The day the sun collapsed, Nick One Feather woke up to a black dawn. Mites of dust floated above his bed, barely visible. His skin cracked from the dry air, his mouth parched from open-mouth breathing in the usual high temperatures all night, Nick glanced up from his bed out the window to see only a slate-colored sky resting dully above the earth.
It was dark. Too dark. Although he felt surprisingly rested, Nick felt sure he had woken up hours too early. He sat up, squinting, and reached for his glasses on the nightstand. His vision cleared immediately, but the darkness was not abated. Nick checked his watch: 8:43 a.m. He was late; his body had tricked him into sleeping in too long.
He swung his legs off his bed onto the floor and stretched wearily. The moment his bare feet touched the floor, he recoiled and pulled them up again—an icy jolt had surged into his skin up his whole body, as if the floor had sprouted frost overnight. Hm, Nick thought. It wasn’t like that yesterday. The geothermal heat setting must be broken again. The air around him even felt colder, an observation made apparent now that he was out from under his blankets and his skin was exposed to the unusually chilld air. He shivered and made a point to jot a note down in his record book about the sudden temperature drop.
Standing up now, Nick felt the blood course through his body and he felt more awake. He cursed himself for sleeping in—it seemed there was never enough time in a day. He walked to his living room, where all of his digital tools for record-keeping were kept, and wrote down a couple notes about the temperature drop; and he was about to walk to the kitchen to make his morning cup of coffee—noting regretfully that he had run out of his favorite coffee blend—when he noticed the people standing just on the other side of the kitchen window.
It was quiet, the crowd standing outside, but large; and when Nick had donned his specialized temperature body suit and went outside, hardly anyone noticed his presence. They were all too busy staring up at the sun through their own veiled visors—or, more accurately, where the sun used to be. Now all that was left was a tiny white dwarf star, a pinprick of a dot in the sky that emanated heat beyond its core.