People will think this a suicide. I know it for what it really is: an assimilation of the infinite.
You’re the only reason I signed up to tend that lonely lighthouse on a barren asteroid. I needed to be near you. I hoped proximity would lessen your pull on my soul. But with you so close, I heard your call at all hours, even in my sleep. As if you’d already begun to draw me out toward the core of you. How can anyone be expected to resist the urges you’ve coded into my DNA sequencing?
It took months for the other two wickies working the rock to get comfortable enough to turn their backs on me. They’re both veterans and have spent more of their lives tending that light than living in the mining stations they were born on. They’ve both seen their fair share of greenhorns lose themselves when faced with you. They once had to put down a newcomer who’d been driven into a murderous rage by your brilliant void. If I ever wanted a chance in joining with you, I had to prove to them that I came here for no other reason than to do the job; that my life’s passion was keeping ships safe on their travels between ports.
Even once I gained the bare minimum of their trust, I hesitated. It would be a lie for me to say I wasn’t nervous at the thought of answering your summons. Then your loud insistence robbed me of the ability to sleep beyond few minute snatches, and I knew the time had come. If I put you off any longer, my sanity would shatter, just like all the others before me who’d balked at the sight of the finish line.
I made my break during after-dinner story time, when we would get piss drunk and weave tales out of whatever incoherent dribble came to our minds. An hour in, I excused myself to the bathroom, and the other wickies gave me a proper ribbing for my weak bladder. The moment I was out of their sight, I ran for the troller we fly out to meet supply carriers because the asteroid’s dock is too small to accommodate real ships. I set a direct course for you and slipped into a voidsuit as the autopilot pushed away from the dock.
There it is. A wailing emergency signal from the lighthouse fills my helmet. The other wickies finally realized where I’ve gone. But it’s too late for them to do anything except watch. I ejected myself from the troller well past your event horizon. Nothing can keep me from you now. I already feel you stretching my atoms into thin strands.
You’re the only eternity I would ever willingly accept. Though I’ll never truly be part of you, I cannot put into words how elated I am to spend the rest of forever enveloped in your strong, cold embrace.
D.K. Lawhorn (he/him) has stories that have appeared in Pyre Magazine and Haven Spec, with upcoming pieces in khōréō magazine, ANMLY, and Flame Tree Press’s First Peoples Shared Stories Anthology. He is part of the Tin House Fall Workshop 2022 cohort. A citizen of the Monacan Indian Nation, D.K. lives on his ancestral land in Virginia with his legion of rescue cats. He is studying Native Speculative Literature at Randolph College’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Follow him on Twitter @d_k_lawhorn or visit his website at dklawhorn.com.