Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/09/16

“It took us two years to reconstruct this.” I waved what was left of my top right arm at the structure. “Two years to figure out how it all fit together.”

The Emperor butterflies stood on the tree limb, and studied the structure. “It looks incomplete.”

“We have no doubt it is.” The explanation would be complicated, I knew it, so did they. “All the parts we found were petrified wood, and stones. It was basically a pile of rubble.”

“How did we find the parts?”

There’d been a storm that dumped rain for days. “The rains caused flooding. The flooding washed away the dirt that covered it, and left part of it exposed.”

“Wouldn’t it have looked like some rocks?”

I’d wondered that myself. I hadn’t been who found it. A group of wandering crickets found it. They reported it to the ant colony nearby. The ants sent a research group to study the rocks. “What was exposed didn’t look like rocks at all. It was a handful of those rocks covering the top of the structure.”

Rocks that had clearly been manufactured in some way. They were uniform in size. And in shape. All with the same curve. All fit together.

“The ants reported the finding, and an archeological team was sent to investigate.” I’d been the leader of that team. I knew the uniform rocks were not natural. “We started an excavation, and found the rest.”

“And it took two years to reassemble?”

“Yes. Two years. We made many mistakes along the way.”

“Do we know who made it?”

“No, we don’t. We don’t know how old it is either. We do know it’s old. Ancient, in fact. What was left of the wooden posts in the original construction had become petrified. Turned to stone.”

The Emperors knew that took centuries. “Have we continued to excavate the site where it was found?”

“Yes. We have. We found a segment of a road, the same kind found at other sites. And we found a strange figure, made of stone. It’s got butterfly wings, but they are hundreds of times the size of ours. And it stands 70 monarchs tall. Other than the wings, we’ve never seen anything like it. It is bipedal, standing on two limbs, with two other limbs reaching to the sky.”

“Can we explore the reconstruction?”

“By all means. I should mention, however, the interior is mostly empty. We believe the interior was constructed of wood, most of which rotted away, and has long ago become dirt. But a few pieces of petrified wood remained, and they indicate the interior was separated into box shaped units connected by openings.”

“What do we think it is?”

“It’s hard to say, this being the first discovery of its kind. But, comparing it to the size of the roads, and the monoliths discovered elsewhere, and the few wheels we’ve found. We believe this was some kind of living facility. That something lived in this.”

One of the Emperors placed a hand on my shoulder, “You have done excellent work, as we knew you would. We do believe this is a living quarters for something. For the giant bipedal beings that once existed.”

“I wonder if we will ever find any fossil remains of those creatures.”

“Indeed. I hope someday we do. I hope someday we can piece together what happened to them, and why they no longer exist.”

569 words

This is written for Week 72 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/06/04

“So, you agreed ta not tell no one what you seen here, right?” Bubba grinned. “‘Cause they gotta shoot ya if ya tell.”

I nodded. “National security thing, right?”

“Yep. Nashnal secritity,” Bubba grinned, and tapped me on the shoulder. I thought my arm was going to fall off. Bubba was no little guy. I knew, looking at him, he could throw me like a basketball, and I’d probably fly through the air like one.

“Well,” he shrugged, “It’s that time.” He pointed to the entrance to the helicopter, where armed soldiers guarded the line, and people getting on had to be blindfolded first. “Time to put our heads in bags.”

It was pitch black in that bag. I couldn’t see a thing. Not even the texture of the fabric. Once my head was covered, I was escorted into the helicopter, and guided to a seat. Bubba wound up next to me. “Yeah. We ain’t allowed to see where we goin’. Safer that way. Less chance of leaks in stuff.”

The flight was over two hours. I have no idea where we went. I only know what was there, when we got of the flight, and they took off our bags. And I had never imagined anything like it.

“Govmint don’t want nobody knowin’ ‘bout dis.” Bubba rambled as we walked. “Specully them Christian types.” He was a talker, Bubba was. “Get ‘em all pissed off an talkin’ ‘bout it all being a guvmint plot.”

We took a long ride on a rail car, like a tourist train at a park. Maybe 45 or 50 minutes, between hills, and buttes, and plateaus. “Where the fuck are we, Bubba?”

“Maybe sumwheres in Wino-ming, er Knee-vahad. I don’t knows.”

The train stopped at a small station, and we all got out. It was one of the biggest archeological digs I’d ever seen. “Damn, there’s an entire city here!”

“Right!” Bubba bounced up and down, “An it’s fastinatin.”

“But, there aren’t supposed to be any cities here.” It was true. There was no record of a city, with monuments, and brick buildings, and who knew what else, ever having been in North America before the Europeans arrived, and started building them. Just Indians, and others. And their huts, and maybe some mud houses and stuff.

“Day say it’s like 40 thousands old,” Bubba whispered. “Fum long afore we existed.”

I received my assignment, where to dig, how to dig, what to be careful of, and how to report anything I found. I was part of a team. Bubba was part of another team. “Aww, little buddy. They put you on the little detail gang. You don’t get to fine da big stuff.”

“Big stuff?”

“You’ll see.”

And see I did. We were guided to where we were to work. Past all kinds of strange artifacts. What looked like paved, cobblestone roadways, separate homes, with garages. There were strange, huge circular items. “Did those hold pipes together?”

Someone answered, “No one knows.”

“What are they made of.”

The someone grinned. “Carbon fiber.”


“Carbon fiber.” He waved at them. “Fiber composites. Over 40,000 years old. Maybe over 50,000.”

I had nothing to say.

“It’s ancient Earth history. The first proof anyone ever found. Ours is not the first technologically advanced civilization here.”

I stopped, and stared at the pipe segments. “Carbon fiber?”

Someone in my crew piped up, “Yeah. Seems we used to be an advanced civilization.”


“Humans. We played around too much with the environment, though. And it went bad. Triggered all kinds of environmental chaos. Big flood, then big ice age type thing. All but wiped us out. All but wiped out everything.”

A third person spoke, a woman, “It’s why we’re here. The government wants to learn what happened, and see if we are on the same path of destruction. See if we are going to end up the same way.”

That was my first visit to the dig. It was true, I swear. We used to be more advanced, technologically, that we are now. We even learned about settlements on Mars, and the Moon. And, we’d abused the planet.

And Mother Earth killed us all, to survive.

693 Words

Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 13th week. You can read about the challenge here. I continue to enjoy writing for it every week so far. And every week I wonder where the words came from. This week, I’m guessing I’ve been watching Ancient Aliens from the History Channel too much. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up.