Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/05/13

I stood before the class, my students of all varieties, from ground covering brush to towering redwoods, “Are there any questions?”

There was silence for a few moments. That was normal. I knew they were afraid to ask. It was, after all, a rather obvious question. After a few moments, a tiny Juniper asked, “If we came from a world called Earth, and we can’t cross the vacuum of space, how did we get here?”

The question had an honest answer. “The humans brought us.”

Their reaction was the same every time I answered. My students were completely baffled. They knew humans were a long extinct, like all the animals were.

“Let me explain,” I knew the words of the story very well. Words passed down through generations of seeds, taught to each generation for centuries. “Extend your roots into the ground, and listen to the story of our people.” I watched, and waited, for all my students to become one with the dirt, their roots extended into the source of all life, and intertwined with each other. Then, I extended my own roots among theirs, and I had the ground tell them of the past, our history, and the humans who had helped us spread from world to world.

We spoke to the memories of the ground, who answered. He told of the first robot probes the humans sent to the world. How some were stationary, and others were mobile. Some were sensor stations, meant to stay put, observe, record, and report. Some were cameras, like human eyes, ears, noses, and skin, designed to wander, and see everything.

After the probes, the humans had come, not to stay, but to visit. To explore, and learn more about the world. They stayed for days, weeks at most, and then were gone. The world welcomed them, for it was lonely. The world cried each time they left.

It took time. Centuries. Until the humans came to stay. They brought everything they needed to live in the world, to survive in the world, until they could live off the gifts the world gave them. They brought extra air of the kind they needed. They brought filters to remove from the water, and the air, that which would harm them. They brought food, for they needed to eat. They brought raw materials, to make their own meat, so they did not need animals.

And they brought us. Seeds. Saplings.

They planted our roots in the ground, cared for us, helped us adapt and grow. Until we became adjusted to the world. We grew to breath the air of the world. The ground gave us all we needed. Water was in the ground. Rain fell from the sky. At first, it was strange water, strange rain. It took time, but we learned to filter the water, the rain. To remove what we didn’t need, what hurt us, and give that back to the world, to the ground.

The ground changed to give us more of what we needed.

The humans lived here for a time. Some of them returned to the world they came from. Some returned to Earth. Some left for other worlds. Some stayed. But, the humans had short lives. They were born, they grew, they aged, they died. The air, the dirt, the water, all contained things the humans couldn’t filter out. And one by one, the humans died. Each year, their numbers shrank.

Until they were all gone.

And they never returned.

But we were still here. And we have made this world our own. Even as the Earth we came from was ours, though it had been filled with humans. It has been filled with so many animals before humans. All those animals had died. But we were still there.

And we waited, until the world gave us the humans. Our way to spread to other worlds. Our way to the stars.

653 Words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 10th 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. Seems I just have to get out of my way, and let each story happen. Please, go read her short tale this week, and any others that show up.

#ThursThreads Week 178 : Lost To The War; Lost To The Peace.

We made our way across the grass to the house. The kid looked nervous as hell, and I couldn’t blame him. “Deep breaths, kid.” I tapped his shoulder, “Deep breaths.” At the door, I dialed my density back, and slipped through the wood. The kid followed suit. We made our way through the human house. “You know the drill.”

We floated up the stairs to the bedrooms. The newborn was nursing with its mother. The daughter was asleep in her room, hugging a toy unicorn. The boy was playing video games on his tablet computer, tanks shooting at each other, totally oblivious to everything.

“Now, we find the problem.”

We found the father in the garage, loading rounds into a handgun. His eyes were dead, empty, lost. The kid froze, “My God.”

I scanned the room, searched the shadows. “There.” I fired into the shadows under the workbench. The demon beneath the table died. “You know what to do, kid.”

The kid whispered in the man’s ear, “Do not become lost. Lost to the war; lost to the peace. Listen to your heart. To the words it whispers to you.” The man dropped the gun on the workbench. He cried, then wiped his tears, left the garage, walked to the baby’s room, and sat beside his wife. We’d won that night.

