Joel Hans’ Planet

Just burn it, the admiral says. His eyes reflect a small version of the blue-green planet.

Are you sure, sir?

I’m tired. I want to go home. This is one planet in a million. No one will remember it.

All it takes is a spark: this planet’s atmosphere is made out of methane instead of oxygen and the spark drifts down slow like it is searching for a place where it belongs, star-twinkling all the way. They watch it fall, the admiral and the spark-dropper.

Then there is fire.

Spark makes its new home: flame in slow cascade across the entire planet.

They turn their ship homeward, fire-blindness lingering in their vision.

The burning planet gets a little bit lighter.

Souls and so on.