The previous night she had heard some odd sounds outside, but as she swayed in and out of dreams, she ignored them and eventually drifted back to sleep.
Ignoring them was not a good move however, and the next morning she stood in horror at the destroyed barn and the missing cattle. Pieces of debris lay around the half standing structure, most of it burnt to a crisp. How had she missed this? What went wrong? How could this happen? She desperately sifted through every idea she could, nothing made sense. Cremia had always been watchful eye, a silent protector of her younger sister, Romani. She had always tried her best to make sure that she was safe and the animals were safe. Where did she go wrong? Everything was gone—her sister, half of her farm, her animals; everything was absolutely gone.
At first she suspected those horrible Gorman brothers. Rumor had it they were pedophiles; the thought of her younger sister in their clutches made her sick to her stomach. It wasn't too impossible either; her sister had always been adventurous, she may have simply wandered off and gotten nabbed by them. She grabbed her crossbow and rushed over there that morning, after discovering all of the wreckage she feared the worst. After all, why they had blown up the barn and taken the animals she couldn't figure out at all, but she knew they were evil men.
She quickly crossed her ranch and stormed onto their property with her weapon in hand, tears streaming down her cheeks. They were both sitting around a small fire, seeing her armed and approaching however they got up in an instant, their hands raised in surrender. They asked her what was wrong, begging her to relax and to tell them what had happened. She couldn't even speak, thinking of her sister made her mouth incapable of even opening. She softly cried as she raised the gun at them—cowering behind one of their horses. They begged and pleaded, they honestly seemed to have no idea what was happening. The fire was burning brightly and the birds were chirping away around them; this wasn't right, they didn't do it. She put down her gun and turned and walked off, surreally leaving just as she had come. As she turned she heard grunts and whispers of her being insane—perhaps she was, but she simply wanted her sister back.
She began to wonder if she would have to go into town or nearby Termina field to find her, maybe her sister had simply run off out there somewhere. She decided to go and get her things packed to head out and look for her. However when she returned to the ranch none other than her sister stood alone in the center of the field, still and alone. She dropped her crossbow and ran up to her as fast as she could, sobbing and pleading that she be alright. As she approached she knew something was wrong, something was horribly wrong.
Romani was a young girl, just turning eleven a few weeks before. She had always been bright and lively, the one thing that kept Cremia going. In the end she was the cheerful voice that fought the depression that rested on Cremia's shoulders day after day—after her father, then her mother had died, hope was so hard to hold onto. Cremia needed her to keep going, if anything were to happen to her she couldn't go on, there was no doubt about that.
This thing wasn't Romani, this was something else.
The thing that stood before her was a shell, a hollow form. It stared at Cremia with Romani's big blue eyes. The thing behind them though, it was—nothing, absolutely nothing. Cremia could sense something—other—beyond the gaze, but she couldn't quite pinpoint its identity. Eerily enough it felt familiar, like she had seen it before, or at least experienced its presence at one point or another.
It swayed as if drunk, as if it weren't stable. Cremia broke right there. There was nothing left, absolutely nothing left. She felt something break inside of her. Memories of their parents, the ranch, the people she had come to know and love, they all seemed on the distant horizon. She turned and walked towards the wrecked barn, her heart getting slower and slower with every, "Who are you?" she heard It whisper in the distance. She sat in the barn all day, staring down at the hallowed ground, looking around desperately for evidence this was all a bad dream. It wasn't, it was the hideous truth. There was no hope, no dreams left, the sky really was falling and she had nothing left. She tried to ignore all the rumors the world was ending soon, she tried to be upbeat—not for her, but Romani, after all a child didn't need to be hearing that.
In reality though, day after day she stared up at the horrific astral body above her. Everyone denied it was really falling, the face that seemed to show up every now and then wasn't really there, that the world was fine. There was no more denying now, it was all coming to a halt. She would occasionally look up and see that thing wondering around the field. This broke her down even more and eventually, she went inside. To her surprise Romani was already in her pajamas and in bed. This was all too much. It even mimicked Romani. The thought made her sick, the twisted mockery was an abomination. As Cremia lay in bed, she thought about everyone and how she had let them down. She sobbed herself to sleep that night.
