(Cross-posted from Commonplace)
Arthur let out a low groan. He was horrified to discover that the kick through hyperspace hadn't killed him. He was now six light-years from the place that the Earth would have been if it still existed.
Visions of it swam sickeningly through his nauseated mind. There was no way his imagination could feel the impact of the whole Earth having gone, it was too big. He prodded his feelings by thinking that his parents and his sister had gone. No reaction. Then he thought of a complete stranger he had been standing behind in the queue at the supermarket two days before and felt a sudden stab--the supermarket was gone, everyone in it was gone. Nelson's Column had gone! Nelson's Column had gone and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry. From now on Nelson's Column only existed in his mind--his mind, stuck here in this dank smelly steel-lined spaceship. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him.
England no longer existed. He'd got that--somehow he'd got it. He tried again. America, he thought, was gone. He couldn't grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He'd never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonald's, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald's hamburger.
He passed out. When he came round a second later he found he was sobbing for his mother.