It was a collage of human bodies vibrantly dancing in a mist of colour—colours I never could have fathomed with the limitations of my previous human retina.
"What's happening here?" I called out to my angel, Lucia.
"It's the Island of Kismet. It happens when there's a stability in your timeline. It means that no matter what decisions you made leading up to this moment," she paused as she brought me closer to my Kismet. "You wound up here every time".
"So nothing could have changed—" Lucia cut me off.
"No, nothing," she spoke gently. I wasn't certain she actually spoke the words, but in any case, I already knew the answer.
I knew I would have killed my brother first.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It wasn't immediate, the way that Earth physically broke down to bits of stardust. Its end was painfully slow—and my brother was the only one left to endure every second of it. It never really mattered to me when I realized the world was truly ending because the world lost its meaning long before it got turned upside-down.
I was already living in an upside-down world.
When I received my DreamGlass locket, I didn't know what the detail dials did. I know now that they control how many people are in the world—not this world, though, it was your world—your DreamGlass. Given the choice to create a world of my very own design, I chose to recreate my favourite place on Earth. It was a basement suite.
My childhood began when I was ten years old. It was the year I met my brother, Parker. Our parents only dated, but his foreign blood suited mine more than anyone I had ever known. That's what made me feel all the luckier. He and I spent our days in the living room of our parents' basement suite. It felt like our own little world—mainly just the two of us, but sometimes mom and dad came to visit. He was my best friend, and we were inseparable—until that is, the day that we were separated. Our parting was forecasted by our parents' explosive arguments; we were aware that life as we knew it was fragile.
As an adult, I would try to share these memories with him clear with detail: our worn, beat-up couch, the stuffily warm air, our parents lividly arguing in the background...but the vibrance of those days seemed faded in his memory. I thought, maybe it's the two-year age gap that makes him just a little too young to remember, or maybe the memories just never held the same value to him as they did for me. I never expected to find an answer.
I would give everything to be able to go back, and sit down on the floor next to my brother one last time. And I did—I gave up everything. I just didn't know it yet. So, I continued to sit happily in my new basement suite of a world, desperately reliving my childhood with what I understood as a fabrication of my brother.
DreamGlass worlds take time off of the lives of those who enter them. Whether I knew it or not, I continued to use my DreamGlass. The inside of my locket featured my brother's face, which I noticed would fade increasingly as I sat in my DreamGlass world.
I paid the locket little attention. That is until every blink of an eye brought me colours of ethereal light—light that I knew was beyond Earth's realm.
I ran my fingers over the tiny metal latch that held my locket intact. I pinched my thumb in its thin ridge—forcing the little metal heart to sprawl open, revealing Parker's degenerating picture.
The last thing I saw before I died was Parker huddled over an empty locket.
Dying, I thought, a fabrication of my brother couldn't have killed me. And so my brother didn't only bring me to my death, he brought me to my peace.
Dancing in a vibrant mist, I now know the true colour of closed eyes.