Tag: science fiction

An Ending

In the end, there was only a flooded planet and dying star.

“It was good,” the sun sank towards the sea, her former inferno reduced to a flame in the clouds.

“Perfect,” the sea rose to meet her. She was doused and the sea froze.

Across the universe: a spark, a droplet, a beginning.

 

(Clara, 280 characters)


Written for Twittering Tales

The Last Wisp of the Universe

Since astronomers first looked up at the stars they’ve wondered about the expanse of the universe. The shape. How many galaxies are there? How far does it stretch beyond the observable? Does it have edges?

Not really.

But she does have elbows.

The Lost City

There is a city that can only be found by those who are truly lost.

It starts in your soul, a tiny pin-prick of pain that you don’t notice until it spreads through your veins into your heart. Your body feels wrong and your thoughts are heavy, numb. Everything around you is hazy- like a dream- and you start to walk.

There is a tugging in your chest, an invisible thread has grown from that pin-prick and it’s pulling you somewhere.

You don’t know how you get there, but you stand on the shore of a city that’s shrouded in mist. This is where the lost things are. Buildings tower above you. When you look more closely you see that they are made from old hairpins and forgotten car keys. They have umbrella roofs. Worn glasses surround the windows and as you peer through you see that the room beyond is carpeted with odd socks. Misplaced watches hang on the walls, still ticking in different time zones. There are many phones- and even more phone chargers.

A cat runs past you. You think it looks familiar- one that lived on your street when you were a child, perhaps?

Deeper in to the City you walk past boats and planes, too rusty to leave here now. An engagement ring lies in a gutter and you feel too sad to pick it up. You start to forget which direction you came from. The tops of the buildings are now lost in the thick mist.

A cloaked figure at the end of a dark alleyway hands you a playing card. They walk past. You try to get a better look at them and think you see your own eyes glance back at you, but you can’t be sure.

On the card is written the date you die.

You now have two options- you go home and forget, or you play cards against those who live here. You win- you get more time on Earth and the date on the card changes. You lose- you gain an eternity, but you stay lost forever.


(Vaguely influence by Cecelia Ahern’s “A Place Called Here.”- which is a much more beautiful story about where missing things go and it’s not as weird or creepy.)

via Daily Prompt: Cloaked

The Reflection of You

There’s a parasite that lives behind mirrors. A detailed shadow that stares back at you when you clean your teeth or get caught in the dark screen between episodes of a Netflix show. It watches the way you walk past shop windows. It studies you from reflective surfaces at times when you think nobody is watching. It knows you better than anyone.

If you get too close it will climb through the image of itself in the reflection of your eye.

It won’t kill you right away. It will paralyse your first and take control. You will watch it live your life. Watch it do things you never wanted to. Watch destroy your relationships with people who don’t know it’s not really you. Because why would they?

It looks like you. It talks like you, walks like you. It fixes your hair like you do.

You will die and nobody will know there is a fraud living on in your skin.

via Daily Prompt: Fraud

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

The Wall

I am picking apples in the orchard with my mother again.

There is a high and wide wall that circles my village. You cannot see what lies beyond it, you can only see the blue skies and fluffy clouds above. Whatever exists beyond it is not necessary to us. It has always been this way.

I am the youngest in my village and when I was little it did not strike me as odd that we were walled in, now that I am older all that strikes me as odd is that nobody talks about it. I know why they do not leave, we have no reason to. Everything we could possibly need is provided for us. There are enough green spaces for us to grow crops and keep cattle, we have enough buildings to house our families and there is nothing we need that we cannot trade with one another, or make for ourselves. All I want to know is why we do not acknowledge it. There is no origin story to The Wall- no history or folklore to hold it up. Although it is a constant it is never mentioned. It is like we forget it is there some times. The Wall has faded into the backgrounds of our collective minds, something mundane and every day that we do not notice, like wallpaper.

“Who built The Wall?” I ask my mother. We are out picking apples in the orchard. Again. I only remember to ask because we are on the outskirts of the village, where the wall is closest. She turns to face me and as she does her face flickers in and out of existence. There is a split second where she is featureless and when they return she is frowning. I step away from her, unsure of what I have just seen.

