This world was too cold, and I was too old for it.

So the option came past my desk: Live forever. I took it. I slept and awoke, and all mankind was gone. I was all that remained. Surrounded by ash and cinder, I sat for awhile, but became bored. So I went back to sleep. When next I regained consciousness the world was teeming with life and sentience. Crisis was in the air, and creatures roamed the planetside seeking food and shelter, pitted against one another for simple survival. Since I knew none of these people, I lay down and rested my eyes again. I was jarred next by a sudden rumbling, and the earth shook beneath me. Stones the size of moons fell from the sky, pulverizing the lush blue vegetation (if it was indeed similar to plantlife from my own time) all around me. Frightened, I took to slumber in hopes of waking in better climes. And that I did. As I opened my eyes, I saw all around me new commerce, giants and miniature beings interacting in peace. Silver domes filled the sky like a rain of mercury, and I was suddenly in awe of this place. But I was a stranger, and none would exchange words with me, for they had no words for communicating. And so, for aeons I slept and awoke, each time experiencing a new taste in the air, a new temperature, new colors, new life, new languages, new catastrophes and resolutions, new stories and families and homes and landscapes and skies, and new planets and moons, a shifting and evolving starfield overhead that would transform in the blink of my ancient eyes. Finally, worn, I closed my eyes and wished for home. Kinship. Other men. Women. Food. For how long had I slumbered, precisely? When would this world be torn asunder to leave me floating endlessly in space, I soon wondered, amid rocks and gaseous nebulae? A sudden warmth came over my arm, and I was startled. My glance caught a person―a human woman―touching me tenderly. She said, We are home, darling; and then I had returned to my own time. The star filled dusky sky overhead unfamiliar, the rising sun a different hue, the sky a different blue, and I knew it was all true.

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