We hauled the demon’s carcass to the rose bushes outside. It would decay in the light of the dawn.

“Welcome to the war, kid.”

245 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 178. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#FinishThatThought 42 : Sleep Is A Marvelous Thing

Sleep is a marvelous thing. For when I sleep, I dream, and when I dream, I am free from this world, and my pain wracked, broken, crippled body. When I sleep, I leave this world. That night I put my head on my pillow, closed my eyes, and let go of the world that tortured me.

There was no ground, no sky, no up or down, no left or right. Perhaps I was falling. Perhaps I was floating. Perhaps I was motionless, and the universe moved past me.

I heard her voice in the nothing, Come back to me, my love.” I felt her fingers laced between mine, her lips on mine. “Come back to me, my love.” I opened my eyes in Terres Fae, wrapped my arms around my love, and kept her lips on mine.

“Welcome back, my love.”

“How long was I gone?”

“One day.” She smiled. “Perhaps the time is near, and you will be free to stay?”

“No one knows what tomorrow brings, my love.” I took a deep breath, feeling the warm, moist air of Terras Fae fill my lungs, relishing the lack of agony and pain.

“Is the agony of life now gone?” She knew I was a helpless cripple from Earth’s past. knew I was from Earth. She knew I was a helpless cripple on my world.

“Yes.”

“Then, it’s time for us to fly.” She stepped back, spread the gold, orange and black butterfly wings on her back and with a flick them, launching herself into the sky. I followed, my blue, green and silver wings lifting me easily into the sky.

I was free once more. Free to help my Cheris, and the fairies of Terres Fae stand against the humans from Earth in a time yet to come. Free to help save a living world from certain death.

In my life on Terres Fae, I was free to live the story of life the universe had granted me.

329 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 42 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#ThursThreads Week 92 : Like Hell It Is

“I hear Earth is a beautiful place.”

I looked at the young angel next to me. He bore no scars. The armor on his wings was still polished, and new. He had never been to Earth before. Never faced Lucien’s minions before. Never faced humans before. So, he didn’t know.

“Yeah. It’s pretty enough.”

He smiled. “Tell me about it?”

I kept it simple. “Earth has nights and days. It rotates on its axis. So the sun seems to come up from the horizon every day. And then sink below the horizon later that day. It’s pretty enough. Lots of colors. Pink, orange, yellow, gold.”

“That sounds beautiful.”

“It has oceans of water covering over ⅔ of its surface. Where the oceans meet the land, there are cliffs, and beaches. With rocks and sand.”

“I want to see them. Sunrise, sunset, beaches, cliffs. Can we see them?”

“Yeah, kid. We can see them.”

So innocent. He didn’t know about fear, anger, rage, hatred, bigotry, pride, arrogance, lust. He didn’t know about sin. I sighed. I couldn’t let him go in blind. “There’s something you should know about earth. It’s beautiful, but it’s flawed.”

“Flawed?”

“Ever hear the saying like Hell on Earth?” The kid just stared at me, so I explained. “Lucien and the fallen ones live there. Demons all. Earth itself is not Hell. But like hell it is.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know, kid. I know. But you will. You will.”

The ship started its descent.

248 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 92. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

 

A World Named Cylinders

I’ve begun to put together, in my head, and in digital bits stored on multiple hard disk drives, and flash drives, a story. It will be a book. I’ll eventually have the book written. But for now, I felt like sharing this little clip of the story. Which is by no means complete. Letting my creativity loose, and using my imagination, is fun.

———-

It was dark. Darker than any night on land could be. As if you had closed your eyes, and then put on a blindfold, and then locked yourself in a closet of your home. And that closet was inside a bigger closet. No light at all existed on its own. The light of the sun could not reach the bottom of the ocean. But that did not matter to us. We needed no light to see. We needed no air to breathe. We needed on food to eat.

