Monday April 2nd, 2012

The exercise:

Your writing topic for today is: the space station.

Today just kind of slipped by without me taking much notice of it. Sneaky bugger.


I wake to weightlessness.

Floating halfway between my bed and the ceiling, my chest tight and my fingers clenching my sheet, I wonder if I'll ever get used to this. Probably not.

Then again, if things continue as they have been I may not have much longer to adapt.

The gravitational systems had been the first to fail, convulsing to a halt three weeks ago. It had been fun at first, during my waking hours. The kids would have loved it, had any of them survived the attack.

Next to go were the lights, blowing out in spectacular, heart-stopping fashion last week. The never-ending night had been terrifying for a day or two, but then my eyes grew accustomed to the weak starlight stumbling through the exterior windows.

The unexplainable noises have increased since then. I guess the ghosts are more content in the dark.

I suppose I'll know for sure soon enough: the oxygen systems will collapse and then I'll join their ranks at last.


Greg said...

Not the most cheerful space station I've ever come across then! I like the way the narrator is coming to terms with the gradual decay of the station and his inevitable death, though obviously I'm hoping that there's some kind of a rescue out there waiting to happen, just to make the story longer!

The space station
It was probably the most important station on the whole printing production line. Without it they'd have had to go back to thoroughly medieval methods of printing, and back then there had been fewer words, less potential ambiguities and misreadings to occur.
And of course, a good novel shouldn't need the reader to agonise over picking out every word from a seemingly unending list of letters.
Oh yes, the space station was even more important that the hyphenation platform or the punctuation pod.

Iron Bess said...

@Marc - I think your piece jumps out at the reader because of the juxtiposition of the kids having fun when the gravity was going out and the fact that they are dead. Also makes you want to know if the noises are aliens, or bad space guys working on getting in.
@Greg - ha, great twist on space station.

Here's mine

Darrel lay outstretched on the grass, arms crossed under his head, staring up into the blackness of space. He could see the space station moving across the sky it was a fast moving star among all the still ones. His father told him that it was only a matter of time til it lost its battle with grav-ty and fell burning back to Earth killing everyone inside of it. Father knew a lot of stuff like that. Stuff he only shared at home. Stuff which would get him burned alive if he spoke any of it to the wrong people.

Father had told him that only a few years ago he would never have been able to pick out the station, or even the brightest stars from where he was now. The city had been bright with artificial lights back then. Darrel glanced at the closest dead street light and knew in his heart that his father was right. Why would all the streets be lined with these poles with lights on top which mostly were broke and hanging? Mr. Classen, his grade three teacher, at the Sacred Heart of the Weeping Jesus, said that the lights had been put there by God so when they came on the people would know that they were saved. But one night Father had taken him into the basement and showed him how he could get a light bulb to glow by attaching some wires to it. And only the not broke ones would work. Father said it wasn’t magic, or a miracle, it was an invention created by a man called Tom Eddis a long time ago.

Father also told him about the stars, and the planets, and the sat lights, and the space station way up there in the space of God. He said that stars were just like the sun but really, really, really far away. Father said that all of the empty houses around the city weren’t waiting for the dead who was gonna rise up and come back to live in them, he said that once upon a time, a long time ago, they was just regular houses like all the alive ones now. Darrel knew that Teacher was wrong about the houses and Father was right because lots of the Dead Houses were broke just like the lights. Why would Jesus let houses get broke if people had to live in them later? Father said that thousands, and hundreds of houses, and stores, and garages, and schools, and forts had been wrecked by people mad at the government and at smart people because things with money and stuff wasn’t working rightly.

Mother always told Father that he should just be quiet around pitchers because of their ears. Darrel knew that Mother meant him about the ear pitchers cause she always looked at him when she said it. But he was no way going to tell the Jesus Police about Father, never, ever, because he had saw how Mrs. Jameson had screamed and screamed when she was put in the fire pit with all the other Devil worshipers and heathens. And even though it was Sutty Jameson who told on his mom like you were asposed to everyone treated Sutty like he had done the bad thing. And Sutty was always sad too like he missed his mom or something even though she had kept books that wasn’t proved.

Mother called him in to eat just as the space station disappeared from sight. Maybe tomorrow he would ask Father about the people who lived inside of it. Were they bad uns like the Devil worshipers and heathens? Did they know that they was all a gonna burn to death when their house fell out of the sky? But he was gonna ask real secret like so nobody could hear.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@krystin – no FL is where the IN-laws are, settled nicely between Daytona Beach and Orlando. We’re here for my Cutie Patuties’ first spring break.

I’m now half tempted to continue Marc’s story... Well I’ll let him determine if it is or not. *devlish grin*

Space Station

They watched as the lights of the deep space station explode into darkness. Still not a peep from the hulk of what was once a busy port.

“Pity they quarantined Atlantis 13 huh?” Travers spoke up from his post.

“Station shouldn’t have lasted as long,” his father grunted.

“Well someone fed me bad information.”

His father snorted. “You need to use more sources.”

Travers sighed internally. There was no way he’d ever meet his father’s standards. “Life support will shut down in forty-eight hours.”

“Then get the salvage crews in there. I want everything out from the inside before the life support goes out.” His father turned to leave the bridge. “And Traverse,” he called over his shoulder, “kill anyone left alive.”

Yes this is Rachael’s universe – and Travers and his father are space pirates.

Krystin Scott said...

The chamber door slid open and Botanist Sasha Reese stepped into the room.

Sensing her presence the grow lights used to illuminate the lab came to life one after the other in rapid succession.

“Good morning Doctor Reese.”

“And a very good morning to you, L.I.L.Y.. Please begin voice recording.”

“Right away, Dr. Reese.”

Sasha walked to the first of the raised beds.

“Everbearing Strawberries, minimal fruit present. The fruit remains hard and green.”

“Ever bearing my arse.” Sasha exclaimed under her breath.

“Excuse me Dr. Reese? But what do strawberries have to do with your… your arse?”

“Never mind that L.I.L.Y”

Sasha moved on to the second bed.

“Concord Grapes. Lots of new growth. Five months and still no fruit present.”

Sasha sighed “To hell with these grapes. I’ll try a different species.”

The door to the chamber slid open again and botanist Dr. Richard Campbell stepped into the room.

“Good morning Dr. Campbell.”

“Good morning L.I.L.L.Y. How are things going this morning?”

“I’m sorry to report Dr. Campbell that Dr. Reese had decided to send the grapes to hell because her arse is everbearing.”

Marc said...

Greg - nah, I'm pretty sure my narrator is doomed :P

Oh man, just thinking about a novel with no spaces makes my brain hurt. Nice twist on the prompt :)

Iron Bess - thank you, it's always nice to know when something specific works for a reader.

Very intriguing. Lots of world building in there to draw me in, and the tension of something potentially going horrendously wrong at any moment carried right through to the end.

Cathryn - see Greg? Doomed!

Nice continuation from a new perspective. I wonder if my poor narrator will be in any state to fight back when they arrive.

Krystin - hahaha, love it. Playing with words and an AI doing its best to understand is great fun. The intro of a second human character for the punchline was an excellent touch.