by V M Karren
The day the sky fell in, my wife stood alone in the kitchen and wept.
While my wife wept alone in the kitchen, my two-year old son tinkered with a set of puzzles of a boat, a train, a race car and an airplane.
While my son played happily and asked for attention and praise, I tried desperately to keep him quiet and contained as the others in the room were also in shock. My son had yet to understand the gravity of the situation and looking back now neither had I, even though I knew at the time it was serious, very serious.
We all spoke in hushed disbelief when we saw the sky roll in billowing grey clouds at street level through the canyons of glass and steel. Thick plumes of dust and debris blocked the sun. I remember glancing out the windows to see if, by consequence of a chain reaction, the sky above our town would soon descend on us too as it had in Metropolis that clear September afternoon.
When the sky falls in, all sense of equilibrium is disrupted. What was once up is no longer. What was once down can no longer be differentiated from that which was up, because everything is now under our feet. It can be picked up, tripped over or plowed to one side. Those things that were once inert, up there, in the clouds had suddenly become an overhead hazard as it all came tumbling to the earth in two massive implosions. Just before the whole thing fell in, those who lived in the clouds started jumping out of the sky in hopeless panic. It was if heaven had begun listing and the angels were tumbling out over the rails of the observation deck.
The day the sky fell in there was a profound silence around the airports of the world as there was no longer any sky left to fly in. In Britain, Canada and Europe the airplanes stood still. Nobody took off and nobody landed for days as no one was really sure what was going to fill in the space that was once the sky. Would the stars and blackness of space fill the void? Would the land rise up to meet the stratosphere? We wondered if another airplane could ever fly again.
After the news broke that the sky had collapsed over New York City, the Amsterdam airport cancelled all flights to North America as there was no longer any sky to fly through. Had the planes continued to fly toward the east coast of the United States, we were told that wings and engines would not be able to create the lift needed to keep them suspended above the earth, and would also come crashing down.
Everybody who was hoping to fly westward that afternoon decided to drive. What should have been a ten minute drive home, to safety, took ninety minutes. The world was in chaos.
On the day the sky fell in, my wife stood alone in the kitchen and wept.