Wednesday 4 December 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 136

This week's picture I could not find a credit for. It doesn't appear that much, but it is all pinterest and no one has said where it is or who owns it. I suspect it could be an infared photograph. But either way it caught my eye.

It took me a while to find an ending to this, but it turned out quite well.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.


She opened her eyes and looked up. She knew what she was seeing couldn’t be real; it had to be an artificial simulation. She was light years from Earth so how could it be real? And where on Earth could blue skies still be seen, let alone trees in blossom. Everything there was poisoned.

But Melissa could feel air on her face and that didn’t happen in AS; the only senses engaged were sight and sound, never smell or touch. Her hand rubbed something soft yet prickly next to her. She looked down and saw green grass. She’d heard of it and seen it in pictures, but its scent sparked something deep in her soul, as though she was connected to it. She picked some blades out with her fingers and brought them to her nose and then her lips. It had a strange texture, stringy, but a refreshing taste.

She slowly sat up. More trees surrounded her. They had a white finish with brown nobbles in them. She touched them and felt the contrast: white silky versus brown rough. Bird sound reached her and high up in ... what were they? Pink flowers? ... she could see movement and hear fluttering.

Wow, the detail was incredible. She wondered who had created this. She tried to recall how she got here. She’d been on an interplanetary placement cruiser. There’d been a delay due to comet activity causing debris. They’d recommended stasis. She’d willingly gone in and now she was here. But where exactly was here?

She stood up and walked forward. If this was an AS she would either hit a wall or walk out of the projection. She put an arm out just in case. But the landscape moved downhill and then opened out into a clearing containing a large pool of water. She walked to its edge. She could hear and smell it. She crouched and put a hand in it, making a splash. The surprise caused her to laugh and the sound didn’t echo as it would in an AS room. It carried away on the air. She’d only experienced that once before, when they touched down on GSP4579. Its atmosphere had allowed them to go helmetless for a time, although the view had been barren and grey unlike this incredible depiction.

It had to be a depiction. Melissa’s brain couldn’t fathom any other explanation. Even if it was real, how did she get here? Although she knew she could be transported in a stasis pod. But where was the pod? She’d woken up on the ground, alone. Where were the others if she had been placed here?

She cupped her hand and brought some of the fluid to her lips. Sweet water. It was beyond delicious; her system hadn’t experienced anything like it – ever. Recyc was what she’d been raised and lived on all her life.

This was madness. Who was doing this?

She stood and looked around her. She seemed to be the sole occupant. She slowly turned, taking in the woods around her. There was no sign of movement anywhere – not from anything big enough to be human.

Then she heard a mechanical sound, an engine of some sort. She saw a craft overhead. It hovered over the area she was standing in as though noticing her. Was it from their ship? She hadn’t seen the pods they carried, but it looked possible. She waved her arms at it only in that moment realising that if she was actually here, and this wasn’t a simulation, she had no idea what she was meant to do.
The craft descended and hovered just a few feet off the ground, a door on the side opened and a familiar face appeared.

‘You okay, Melissa?’

‘Greg! So good to see you. This is real, then?’

‘Yes, it’s GSP6598 – some are calling it Second Earth. But you have your papers, right? With instructions?’

Melissa pulled a face. ‘Nope. No papers, no instructions. I’ve never heard of this place.’

Greg looked shocked. ‘Hold on.’

He disappeared inside the craft then came back to the door.

‘Shit! It looks like they got the names mixed up. It’s a different Melissa. I’m going to need to take you back.’ The craft landed on the ground.

‘That’s a shame, it’s beautiful here.’

‘It is. Maybe you can request it when we get back. But we need to sort this mess out first. Hop in.’

Melissa climbed up into the craft and sat down on one of the four seats available and strapped in. As they lifted off she watched the land fall away under them and hoped she would be returning. This was definitely the placement she wanted.

1 comment :

  1. Love this story, Miranda. It has a wonderfully vivid, mysterious sci-fi feel. I enjoyed every word.