“The what?” she asks.

“Nothing,” I reply. I am frightened to ask her again. She goes back to picking apples, I turn away from her. My feet carry me towards The Wall, although I am unsure why. I start to walk around it. I run my hands along the stone. It is rough.

There are a few points where thick ivy grows up the wall. It never reaches the top, but I have always thought that it is pretty.

There is a small break in the ivy and my fingers brush against something metallic. I move the ivy curtain with one hand. It is here that I find The Gate. It is small and rusty with thick bars set so close together that I cannot see through them. I push on it. To my surprise, it opens and swings out in to nothing.

There are no more fields and green. No more skies and clouds. Just a darkness so impenetrable it could be another wall. I pick a flower that grows next to the wall and throw it as hard as I can. It does not bounce back to me, but it does not fall either. It floats in the void for a moment before it disintegrates. I see every piece that makes it up slip apart and float away from me- tiny squares dissipating into a seemingly eternal night.

They scatter like multicoloured stars. And then there are more of them, more colours exploding out of one another until they come to rest against a window so tall and wide that I cannot see the edges. A girl stares back at me through it, but she is so giant that it takes me a moment to realise she is there. A giant boy is next to her. They are both frowning and so big that they could probably eat me without noticing.

“There’s something wrong,” he says.

“It’s glitching,” she replies. “Just re-start the game.”

I back away from them as she reaches for something below the window. I want to ask them what the game is but I think I already know.

I want to run back to the village and warn everyone, but I’m not sure I’ll make it in time. What could any of us even do about? They will turn us off. Restart. Will I even be me if we start again?

Everything starts to fade. Including me.

There is a high and wide wall that circles my village. You cannot see what lies beyond it, only the blue skies and fluffy clouds above. Whatever lies beyond it does not exist. And perhaps, neither do we.

Blackness. Nothing.

I am out in the orchard picking apples with my mother. Again.

via Daily Prompt: Gate

Breakdown in space

I slammed my fist down on the button again. There was a whirring from deep inside the engine and then a loud, metallic grating noise that sounded like metal teeth grinding against one another.

“Give it up, Saskia, the engine’s knackered.”

I knew the feeling.

“We can’t just sit here and wait, Joel.” I pushed the button again and nothing happened. Joel ignored me and radioed an update on our situation to Ground Control. I looked out at the tiny blue dot that was the home he was radioing too. There was nothing but silence on the other end.

I tried to work out how close we were not the nearest space station. I put out another distress call. Somebody picked it up, but nothing came back.

Our oxygen supply was running low and there was still no word from Earth. The radio crackled infuriatingly every now and then, but there was never any voice on the other end. We conserved our power and our energy as we had been trained to do, but we were really just going through the motions, just sitting in a metal tube waiting to die.

And then there was a knock at the door.

“What the fuck?” Joel sat upright. “No… No it’s can’t be…”

“It’s probably just the metal making noises as the engines are cooling,” I reasoned but then there was another knock and I wasn’t so sure. We went to look out of the porthole together.

A tiny blue creature with three large green eyes floated outside. It stared at us as we stared at it. Then it held up the tool we needed to fix our ship.

Our distress calls had been answered, just not buy our home planet.

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

July Snowfall

Snow began to fall on the 17th of July at exactly 2.04 pm nation-wide. People stopped what they were doing, stared out of office windows, pulled over to the side of the road and got out of their cars to have a look. It started out as just a few light flakes falling gently down, but it soon got heavier. A few minutes later temperatures drastically plummeted and the snowflakes began to lie on the ground.

It didn’t stop snowing for two months. Experts were baffled. Life ground to a halt. It blanketed everything and muffled the world. It was inconvenient, but quite peaceful.

On the 17th of September a dark, oblong mass appeared in the sky above all major towns and cities. Great beings began to descent with the snowflakes. They were large and furry and built for cooler climates.

We were easy to hunt. And the blanket of snow muffled most of our screams.

Via Daily Prompt: Blanket