Uninhabited

I am a bit behind this week, so this one is pulling double duty as a response to the invisible ink challenge of “Write a story about visiting a planet.”, and the Weekly Friday Picture prompt from The Writer’s Mess on the image below. Join Maggie as she steps onto a new world, and sees something amazing and unexpected.


Maggie stepped out of the ship, and froze. This was not the desolate rock she had been briefed on.

Fog drifted over a lush forest, as the sun rose in the distance, and that was the least magnificent part of it. She didn’t know if what she was seeing was towers, or statues, but they were huge, red and white, shaped like dolphins leaping out of the fog, only ripple in the air like they were fluid.

Before she could say anything, radio in, they began to move. At first it was a slow thing, so slow she wasn’t sure it was happening, and then it got faster, a spinning, and then a lifting, and she wondered if they were ships, taking off.

It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, as great fins broke free of the fog, propelling them though the air, leaving a great blue rippling wake that reminded her of the northern lights.

When they finally faded from sight, she closed her eyes, her eyelids like sandpaper, and when she opened them, it was all gone.

Not just the ships, but the sun, the fog, the forest, everything, like it was never there, but every part of her knew that it had been there, it had been real.

Even after the ships medic told her it was probably just a hallucination from oxygen deprivation, a missed pinhole in her suit. She knew though, it had been real, and she would never forget it.

Rebirth

This was a 250 word piece for The Writer’s Mess Friday Picture Prompt Challenge, based on the picture below. This one is another sci fi, this time about sending out a ship to start life on a new planet. My goal was to make this a little lighter that the upcoming Six Sentence story, but my nature prevailed, and it’s a little dark as well.


Callista added the last samples to the capsule, and pressed it into place. The drawer lock clicked, and the pleasant chirp of the verification system indicated that it had been accepted.

This was it, the ark was complete. All biological samples were safely aboard, and tomorrow the ship would launch for a new world.

She stared for a minute at the ark’s glowing power source. It would provide the energy needed for terraforming, for creating their new home, and she prayed that it would work.

The ark would launch tomorrow, but in one year she would follow it, one of many who were chosen to populate the new colony, or so people thought. It wasn’t just a colony, it was the last, best hope for their race to survive.

The planet was running out of resources, the utopia of no disease and long life quickly turned into a shortage of supplies, and people just assumed that at some point the government would fix it.

The truth was that they were going to do nothing, because in less than a decade the amount of energy being harvested from the core would stop the planet spinning, leaving the world a lifeless husk.

It would be three years before the effects became wide spread, before people realized that the colonists had gone to repopulate the species, and the rest of them had been left to die.

So Callista prayed, that this ark would work as it should, because everything depended on it.

The Toss of a Coin

Bonus entry because I forgot to post this on Monday! This story is based on the city image below, which I interpreted as a city flying through space. I tried to get as much of a feeling for the city as I could into 250 words, and you can read about Sienna, who has to make a choice about what she wants from her life and what she is willing to give up to get it.


Sienna had heard stories about a time when the great cities used to reside on a planet they called Earth. It was said that there was once was so much land, that one was allowed to walk on the dirt.


Sienna worked on the engines, below the lake hologram, and she had never been allowed to so much as see the limited supply of dirt they had aboard the City of New York, let alone touch it.


She had only left her level a handful of time, and she wondered what the city looked like from the high towers, with the stars passing them by. Did they have more tickets up there, or better luck maybe?


She looked down at the red token in her hand indicating her ticket had not won the lottery. There would be no child for her this year, and with one year left of eligibility, there would likely never be one if she stayed.


There was another choice though, in six months the New York would make it’s next planet stop, and they could leave then, join a group of settlers and try to make a go of it.


She flipped the token in the air. Name up, and she would sign up for resettlement. Number up, and she would tell her husband that she wouldn’t go.


The token hit the ground, and she picked it up without looking. She made her decision, and now she would have to live with it.

The Perfectionist

I have to start with May the 4th be with you! This week’s six sentence story prompt by girlontheedge was CONTROL, and it got weird. What started with a perfectionist researcher being interrupted turned a little strange, and well it’s up to you if you want to interpret this as horror/fantasy or take it as a metaphor.


The sounds of Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 came from a waterproof speaker mounted high in the corner of the lab, the only deviation in an otherwise textbook set-up.

The lab equipment was all stored as precisely as if it were a demo rather than a working lab, and the few samples being worked on were set up on an immaculate bench top, all labelled with perfectly legible capital letters, all spaced exactly one inch apart.

The scientist working on them also appeared picture ready, with nary a hair out of place as she methodically reviewed her data, making notations in her lab book with a precise print that almost looked typed, and only when she was sure that every detail had been captured did she move onto the next step in her procedure.

Then HE stepped into the lab, him in his open toed shoes, stopping the music, waving his hands as if he wasn’t surrounded by fragile equipment, and all hell broke loose when he finally made contact, her sense of control shattering along with the glassware.

She turned, snarling, her hair bursting from it’s tie as the strands turned to snakes ready to devour their prey, claws escaping through the tips of her gloves, and he barely had a chance to widen his eyes in horror before it was all over.

Three hours later the lab was back to it’s impeccable state, Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 drifted from the recently sterilised speaker as she stepped inside, freshly showered in a new lab-coat and gloves, she was ready to resume her work without interruption, and the only attention she gave to the now bulging biohazard bag was a note in her lab book to have it scheduled for removal when she was finished for the day.


Side note, going forward theses are moving to Wednesday’s and the Short Stories will be moving to Friday’s.