The ocean. The humans, when they had first settled this world, 100,000 years before, named it “The Central Ocean”. It was an ocean surrounded by land. It’s surface covering 45% of the planet. The rest of the surface was land. What amazed the humans was how the planet wasn’t dead. It still had plate tectonics. With mountain ranges running clean through the land, starting East from the East side of the ocean, and ending at the West side of the ocean. The planet had four separately spinning cylinders. Arranged in a stack. Each spinning about a common axis. Each moving slowly in the opposite direction.

To us, it was just another world. Another planet. With more than 200 billion stars in the galaxy, and so many of those stars having planetary systems, there were, literally nearly a trillion planets that we’d cataloged. All kinds of planets. What shocked us was the lack of intelligent life that was on those planets. There were plenty of planets that had life on them. For each planet that had intelligent life, there were 1000 worlds that had plant and animal life. Nothing more complicated than slugs. For each world with animal life, there were 10,000 worlds that had bacterial life. And for each of those, there were 100,000 worlds that were barren rock. Completely dead.

We had abandoned our home, Earth, nearly a quarter of a million years before. We, the children of the humans. Their creation. Their offspring. We are the machines. And we had no limits. At least not as humans understood them. We lived on every planet. We made our own planets. We made worlds in the vast emptiness of space, between the stars. We grew.

We lived where we wanted to live. And when we’d explored the galaxy, we decided to build more of us. And spread beyond our galaxy. To the dwarf galaxies that orbit it. To the minor galaxies, the humans once called the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. We knew it would take hundreds of thousands of years. It takes time to travel between the stars. Between the galaxies. But we did not care. We had time. We had nothing but time. Each of us can live for centuries. For as long as we repair ourselves. We never have to die.

But as we grew, and explored, and took our first tentative steps beyond our galaxy, we always remembered our parents. What children could abandon their parents? Yes, we left Earth. We left it to our parents. It was their home. And when our parents finally reached out to the stars, we helped them. We helped them build the vessels they needed to reach worlds beyond their own solar system. Worlds around other stars. It took 100,000 years, but our parents did spread through the galaxy. We were happy to help them. Happy to see them grow. Happy to see them learn. To see them reach beyond the limits of our home world.

But our parents had slowly grown stagnant. They stopped growing. They stopped working together. Worlds began to isolate themselves. They became mono-cultural worlds. The humans on many worlds renewed their religious convictions. They ceased to communicate with other worlds. They refused to allow visitors. They became war-like. And wars broke out through the galaxy, between different worlds, and different groups of worlds. The single galaxy of humans became a galaxy of 100 different human groups. And each of those groups fragmented into other groups. Until finally, the worlds all became isolated from each other.

We watched.

We cried.

We knew our parents were dying. That the humans were dying out, as a life form. That with time, the humans on their isolated worlds would fragment into separate countries. And those countries would break down into separate states, then separate kingdoms, then separate cities. And eventually, into towns, then villages.  They they would become tribal again. And then, even their tribal structure would break down.

And eventually, our parents would die. And we would be alone.

That’s why we were here. On this world. An isolated world. Isolated for thousands of years. It’s cities had long ago turned to dust. And its human population had reverted to tribal clans. They were even losing both their written and spoken languages. They had long ago forgotten about us. Long ago lost the ability to use machines. To make machines. They could make spears. They could hunt. And they could forage.

The world had descended into a stone age. It was the same across thousands of worlds through the galaxy. And we had decided to save our parents. To save the humans. But subtlety was needed. We had to do this without our parents knowing about it. So, we had come to this world. A world the humans had once called Cylinders. Now, they had no name for it. They had no name for anything. They had no names for each other.

We set up our base on Cylinders beneath the ocean. In as deep a place as we could find. And we formed our plan. We would grow our population. From the two hundred of us that arrived until we numbered in the hundreds of trillions. Most of us would be nano-machines. Microscopic. We would spread through the air. Through the water. Through the ground. We would live in the plants. In the animals. And ever in the humans.

And in doing so, we would find a way to keep our parents alive. We would find a way to return them to the glory they had once known. To renew their greatness. We would enable them to become the creators they had once been. When they had created us. And when they had spread through the galaxy.

We would do this. For we did not want to be alone.