Being alone was always her greatest fear. All her life people and things were taken away from her. This was the final straw; she was truly, utterly, alone. The other ranch hands had all gone to be with their own families, she could only hope for their safety. The next morning came with more misery. Romani was already outside again, wandering around the field, in its daze, its stupor, it's euphoria. Cremia looked up and gazed at the monstrosity once more, it was incredibly close now.
Tonight, tonight—it would fall tonight. The horrible thing would destroy everything tonight.
She kept whispering those words to herself again and again, watching the thing that was only mimicking her sister.
No one came by, no one showed up to simply say hello. She somewhat wanted company, she needed it really, any sort of help she could get would mean the world to her. None would come though; and the clouds got thicker and thicker, eerily they stayed away from the proximity of the celestial body, perhaps in terror of the moon. By that evening it was a thick blanket of cloud and rain, and a giant hole in the sky for death to fall through.
Cremia didn't know whether or not to bring Romani inside, would it be worth it? To save that thing? She didn't want to be alone though, she didn't want to die alone, in fact she would do anything not to pass into the next world alone—despite knowing that's what would happen regardless of who or what she was with. Menace or not, that thing at least looked like her sister, she needed the solace. For the first time in years she was scared, absolutely terrified really. When their parents passed and the Gorman brothers moved in nearby, Cremia had a lot of responsibility to fight for their ranch; she overcame fear quickly. It was back with a vengeance, and this time, it would be there till the end.
She led Romani inside by her hand. It kept asking, who she was and why she was there. Cremia found herself on the edge of sobbing again as she led Romani upstairs.
The rumbling of the ground was getting more and more frequent now.
She led her sister to her room and got in bed, Romani got in next to her. She didn't realize how exhausted she was until she began to drift off to sleep fairly quickly, an eerie silence over the house. She awoke at five in the morning, the ground shaking violently; the house on the edge of falling down. Its creaking and howling was absolutely terrifying. Romani lay there, staring directly at Cremia with her hollow holes for eyes. Cremia felt the sheer terror once more.
This was it; this was the end, the grand finale.
She hadn't forgotten about the others on her ranch after all this, and she briefly prayed for their solace. Yet, solace seemed impossible for her to grasp as she watched the window grow more and more an eerie shade of red as the moon, death, fell to the Earth. Romani closed her eyes and curled up into Cremia. She could feel her small body shaking, she was scared—was it what was left of her still in there? Cremia's eyes held shut, holding in all the tears she could as she held her little sister close to her. The house was creaking and groaning as it began to dance even more viciously on the violently shaking ground.
She whispered how sorry she was to everyone, how much she begged her ancestors for forgiveness, and how much she loved those around her. Romani kept whispering, "What's happening?" Fear very evident in her voice, in its its voice. Her big sister, who had always been there for her, patted her head and told her everything was alright, it will all pass. That's what their mother used to always say, "It will all pass." She smiled as she remembered her mother and father, as she remembered all the wonderful times with Romani and the people in town. She loved them all, and as she felt the sky crashing down—she could only hope they were at peace. At that final moment she reached that same peace, she reached a point that she could let go. She let go of her responsibilities, her pain, her confusion and her loneliness. She pulled in Romani just a little closer and whispered her final words, "It's all a dream, we're about to wake up."
She felt Romani nod, the most reassuring thing Cremia had ever felt in her entire life.
With that the sky fell, with that it all came to an end. As their home began to get pulverized and the fires of cataclysm consumed everything, a faint song could be heard in the distance. It was an eerily beautiful melody, and one that seemed almost heavenly to hear in such moments. Those who had survived the initial blast opened their ears one final time to hear the soothing song, it seemed to halt everything in a bizarre serenity.
It was so gentle, and it seemed to carry them away to another place, just as well carrying them away to another time.