, dark. “Wha-what’s that?”
“That’s me,” said the man, his voice booming. He wasn’t on the ledge anymore. He was down there on the not-pavement—his darkness swirling around him. “Now jump.”
And even though she didn’t want to, Haumea jumped. After the 50 imagined feet, the fall kept going and going and going. “Don’t worry, Haumea,” the man’s voice boomed again. “I’ll catch you.”
That was the day the solar system fell into the galaxy’s supermassive black hole. One of the last and most stubborn to go was Haumea, the tiny dwarf planet that Earthly scientists had fondly named after the goddess of childbirth and fertility.