I’ve been on a big sci-fi kick lately. Not only in my own writing (I know you’ve only ever seen sci-fi from me, but I do fantasy and *gasp* even contemporary too,) but in my reading. I’ve just finished Citadel: First Colony by J. Kevin Tumlinson, @kevintumlinson and have started Gabriel’s Return by Steve Umstead, @SteveUmstead. Reviews forthcoming.
Anyhoo, I was very pleased to see today’s prompt come up in the random word generator. I had fun with it. Did you? Well these five people certainly did. Our guest judge, Sessha Batto, @SesshaBatto, picked the following five finalists:
Congrats to our finalists! Their entries are below so read and vote if you please. Then come back tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern to see who wins!
Billy swept his arm across the table with a petulant scream. “No!” His toys scattered across the room, bouncing off the walls and settling into the deep pile of the shag carpeting.
“If you’re not going to treat your toys any better, we’re not getting you more,” his grandmother said, carefully picking each wood orb out of the sea of avocado green.
“Good!” Billy screamed. “These toys are stupid!”
His parents were gone for the day, and he knew grandma wouldn’t punish him. She never did. She simply returned the toys to the low table. He looked at them with his freckled nose crinkled in disgust. None of these toys would jump or dance or move on their own. He picked one up, gave it a sniff, and tossed it across the room.
“I want my toys!”
“These are better than your toys,” his grandmother said, yet again retrieving the forsaken. “You just have to learn how to play with them. Watch.”
She set the orb on the table, and stared at it. Billy crossed his arms and frumped. “It’s not doin’ anything!”
The colors on the orb grew, split, merged. Billy fought against his wonder, he would not admit these toys were cool. But a single “wooow” slipped out. His grandmother looked, approvingly.
“Here. Try it for yourself. You just have to focus on what you want it to do.”
The ball had a big patch of green amid all the blue. As he stared, it split up, verdant chunks dancing over the surface. He giggled when they would smash into each other. As he watched, the small orb lit up, first at the edges of green and blue, then all over. All at once, the lights went out.
“The game ended.”
“Did I win?”
His grandmother took the small planet from him, and examined it closely. “You did very well, for your first time.”
I sit and look up at the sky in the night and think about planets. I wonder if she is up there, on our home planet, doing the same thing and wondering if I survived the journey.
The away team planned for a crash. We brought supplies to sustain us for three years and seeds and air generators to build a greenhouse should a return journey be impossible. We have what we need to live out the rest of our lives here, especially after finding this planet so lush and vibrant.
The away team never anticipated the difference in magnetic fields being so vast as to disable our communications equipment. If only a bonfire would suffice, I’d build one so tall it would touch the clouds for you.
I wonder what they’re doing back home on Targlan. Their atmosphere is becoming choked and heated while we lie here enjoying pristine waters and air so clean you can taste it.
Is the New Targlan Search Expedition Council telling the world that we’re still on our way, that our signal is strong and we’re reposting good things? Propaganda. Can it be they have no idea we’ve landed?
I close my eyes and send my thoughts to you Alisnya and will you to hear me. I am here, my love. I have survived. I’ve found the perfect place for us to build a small cabin next to the most beautiful stream of clean drinkable water. And the lifeforms here, my world! If you could see it with your own eyes you’d still not believe it. I dream of you coming here. We’ll live off the land and do all the things our world never did to nurture the land as we do.
Until we meet eyes again, I love you.
“And here we have a nice one,” the salesman said, pointing out the window of the spaceship. “Three large rings and four moons that present just the most breathtaking sunsets you can ever imagine. The sun is a bright yellow, much like your native system, and the atmosphere is compatible with you and your species.”
“Wow, that really is a fantastic view,” Adam said, looking at the planet slowly rotating below them. “But, I dunno… it’s just a little… over the top. We just want something simple, but beautiful. You know, large oceans, large land masses for farming, islands for vacations, that sort of thing. Our people are just looking to settle down, start fresh. You have anything like that?”
“I think I do,” the blue man said, a smile crossing both his mouths. “Come with me.”
They walked down a corridor and through another teleportation tube, where the salesman showed them another window. Below was a stunningly beautiful blue green ball of a world. It had a single moon, and a yellow sun shining over the horizon, highlighting the seas and oceans. It was breathtaking.
“I think you’ll find this has all the requirements you’re looking for,” the salesman said.
“Well, what do you think, honey?” Adam said, turning to his wife.
“It’s perfect,” Eve said. “We’ll take it. What’s it called?”
“It’s called Earth,” the salesman said, smiling again. “And I’m glad you like it. We’ll get the paper work all set up for you, if you’ll just come with me.”
She stood in her office, wanting a moment alone. She smiled, standing at her window, overlooking the city below. Her office graced the highest floor, in the highest skyscraper. Angie swore she could see the curve of the earth. Any higher, she’d be orbiting with the planets.
Taking a sip of champagne, she gave herself a mental pat on the back. After all, she deserved this promotion. She’d worked too hard for it. The group of office croonies she now was the boss of were half-heartedly celebrating her rise to the top in the main offices. But, she didn’t want to celebrate with them. No. Angie wanted to celebrate with Mr. Wallace.
Ah, but Mr. Wallace wouldn’t have celebrated her success. No. He wouldn’t have even given her the job, what with it originally being his and all. Who gives up a senior V.P position to someone like Angie?
So, while everyone smiled in her face while silently throwing daggers with their eyes, lying to her with praise, Mr. Wallace was nowhere to be found. He would never come back to this office again. Or any other office.
What with him being dead and all…
Ah, the real reason for Angie’s celebration. She remembered being in this office weeks ago. Standing here, threatening Mr. Wallace because he wouldn’t give her what she deserved. His life. His office. So, she pushed him out of it.
59 floors is a long way to fall. And wouldn’t he know it?
So, maybe in a way, Mr. Wallace did celebrate with Angie after all. And he went all out. Boy, did he go out with a bang.
But, no one else knew. That was the real reason to sip on champagne, enjoy a nice view, and chuckle under her breath at all her success.
“Which ones are the planets?” little Jane asked as she pointed up to the stars in the dark sky. We lay on a blanket on the grass in our back yard. My little daughter’s head rested at the crook of my arm.
“I’m not sure, hon. Maybe the larger ones?” I asked, trying to identify one that might help. I shifted slightly, to find more comfort, as the hard ground pressed against my back. The air was warm was warm and still. But the coolness of the grass was comforting.
“Like that one? The one that looks like it’s just above us.”
I still couldn’t tell which one she was pointing at. There were millions of them, riddling the black sky. “Maybe, babe.”
“How about that one?” she moved her arm along the sky, still pointing.
“That looks like a shooting star to me.”
“Nana told me she’ll become one when she dies.”
My throat tightened. It wasn’t much longer before her grandmother would leave us. “Is that what she said?”
Jane nodded. “She said that when she died, she would become a star so she could watch over us every day.”
I sighed. A hot tear, ran down the side of my face into my hair. I shifted my head slightly so she wouldn’t see. “I sure hope she’s right, honey. I really do.”