Tag: nature

Planet B

Pictures sent back from early probes had only partially prepared her for how much the new planet looked like Earth. Well… how much it looked like Earth before they’d all fucked it up.

Planet B had been hailed by many back home as a miracle. It had been discovered by an expedition that had run in to technically difficulties and drifted off course, so Sarah saw it as more of a happy accident. They had spotted a small planet that looked a lot like Earth from a distance. Later investigations found that it was a lot smaller, but it had water and a similar atmosphere and that was all most people on Earth had needed to hear. We were saved. Old planet be damned.

The landing was smooth, as if the new earth had been waiting to cradle their shuttle. There was cheering inside the craft and all the way back home in the NASA base. Sarah wondered if this was being broadcast to everyone like the moonlandings. Would there be someone watching from the comfort of a sofa, thinking it was all a hoax and that she was an actor?

The doors opened. She saw grass. And trees, much smaller than the ones back home. They had landed next to a large cliff face that cast a shadow over the land. But above them, two suns were shining in an almost cloudless sky. Everything looked still, with only a little breeze to rustle branches.

Isaac leaped out in front of her. He leaped too enthusiastically and tumbled down the steps. “Fucking hell,” he said over her radio. “Can confirm gravity is the exact fucking same here.”

Fucking hell?” she repeated. “Is that really what you just said stepping on to a new planet? Is that really going to be our ‘One small step for man…’?”

“Hadn’t thought of that,” he admitted. “Sorry.”

She shrugged it off and stepped out to join him.

They walked away from their shuttle for the first time in years. Sarah ran. It felt good to run again. She reached the bottom of the cliff face. She looked up. There were a series of vines, growing like a large web all over it. They moved in the wind, but everything was perfectly still.

“Don’t see many animals here,” she heard Isaac over the radio. “Wonder why that is.”

“Haven’t evolved yet?” she suggested.

And then she looked to her left and saw someone staring back at her. Isaac heard her gasp. “You alright? Sarah? You alright?”

“Yeah,” her heart was in her mouth. “Isaac there are people here…”

Another face appeared in a well-concealed hole in the rock. And then another one. They had large, dark eyes and what appeared to be a kind of beak. Their skin looked a lot like human skin, except it was leafy-green in colour. The one she had made eye contact with let out a screech that set the rest of them off. She jumped back.

Were they trying to scare her off? Were they threatening her?

It sounded more like screams of terror… were they afraid of her?

Leafy-green arms shot out of the cliff.

“Sarah!” Isaac’s voice was panicked. “Run.

She looked back. Their ship was gone, devoured by the earth while she wasn’t looking. Isaac was sinking down into it. He screamed. She could hear his bones crunch. She ran towards the cliff. Something bit her foot. She jumped. A hand grabbed hers and helped her scramble up until she was balancing on the cliff.

She climbed up the precipice, the vines making a kind of ladder for her. The ground rumbled underneath her, digesting its latest snack. Worried faces peered out at her until she reached a hole in the rock that was big enough for her to fit through.

The people native to this planet had built an entire civilisation in this rock and now she was trapped here. She sat down and stared at the place her ship and her crew mate had been. It was now just flat and peaceful ground. Like they’d never even landed.

How could she send a message back home? How could warn them that Planet B was ready to swallow up anyone who set foot on it?

via Daily Prompt:Planet

White Rose

A single white rose grew in a field of daisies.

She knew she was not like the others.

She grew taller than they did

And lacked their happy yellow centre

Her petals were too big.

 

When children came to make flower crowns

From daisies that were so easily chained

They looked but did not pick her,

For they knew she was substandard

Her stem was too thick.

 

A boy ran to catch up with his sister

Dropping a daisy chain near the rose

She watched them wither and realised

Picked daisies never came back 

And so she grew thorns.

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

The Faerie Pools

He came across the Faerie Pools at dusk. The water shimmered and sparkled underneath a fading sun. He sat down on one of the rocks nearby to take a picture and drink a can of beer he’d brought out with him for moments just like this. The water was so clear, unpolluted. Here, away from all of the big city lights he finally understood the meaning of the phrase “fresh air”. He breathed deep.

He watched the sun set slowly behind a mountain and stood up to return to his rented holiday cottage. The toe of his left boot knocked his empty can in to the pool. Ooops. He looked down. It was deeper than he expected. There was no sign of the can. He almost turned to leave when something else caught his eye.

A woman with silvery-blue skin smiled up at him. Her eyes were orange and yellow like the sunset. She was so beautiful. Was she real? She was so still… a statue perhaps? He knelt down to take a better look. She started to laugh. It rose to the surface and escaped in bubbles. It sounded perfect, so warm. She began to swim up towards him and he leaned closer still. It was getting dark, but that didn’t matter to him any more. She was all he wanted. His nose touched the surface.

They found his body the next morning. Nobody could work out what the holiday maker had been doing out so late, there was alcohol in his system but no beer can in sight. All the locals agreed it was a terrible shame and so strange for a man to drown in such a shallow pool of water.

via Daily Prompt: Shallow

 

Roots

On their first date they each planted a tree. Two, tiny saplings that they weren’t sure would survive.

She went off to University and he got a job in the City, but the tress grew all the same. Years passed them by. His job took him to another City and she went travelling for a while. He wrote books while she climbed mountains and studied elephants in the wild.

When they were old and grey they met again. They marvelled at how their trees had grown so beautifully, side by side and independently, but forever rooted in the same love.

via Daily Prompt: Roots

Judgement

She could see the truth of everyone, read souls in a way that nobody else could. When someone opened up to her (which they didn’t always mean to do) she was greeted by a light and a dark wolf. They would fight viciously over which of them was the most honest. One was always stronger and better fed, but both would lose all the same.

Tired and defeated the light and dark wolves would step aside. Out would step a gray wolf. And that would be the truth.

via Daily Prompt: Gray

Birdwatcher

Her first word was “bird.” Then came “beak” and “wings” and, most impressively, “feathers”.

As she grew she became an avid birdwatcher. She didn’t know them by their Latin names or type, but by personality and movement. She learned which ones she would see at night and which ones came during the day. There were many she would only see during certain months of the year and she wondered where they went for the rest.

She wished to go with them and fly away from her humdrum life. She watched them from her cage and envied their freedom.

 

via Daily Prompt: Avid

The Forest at the End of the World

We stood at the entrance to the Forest at the End of the World. The trees were impossibly tall and thick, but there was a clear path trodden through it. Exotic plants covered the forest floor in an array of colours unlike anything I had ever seen. It smelt different to other forests too and nothing like the humid, earthy smell of a jungle. It was far sweeter, a mixture of all the fruit juices in the world. However, not all of the flowers produced a scent. The breeze which rippled through the undergrowth was created by the flowers themselves. They breathed soft music into the air. It was barely audible, a quietly beautiful melody which every time I came close to picking up on would shift and change. Different harmonies and tunes intertwined with one another into something so beautiful it almost made me cry.
“Nature’s Song,” said our guide, seeing my expression. “Always changing, always playing. Never repeats itself.”
“Never?”I repeated. He shook his head. “Do they ever stop?”
“Aye…they will…and it’ll be a sad day for us all when they do.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you hear how quiet they are?” he looked around sadly. “They never used to be that way. The more natural beauty we destroy, the quieter they get. The day these flowers stop singin’ will be judgement day for us all.”

via Daily Prompt: Harmony