If it’s still the past while you’re reading this, you may wish to take notes. It wasn’t asteroids, or bombs, or angels with trumpets. During the last decade of our lives, there was a common sense of dread that we were living out the final act. Novelty was running low. Each and every one of us had been carrying the scripts for our own lives, but never noticed until the remaining pages were too thin to thumb through easily.

We came to learn that, in space, a curtain does not fall so much as spiral inward. The scarlet veil emerged without warning from an unknown knot in the atmosphere, pulled forward by the final sunrise. Billowing velvet death replaced the stars. One by one, those who read their final page took a bow and froze in place, never to move again. Although a mixture of starvation and ennui eventually claimed them, their bones remained upright, bent forward at ninety degrees.

As for me, it won’t be long now. The curtain rolled away two days ago, and it hasn’t stopped raining roses since. The applause is growing closer.