#FiveSentenceFiction: Forgotten

2001They approach slowly, through the landscape of rocks and dust, their steps forever silent.

It is as was written: the crater pocked by the impact of smaller asteroids, through millennia, and the uniform grey dust.

Their leader holds the white torch high, in their radio they have heard:

The slow rumble, punctuated with short burst of sharp notes, the sound of hyperspace messaging…

And the monolith rises in a shower of dust and rocks, dwarfing the scenery around them: the Sentinel has woken.

#DailyPrompt: Beloved Objects

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Language of Things.”

Nicola AlessandriniCarefully I lay out your weapons on the table, as well as mementoes of our happiness. But those are not mere objects of sentimental memories: they are the travelling companions of what is to come.

For we are changing, mutating. So the thin dagger, the flat, grey handgun in its black leather holster, the smooth crossbow, and the witches’ jewellery, the narrow gold ring, all have their role in our transformation.

For you will become me, and I you, and us, that invincible creature, ready to cross the boundaries of time and space, when time comes.

Image: Nicola Alessandrini

#FiveSentenceFiction: Horizon (the Navigators)

Cassiopeia“In space there is no horizon,” the captain declares, in her intelligent voice, as much to herself as to the duty crew.

You look at me, with the calm eyes of one who knows: soon the captain will read the instructions, and we will ready ourselves  for the long voyage, but only us two know how far we will travel.

Everyone is getting on with their tasks, without haste, as our fragile vessel continues her journey through the night.

… The alert bell rings: an elegant blue hologram floats in the air, and the captain calls the crew to attention.

“I have to communicate to you the new direction we are now to take: we are not turning back, we continue to Epsilon of Cassiopeia, which means over the time horizon, through hyperspace”: the crew falls on their knees, in prayer, you, my love, hold my face in both hands – over the horizon, for us, means eternity…

#FiveSentenceFiction: Waiting

In memory of Arthur C. Clarke (The Sentinel)

SentinelWhen they saw you, they knew, as if eons of time had collapsed into this instant: the smooth surface, the faint light absorbed, the silence.

Space was unforgiving, and you had waited such a long time, in the absolute solitude of the desolated moon.

But now you are awaking, at your feet the small ants look up at you in awe, at the unstoppable thrust, at the slowly revealed mystery.

Rocks fall around you, and you are still, just the apex of this marvel:

A billion year-old artificial satellite.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Sparks

On the shoreAlone on the white beach, above my head the dark blue night sky, and the five moons, I walk, remembering your smile, the fullness of your lips.

It was so long ago, yet the sombre waves still lick the glistening pebbles, their song a melancholy poem to our lost love, o my darling, o my beautiful lover…

Here we walked, enlaced, your hand forever pressing mine, stopping near the edge of the sea – so far away.

On this beach, we stood, defying eternity and the immensity of space, as you told me your secret, and, in awe, I learned the truth about us:

That the fire would never die, and that, on this shore, I would walk forever, looking for you, my immortal love.

#WritersWednesday: the Secret Space, Near You

” But in the end we talked all night. Every story has a time to be told, I convinced her. Otherwise you’ll be forever a prisoner to the secret inside you.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart 

Alone She longed to see him, to hold him as she used to. But he was no longer there, so she looked in other places. No-one can disappear forever, without trace… She tried to convince herself.

He must be somewhere, perhaps still looking after me, perhaps watching our place, smiling at me? Days after days she waited, searching, listening, expecting a sound, his footsteps, his voice. His voice: what would she have given to hear his voice?

One day she decided to go to the little town, the place of his childhood. It was a long journey. She had prepared herself, before entering the small cemetery. All soldiers there. Once they had visited, together, in the heart of an icy winter. She went to the grave.

Alone she stood. The grey stone held her gaze.

Daily Prompt: I Was Here

You are the first astronaut to arrive on a new, uncharted planet. Write the note that you leave to those who come after you.

