When the Sun Stopped Rising

Bianca Esparza, '22

As I leave the town’s news studio, after eight hours of being the videographer, I am harassed by a middle-aged, stressed man. His eyes were deeply rounded by the bags that had tucked his eye sockets in. He may have been in his thirties but the balding gray hair had convinced me to think otherwise.

He begged, “I need you to let me inform everyone! Listen to me! You’re all going to regret not listening to me! Please!” One of the managers quickly body-slammed him, pinning him to the sidewalk. 

“Just go to your car, this dude does this every few months.¨ As I began pacing quickly towards the parking garage.

The man cries out,¨The sun will stop rising.¨

 While I leave, goosebumps form on my skin, and  I hear the distant sirens coming to arrest the man. 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of blossoming flowers covered the rolling hills. Our small town was a nest for nature. Each spring the birds would soar, the trees would branch out and hold hands, creating luscious forests while exotic animals would play in the tunnels of dirt. Until one day, they didn’t.

My usual routine was to be awakened by a morning kiss from the sun. I would whip up scrambled eggs, and feed my cat, Luna, and my terrier lab, Lola. Normally, they sit eagerly at the edge of my bed, waiting for me to wake up. Yet today, they gazed at the gloominess that occupied the sky. The weather had contrasted the town’s meteorologist, Mr.Li’s typically correct prediction of sunny clear skies, creating a very stomach-churning feeling that something was very wrong.

As I cautiously drove to the news studio, surrounded by streets of darkness, I noticed people coming out of the scattered homes among the hills. Jerry, one of my closest neighbors, anxiously looked at his animals whose routines had suddenly disintegrated.

 “You know somethings up when the roosters don’t crow.” He shouted, scratching his head, as I passed. 

When I arrived at the studio, Mr. Li was already there. He cried as he frantically flipped through binders of different reports. His regularly combed, black, short hair was pulled in several directions, sticking out like a mad scientist. 

“It’s okay, you made a mistake. Your first misprediction ever. It’s not the end of the world, Li.” 

I said as I began setting up the tripods. He slowly turned his head to glare at me. His eyes resembled the troubled man who had recently caused a scene. Strained and stressed. 

“But it is. It is the end of the world. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this sooner. I have been studying the sun and its patterns for over thirty years, Jess. But.. but I didn’t see this coming.”

 His tears were becoming a tide, drowning his words and his judgment. He rubs his face with his palms so hard, his face begins to turn into a tie-dye of paleness and light red. 

“So…what does this mean?” I mumble, scared of his raised voice. 

“We cannot live without the sun, Jess. It is only a matter of time.” 

I felt my gut sink, as the life I once had known and loved falls into the pitch-black world that awaits outside.