Aftermath by Indu Balakrishnan

It was a typical day. The small town was bustling with activity. Everyone started early and went to bed early. It was the usual day. It was a good day. When the sky suddenly caught fire. Huge rocks fell to the surface, demolishing anything and everything they touched. Most people were too shocked to react. The warning came too late. It was as though the meteors appeared out of nowhere into the Earth’s atmosphere. The town was equipped with basement filled houses that people resorted to for safety. 

Most of the damage hit the cornfields around the town. One hit the field just off the main road. He did not see it coming. He swerved his truck abruptly and hit the brakes as fast as he could. There was nothing more he could do. The truck toppled a few times until it rested on the side of the road, just next to a huge crater. He looked at his wife sitting next to him. She was unconscious but seemed okay. There was no cut on her head. Luckily, they both had seatbelts. 

He tried to reach out to her and placed his palm on her face. She did not move. He looked at her, and his whole life flashed before his eyes. He had met her on the college campus. He was a second-year engineering student, and she was a fresher in business administration. They were miles apart, but the moment they looked into each other’s eyes, nothing else mattered. 

He tried to read poetry to sweep her off her feet. She tried to make sense of how a tractor worked. They tried to speak each other’s language, but it did not matter. They were meant to be, and they knew it. They decided to get married after college. Her father, a business tycoon, was against it. He had wanted his daughter to take up his business. But she wanted to marry a farmer. There was no way he would allow it. 

He tried to convince her to look up other opportunities before she resigned herself to become a farmer’s wife. Apple jam and baked corn was not in her stars. She travelled for a month and met many business people for the sake of her father. But she realized that she had found her true soulmate in the cornfields of her hometown. 

They were the perfect couple. Everyone looked up to them. And then, three years passed. People started pressurizing them for a child. Eyebrows were raised. She took it to heart. He did his best to convince her that when it’s time, things will become better. And then the meteor shower happened.

As he looked at her fondly, she slowly woke up. He sighed in relief. She was all he had. He could not lose her. And then suddenly, she gasped. Was she in pain? No. She was looking past him outside of the car. He turned around. There were tiny legs. He slowly unbuckled himself and opened the door to crawl out. He helped her out, and they went to the child. 

He was the cutest three-year-old they had ever met. He was naked and covered in mud. But he was smiling the biggest smile they had ever seen. He rushed to the car for a blanket and covered the child with it. Then they asked him where he was from. He smiled, turned around, and pointed at the newly formed crater. There was a spaceship in it. 

Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent had found their son, Clark Kent. And the world was gifted Superman. The aftermath of the meteor shower was not the worst thing after all! 

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