Sunday, May 23, 2010

another fictional flash

Our writer's group got together earlier this week and we had to do a challenge. Here is mine, whipped off in short order, as usual with these types of exercises.

You had to complete the line, "Maybe it was my imagination, but yesterday I looked through the library window and I thought I saw . . ."


Maybe it was my imagination, but yesterday I looked through the library window and I thought I saw a flash of lightening.

I ignored it, of course, and so did the other three with me who were seated, as I was, in retractable foam chairs. I reasoned that the flash must have been something else. It had to be a vehicle of some sort reflecting the early evening sunlight, or an automated welding unit fixing some structural support beam or other.

I mean it couldn’t be lightening. And there wasn’t any thunder, well at least not any I could hear over the constant hum of the air recirculating units. I called up the novel I was looking for and downloaded it onto my data chip, left the library, took the subterranean tram back to my neighborhood and didn’t give it another thought . . .

. . . until just a few minutes ago.

I turned from the recycler to the meal dispenser when through my unit’s small window there it was, plain as a red day, a streak of lightening. I leaned closer to the triple-pained plasteel window and stared up into the pinkish sky, waiting. And I was not disappointed. The sky lit up like a digicam flash and I saw an actual bolt amid the clouds. When the faint roll of thunder vibrated the walls of my unit, I was shaking with excitement. I noticed that old Henry was outside. He was playing with the oxygen breather strapped to his face, lifting it free then setting in back in place again. He was looking at the sky too.

I got on the linkup quick, and called Alice.

“Hello,” came her almost instant reply. Her unit was even smaller than mine.

“Alice,” I said, excitement bubbling up from within me.

“What, what?” she replied catching my enthusiasm.

Another flash lit the sky, “Oh my god, did you see it? Did you see it?,” I talked quickly staring at the sky in amazement.

“Wow,” came Alice’s pleasantly startled reply. I could see Henry pointing now toward the gathering reddish clouds to some of the neighbors who had joined him outside. Old Henry was as excited as a child. I could tell by the way he was carrying on. I would have joined them myself if I wasn’t currently on the wireless with Alice.

“Do you know what this means?” I asked, knowing full well that Alice knew as well as I.

“No more crease marks around my face!” Alice said, and we both laughed with joy.

Six years since we moved to Mars and always the Terraformers kept promising us that one day soon we could walk outside without breathers. For the first time since settling here, watching more flashes of lightening and the thickening clouds, I began to believe it.

Some day soon was arriving and I couldn’t wait to stroll over the surface of Mars and feel the distant sun on my exposed face.

1 comment:

  1. Zilla's Other Half9:49 am

    Nice short little snapshot. Reads really nicely too. (even if you insist in not putting a 'u' in neighbour)... :)