By C_A <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted January 2007
Summary: "He is a wanderer seeking solace in memories of a billion years gone by."
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, and I'm not making any money off of this.
He is Clark Kent, son of Martha and Jonathan, a farm boy from Kansas. He is Kal-El, son of Lara and Jor-El, last son of Krypton. He is Superman, protector and defender of Metropolis. He is lover and beloved of Lois Lane. He is father of Joshua and Sara.
He has seen the coming and the end of wars and the rise and fall of armies. He has seen the creation and ruin of Utopia. He has seen peoples and nations vanish as though they had never existed. He has seen cities crumble, swallowed up by the ground when fault lines slipped. He has seen the end of life on Earth. He has seen rocks melt and fire turn to ice. He has seen oceans disappear and continents collide and galaxies disintegrate.
He has seen all this and lived.
Ageless, he has walked through time, passing through eons in search of things long gone. He is a wanderer seeking solace in memories of a billion years gone by.
He is ageless but not immortal. He has watched his adopted home planet slowly die, wishing it would take him along with it, and today his time is up. The sun has dried up Earth's atmosphere, leaving behind a barren lifeless rock in the darkness of the universe. Not even Superman can exist in such surroundings.
And so he lies down, spread-eagle on the ground, and waits.
His face is turned upward toward the blackened sky, and now he can see the fire behind his eyes, can see the flames, so deadly and so bright. He closes them, perhaps looking for his destiny, or for something beautiful, but he is alone, and there is no beauty.
The countless years blur together in a twirling, colorful mass of memories, of dying dreams and fading hopes, finally reborn now after millennia of nothingness.
He sees his father, standing in the backyard, holding a baseball in his hand. He sees his mother on the back porch, looking on as her son leaps into the air to catch it, leaving the ground behind. He sees himself on a football field and his friends on the bleachers, cheering him on. He sees them all graduate from high school and move out into the world.
He sees himself, at the age of twenty-eight, in Perry White's office, stunned into speechlessness upon the entrance of Lois Lane. More years pass and he sees her smile at him and take his hand. Her eyes, which will remain unchanged over the course of years to come, are filled with a yearning for realness and goodness and strength. He knows that he can be real for her, and that he can be good and strong, because as long as he keeps waking up next to her every morning, there is nothing he can't be.
He sees her before him in her wedding dress, sees her in their living room with their children, sees her grow old and weak as he remains youthful and unchanged. He sees her die, an old woman, separated from him by time.
He sees the lives of his children and grandchildren pass slowly by as he stays the same.
He believes in Heaven, for he has seen Hell.
Lying in the dirt, alone on a dead planet, he opens his eyes once more and they overflow with tears. He can't remember the last time he felt like this, or felt anything at all. As the world and the cold and the blackness fade away, he stumbles into the light.
He is suddenly twenty-eight again, and speechless.