Shawn Dulaney  - Heavy Sea, 2011 I know that, like me, you will find this place strange and beautiful. Sadly, I won’t be here to share your joy with you, so it is from the bottom of my soul that I want to warn you, for, by the time you arrive here, be it in five centuries, or in five years, or in five millennia, I won’t be here to tell you face to face. I also know that you may not believe me.

This planet is beautiful, of a beauty that I, who has travelled through space and time for eons, have never seen, ever, anywhere else. Perhaps you will find some descriptions of such beauty in novels. Two thirds of the surface is covered with oceans: yes, you read correctly, water! The hills and mountains are covered with seasonal flowers and ancient trees. There are ruins, very old, although some appear more recent. I found the atmosphere clean and, for our kind, breathable. The only worrying measurement I made, was a high level of radioactivity, and this is not background, it comes from the ground. I have not found, in the time I had free to look, a clear explanation. Some volcanoes are still active, but their activity is not recent enough or high enough to explain the high level.

I fear that some terrible events in some antiquity may account for this observation. What I want to say before I go, and this is my warning, is that this world is only inhabited by insects, and some small crustaceans in the oceans, as far as I could find out. With one exception: I met a creature, evidently intelligent, and of some humanoid kind, although wearing what looked like a primitive space suit. That creature gave me twenty four hours of the planet time to leave, or face summary execution. The creature did not give me time to ask questions. “It” quickly disappeared, after warning me that any other following visitors would face the same fate, but this time, without warning. After it had gone, I realised the creature had spoken my tongue without effort or hesitation. I was confounded.

I leave this in the most obvious place for you to find, as it seems some kind of monument that no doubt you will see from space.

Please leave as soon as you have read this.

Image: Shawn Dulaney  – Heavy Sea, 2011

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#FiveSentenceFiction: Highway

Highway At first the darkness was total, and she did not know if she was still in the lab, or already somewhere else, somewhere out of the Unknown that physics was beginning to reveal.

This was the 24th century of the Christian calendar, not that it mattered to Dr. Cecilia Townsend: her interest was science, or more exactly quantum cosmogony, rather than history.

This experiment was her brainchild, the result of years of calculations and debate in the most exclusive community of science geniuses, and observations on Earth with the ever more powerful accelerators, through the colonised part of the solar system, and through the universe, via the powerful telescopes at her disposal.

For Cecilia was famous, indeed more than famous, she was the first World’s President of Science, and the world’s great corporations were crowding her office in Beijing to fund her project.

Now, she was on her way, through the deep folds of space-time, perhaps never to return, or perhaps to come back to a world much older than her.

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#FiveSentenceFiction: Human

Small boy Five moons, grey frozen rocks, no feet, merely a giant caterpillar…

What have I become, I who dreamed of Space, little boy full of fantasies?

Here’s the truth: Space is the Company, at the Frontier, mining, transformed, no longer a sentient being, but a machine.

The Company is good: at least I – the caterpillar – think so, otherwise what would I be doing here?

It is just a little lonely, here, on this rock, on my own, and sometime I feel I am missing something, someone?

#FWF Free Write Friday: The Circle of Life

Aphrodite Space ants, no light, no atmosphere, ersatz of everything, no longer human, dogs of war… In his sleep he remembers…

In the immensity of space, in the cruiser armed to the core, he remembers: a clear stream flowing from high above in the icy air of an alpine Spring, snow still powdering the valleys, and her smile, her lips in the thrall of happiness.

He remembers the glory of the shore in the Summer: the waves licking the golden sand, her body, tanned, naked, the beauty of Aphrodite.

He remembers the colours of Fall, the sweet scent of burning wood, the horses in the fields showing off their winter coat…

He remembers the dead of Winter, when he, with thousands of others like him, embarked on the spaceships launched to stop the Enemy… The long lines of volunteers, the rockets.

He remembers the war, the horror of war.

It is over now: they have triumphed. One out of one thousand is coming back. To Earth, to the Light, to the Seasons, to their long gone Loves.

For Earth is rotating, and Sol is burning, and they, the survivors, are now old men.

Image: courtesy The Classy Polaroid