This is part 5 of a short story cut into shorter sections. To see part 1 and follow the entire story, click here.
Right in the middle of the evening news, the people looked up and saw it. It seemed like years since anyone had mentioned the meteor, but in reality it had only been a few months.
Fist the North Star Disappeared.
Then the Big Dipper lost its handle.
When a shadow fell across the sun, the people began to panic.
Some of them ran deep into underground cellars. Others herded themselves into churches to pray. A few important people remembered the missiles they’d left carelessly pointing toward the sky and met to decide what they should do.
Just as these important people prepared to push important buttons and send the missiles streaking into space (with little or no effect on the outrageous rock), a physicist scribbled something on her chalkboard. Out of the lines and numbers rose a wisp of chalky hope.
“But how is that possible,” the important people asked. “We already calculated that if the Earth is orbiting the sun at 29.77 km/s and the meteor is traveling in a straight line at 56.2 km/s, then we should collide with it… 7 months ago?”
The director of the CIA stormed into the room, brushing the first flakes of a light summer snow off his jacket.
“So, you’re saying what?”
“The meteor,” the physicist said, “is apparently going to miss the Earth by 186 million miles.”
“Well,” he stammered. “I’ll be damned.”
To Be Continued...
To read part 6, click here.