The One Who Sings the Worlds to Sleep

Submitted by Mary on Wed, 01/10/2018 - 18:11

Even worlds die. In a universe so vast, there is always, somewhere, a planet that is fading out and dying in the great darkness.
When a world begins to die, there are plenty of humanitarian organizations ready to sweep in to the rescue, evacuating the planet’s inhabitants and relocating them to a new home world in some other part of the galaxy. They are hurried away, and the world is left alone.
That is when I arrive.
I come to these worlds for the worlds themselves. Because, for all the worlds and lives in the universe, it is still a vast and terribly lonely place…and no one should have to die alone.
That is why I come: I am the one who treads the surfaces of these worlds as the remnants of their life bleed out into the emptiness. I stay with them—touch them, hold them, comfort them as they fade away. My voice, my music, are the last things they hear before they slip into the silence of the universe.
I comfort them, hear their memories and confessions of all to which they have borne witness—the wars that didn’t have to happen; the children who shouldn’t have died; the heroes and dreamers who won and who lost; the loves that conquered the odds; the miracles, the disasters, the things more beautiful than anything you could ever imagine on your own.
I watch the sky explode with lights and colors of spectacular auroras as the worlds breathe out their final breaths of life in dancing waves. I tell them it is beautiful.
I sit and sink my fingertips into the earth so the planet can feel that I am there, and as we watch the distant stars for one last time, I sing them softly to sleep.
When it is over—when they are gone—I pull my hand away, rise, bless them, and bid them rest in whatever peace there be for the soul of a planet.
And then I leave them. The universe is harsh and cold, and the shell of a planet that has died is quickly consumed by a deep freeze, or else disintegrates into rubble. Countless times, I have witnessed a planet collapse as I withdraw from it.
Every time, I have wept. A planet, a world, is such a special thing; to set foot upon one is a privilege under any circumstances, but to be the last—to be the one to see a planet’s dying breath, the one to feel its last thought…
It is a burden great for the soul of something as small as a human to bear. But it is a gift, and an honor, to be the one who sings the worlds to sleep.

Author's age when written

I feel like this is still a little rough, not as tight and solid as it could be. Also, the goal was for this piece to be deeply and intensely emotional. I was very emotional while writing it (if you want to listen to he soundtrack that inspired it, it's here: ) but I'm suspicious that not much emotion came through in the actual writing? Thoughts and critiques welcome.


This is one of the most beautiful and emotional pieces I have ever read! I sat for several moments of silence, just in awe of what you have here. I absolutely love this; you did a marvelous job!

I was sitting here reading this, and my mouth just started hanging open. I couldn't talk. I couldn't be distracted from reading this. If I were alone reading it, I definitely would have cried.
You captured all the emotion, all the turmoil, and all the peace. I can't imagine you making it any better!
Does this have a story to go along with it? It definitely feels like it would.

Introverts unite!
From the comfort of your own homes!

This is very well done, Mary. It doesn't feel unfinished or lacking in polish at all.
I felt the deep emotions, saw the dancing lights, and held my breath while the planets drew their last. Thank you, for sharing this piece.

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Mary!! This has stayed in my mind since reading it. The emotion DEFINITELY comes through. What an absolute gift you just offered us. I have felt profoundly affected by what I think is your crowning line: "A planet, a world, is such a special thing; to set foot upon one is a privilege under any circumstances..." -- ad it's reminded me, again, how very true that is. Thanks for this.

This is inspirational. It makes me wonder how you wrote this so well.
Wow, it's like poetry. Literally bursting with imagery and color.
The ending was perfect.

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson