The Last Of The Garden Parties.

They walked outside, glasses in hand, shoes long-since removed and lined up along the baseboard and forgotten, and looked up into a dusky sky. Somewhere up there was a ten-mile-wide minivan-shaped chunk of nickel-iron tumbling its way towards the end of all human civilization. Someone asked, "Anybody see it?"

No one answered. Howard fished a phone out of his jeans pocket and stared down at it for a bit. "It's on the other side of the planet right now. Nothing to see."

They didn't go back inside; they milled around with their toes in the grass and made small talk about friends and family.

Howard sat down in the grass; eventually he laid down in it. At some point, as the stars twisted slowly above him, he realized Francesca was laying next to him. "Hi."


"So, what if it misses?"

"It won't."

"But how do you know?"

"Because… because math. It's gonna hit."

She made a face as if she'd been holding out hope, even this late. "I always hated math. Hated the teachers, they all thought it was so easy."


"Wanna go inside? Upstairs, I mean?"

He considered it carefully. "I wouldn't want to miss the show."

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