Before the long journey

Rachael

 

From the gate it was a short walk to the ship, under the high protective dome which had been erected on their arrival the year before. The leader could see his crew was excited: they would find back their cubicles, their personal possessions, holograms, books, games, even the small pets they were allowed to keep on the journey. They would also find, for the lucky ones, messages from family and friends. He looked at each of them, smiling, as they stood before the door, at the foot of the small elevator. They exchanged jokes and greetings. Over half of them were humans, fourth or fifth generation colonists who had volunteered for the reconnaissance of their old world. The others were replicants, but an uninformed observer could not have guessed. He thought the replicants tended to be smaller and somehow more fragile looking, many were women for whom it was the first long range spatial experience. From what his first officer had told him, he knew already that it was them who had been the most agitated until his return. Now they were all boarding slowly and orderly the big ship.

He found the size and glow of the hull pleasing. Two thirds of the vessel were taken up by the drive, the giant fusion reactor that allowed the ship to achieve trans galactic speed. But they would use the much smaller magnetic drive to leave the earth. The leader had several hours of tests and preparations to work through before their departure. He was looking forward to this work. Himself a replicant of the twelfth generation, cosmonauts and navigators, he would steer the ship into orbit, and then out of the solar system. The entire crew, bar himself and the first officer, would then be sent to cryogenic sleep for most of the journey. This would happen about a year after their departure from earth.

As he initiated the first test programs, the leader reflected on their mission. It had been a great success. They had plenty of recordings and measurements. Non-human life was now again plentiful on earth. The machines the previous mission had left to roam the oceans had done  beautiful work of removing and destroying the plastic and other noxious material that polluted them. The atmosphere was clean.

There was more. One of the replicant ladies expected a baby. The first human being conceived on earth for three hundred years.

Picture: Rachael, Blade Runner

Glow #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

frosty-dawn

 

“He said he would come this morning, so have no worries!”

“Without him we are lost, we won’t ever go back home…”

“Just watch the light, soon you will se him, coming down from the top of that hill!”

The valley was still in darkness, but soon it would be dawn. Soon, the leader would be back with his flock. He would guide them to the gate, he would open the gate for them.

After so many months of searching and waiting, they would see it, in all its glory.

They would see the glowing spaceship that would take them home.

 

writephoto

Is there still such a thing as a good (Vampire) story?

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I wrote this post as a quick flash response to #writephoto, and then thought I could build a bit more on the story. But this genre, pace Interview, has been flogged so many times that I have my doubts. Nonetheless the follow-up is here, but one word of warning: some adult content! At this point I am not sure how far I can go with this. Part of the inspiration is indeed in the streets of Berlin, and in the forests of Brandenburg, not so far from this city. As for the characters, let’s say that any resemblance to living persons etc…

Picture: Seestraße at dusk (©2019 Honoré Dupuis)

 

Murmur #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

murmuration

 

“They are swarming, soon they will fly away toward those trees…” I said, “And disappear beyond those clouds…” you replied. It was the end of the long day, we would soon pack for the night, fold the tent, get ready for the hunt. Soon we would need to feed, even if soberly. Your green eyes turned to me. I could see the signs on your skin. I drew the sharp blade, it glittered in the dying light.

We heard an owl. The starlings had disappeared, as you predicted. “I am thirsty.” You said.  A small cut would suffice. As you enlaced me, your arms around my neck,  I saw the red of your beloved lips, felt the despair in your embrace. I held you tight, and as you drank, became as one with the monster in you.

Open #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

thresholds

 

She had received the invitation just two days before. She knew the place, it had a rather dark reputation. But then, one had to chose: the appeal of the dark side, or the fear of the unknown. This was an old house, surrounded by ancient trees. She was not surprised the entrance door was open. There was no sound, no sign of any presence.

The letter had just said the owner would welcome the opportunity to show her the property, as a prospective buyer. So she was. How he – but was it a “he”? – knew that, was a puzzle.

