So Indie Ink has closed and I’m now taking part in the prompt exchange with scriptic.org. This is my new outlet for fictional writing and I know I haven’t written in a long time, so please feel free to leave (critical but NICE) comments so that I can attempt to improve my writing based on them. Love always and I hope you enjoy this piece!
He loved this time. It was really lunchtime back home, but here, it was time for rest. He was the only one awake, staring out of the windscreen at the vast universe before him. When he was young this dream was an impossibility, a figment in the imagination of a young boy growing up dirt poor, in Queens. Here he was, though, thanks to his generous benefactor, the great Dr. Jacobssen. He was not sure what he had seen in him so many years ago to this day, but that one day in high school was all it took the great man to make up his mind.
He remembered being discovered. He was behind the gym smoking up when this gentle man in dark jeans and a cream blazer with brown leather patches on the elbows rounded the corner. All his friends had run off, but the man just smiled and held his hand out for the doobie. Then he took a long drag, threw it on the muddy grass and ground the handmade glory into oblivion. “that stuff is poison” he had said.
Alarms started going off, rousing Tristan out of his daydreaming. It was simply a proximity warning. The one that kept going off although nothing was there. Where he was there was miles of nothing around him. He leaned forward and turned it off, but just as he was about to lean back, a glowing, neon green spot entered his periphery vision. What was that?!
He stared directly at the little light that floated into full view. It was beautiful and unearthly, with a small body and large extended tentacles reaching gracefully into the nothingness. As soon as the exterior light of the shuttle pointed at it it dove down, suddenly, as if the light were dangerous to it. Fascinated, Tristan ran to either side of the shuttle to see if there were any more, but there were not. Only the deep blackness of the vacuum greeted him.
He sat down thinking he must have imagined it since there was not supposed to be any life where they were. Just as he was close to believing his thoughts, two bright pink dots appeared to his left and quickly moved to the front of the shuttle. Again, when they were hit by the headlight, they seemed to expand briefly and then disappear completely.
Tristan was intrigued. He was definitely not imagining this – what could be nearby? There was nothing on the maps, and this area had been thoroughly investigated before – there was supposed to be no life forms in this area – especially not ethereal light forms like this! He ran to the shuttle dashboard and pushed forward so that the shuttle turned to face downwards. Slowly, the shuttle moved, shivering against the matter around it, its vast headlights moving along the darkness and disappearing into nothingness.
Tristan was disappointed. Not a single neon or ethereal creature appeared. Just vast nothingness. Was he hallucinating? He sat back, puzzled, thinking and drifted back into his memory.
“Where’s my doobie man?1 Did you just step on it?!” he angrily demanded. He swore this man just wanted a drag and now it was gone.
“The one I just gave you dude, that was all my allowance!” Tristan raised his hands in despair, “Shit I don’t even have money for lunch anymore…”
“Sometimes, Tristan, sometimes things are not what you seem, sometimes what is there is not, and what you think is not there, is – it’s just a matter of changing your perspective, finding the key to the puzzle.”
Tristan turned ready to scream at him, but he was gone. He stalked around the gym wall, “I don’t like games man!” But there was no evidence of anyone else being in the vicinity.
Once again, the proximity alarms went off, rousing Tristan out of his daydream stupor. He turned the alarm off, sat back and sighed.
Suddenly, it hit him, the epiphany. His fingers trembling, he reached for the switch and turned of the headlights.
After about a minute of complete darkness, little moving points of coloured light started appearing, one by one, breaking through the depth of the darkness. Each moving slowly around the others, each chasing the darkness away as if the light were a hot knife going through cold butter. Eventually thousands of lights appeared before him. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, thousands of ethereal coloured creatures appearing as though someone was flicking a switch on constantly.
Tristan stood with his mouth open, scared to move or to even breathe too heavily in fear that the lights would disappear. An intriguing world was slowly being revealed to him, one coloured point-like light at a time. Around him the lights revealed coral-like structures, a little city for the ethereal beings to zip into and carry on their daily tasks.
He could not believe what he was seeing and quickly reached to turn on the recorder. Here, in the depths of the sea, on this mundane earth, there was still something new to be found. Here, deep in the bowels of the ocean, he had discovered new lifeform, a new society running itself successfully and peacefully, daily despite all the wars and hatred broiling above them.
“Oh my God.” Tristan whispered to himself, ” There’s a planet here…”
For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, Eric Storch at http://sinistralscribblings.com gave me this prompt: There’s a planet here.
I gave Jester Queen at http://jesterqueen.com this prompt: Write a romantic poem ‘an ode to popcorn‘.