In front of her was a long corridor. Rays of light, it was early summer, pierced through the darkness. Old wood, old walls. The air was cool, a faint smell of decaying roses and beeswax…

When she heard the voice, she knew: it wasn’t a he, “she” was the owner. The witch of her childhood, the shadow of her dreams. The voice was sweet, sweet as poison, coercing her to enter, to walk the long corridor, to meet “her”.

She knew where she was waiting, she’d seen the scene many times in her dreams. The house was open, but there was no return. She had to meet her fate, the fire, the ecstasy, her slavery. As a little girl she had known: there was no escape.

Transition #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

transition

 

I know, you’re hesitating. For good reasons. It looks familiar, the small neat garden, the lavender, the path that leads to the ancient door… Yet, there is something different, or has something changed? You look at the old stones, at the bench, yes the bench, where you used to sit, next to him, waiting for nightfall. Someone still looks after the garden, and it’s not him.

If he were still there, he would be in front of you, welcoming you, welcoming you back. Or would he? After all, much time has passed, much has happened. You haven’t counted the years, of course not. You just know something has changed.

But, perhaps, it’s you? If he were there, at the gate, would you still see him? Would you acknowledge him? Now, look: you’re staying in the shadow, why? You know this place, you were once happy here, weren’t you?

Ha, I see… yes, I understand why you hesitate. You know why he’s not here. You know full well. And now, I am afraid. I am beginning to understand who you really are. Are you inviting me to sit, on the bench, waiting for nightfall? Are you moving me back, to where you were, to where he was… to where I am now?

 

 

Monochrome #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

timbered-building

 

“This is where he lives, I am sure of that…” she said in a low voice as they observed the silent house from afar. The front grass was freshly cut, and although it was already dusk, no light was to be seen through the windows.

“There are lots of them there, in the deep cellars, but we won’t see any until it is much darker.” They looked at the sky and the dark clouds accumulating above the property.

“How old do you think this place is?” he asked finally. Their presence was the outcome of a long search. The origin of the house, the people who had built it, how it was finally acquired by the Count, the whole history was shrouded in mystery.

“It goes back at least to Tudor times,” she replied, “although there is disagreement about the exact dates. The Count’s ancestors had something to do with silver mines in South America, and we know that today he is rumoured to be the CEO of a secretive private equity firm…”

“Now is the time. Whoever commissioned us must have good reasons. They knew this sort of operation don’t come cheap.” They smiled.

Calmly, methodically, they pulled out the Uzis from their sheaves, loaded the guns and undid the security, then they started walking toward the building. Their instructions were simple: there had to be no survivors.

Beneath #writephoto

Beneath

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The ancient oak ponders unfathomable tales; near the bank, the shallow water reflects the evening sky. A little further the small stones shine, enticing: come to us, stranger, we are worth more than gold… Soon the sun will sink, behind the hills. You observe, immobile, waiting. Your steed, warped in your Lord’s colours, is as still as you. Silent dwarves guard your precious luggage. This is your land, and the lake is where lived  the mage, he who knew how to read your future.

Before dawn #fivewords

Weekly Writing Challenge #170

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A late dream,

Don’t I know what to expect!

The storm must have woken me,

And you, dear angel,

Are still fast asleep…

Yet I know: the Enemy and his minions strike before dawn,

Hiding their hideous shapes 

Behind the windows’ frames

I wrap myself in your gown,

And swear at them. 

 

Picture: from this fantastic site: http://darkdreams.centerblog.net/1396-les-nagas

at: http://darkdreams.centerblog.net

Bone #writephoto

Bone

skull

 

This can’t be real… No, of course not, this is a game… That object there, yes, that skull, they think, it may be a gate, you know, some kind of key, to get somewhere else? This is a  game, of course. But it may also be a trap, something really nasty, that blows up in your face, you know…

I observe the fools from my observatory on the low hill, the sniper rifle comfortably cradled against my shoulder. I see all three of them, hideous trolls. I know what they are saying, in their vernacular. “This must be a game…” Idiots.

The first one, one disgusting character, approaches the skull. The bullet takes him right in the eye as he’s about to touch the bone. One down.

The other two look around, there is no escape, nowhere to hide, they don’t even run. I take my time. No unnecessary cruelty. A quick and neat death. Job done.

And it’s not even a real bone!