August | 2016 | In This Future Or The Next

Month – August 2016

The Space Beast From the Magnificent Experiment

In the dense atmosphere of Venus, beneath a bronze sky, on a floating fortress left behind from the wars of a distant past, a lone man walked towards his destination. He crossed the hallways speaking quietly to himself, leaving behind a lingering echo.

“It’s not right. It’s not right. It’s not right.” He had been repeating the same words since the day had started, but it was only until he entered the hallway he had begun to say them aloud. Each step brought him closer to the office where the general was waiting for the day to end.

“What are you still doing here?” The general asked as he saw the man in the white coat approaching. “Your transport left an hour ago.”

The scientist stopped at the door and when he spoke the muscles in his throat did not obey him, instead he choked with a puddle of spit.

A moment of silence passed and the general spoke again, knowing why he had a visitor on the last day on Venus. “It’s not up to me, and it’s not up to you, either. You think I don’t care. You think so because I gave the order, but truly, it doesn’t depend on what I want or wish.”

The man standing at the door remained silent, listening to the reply of the question he meant to ask, but couldn’t.

“Is it possible it was a mistake? Yeah… it is. In fact, it’s probable that this whole operation was a mistake. We should have never come here. People died, you know? It’s easy for you to ignore this because you weren’t out there like the rest of them. People died. Why didn’t you come here to beg for their lives? Why are you here now, soul-hurt for the only living thing whose life is a mistake?”

“It’s not right…” The scientist shook his head.

“It’s not. Nothing’s right. Look… I understand okay? It didn’t ask to exist. It didn’t ask to be a part of this. It had no choice, but it’s dangerous. We cannot control it. We cannot guarantee anyone’s safety if we take it with us.”

“Then don’t take it with us! Just let it go, it can survi-”

“And,” the general interrupted, “it’s not up to us. You and I don’t get to decide. Get that into your head. The last transport to Earth leaves in two hours. I’m leaving on it. It’s your last chance to leave. No one’s coming back here, doctor. It doesn’t matter what we do, this place is uninhabitable.”

The scientist took a deep breath. “It’s not right…”

“I know.”

Having listened to the words of the general, the scientist walked away.


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The Man Who Hated the Night

The sky glowed a bright orange. A long cloud drifted in the distance, near the horizon, painted red. Wind blew across the lands and lifted from the ground dirt, and dry leaves, and a few long strands of hair.

A man was sitting, leaning on a boulder, outside his small flaking house. It was the middle of summer and the last rays of sunlight touched his face, and the soft currents of air took the heat away, and his hair fell from his head one strand a time. His eyes had been dried out, and the empty sockets in his head peered into the nothing, and his mouth rested wide open, and his skin turned ever thinner.

“Hello there, Mr. Red,” A man spoke as he walked by the decaying body, “I don’t think I’m gonna make it today either.”

The man with the red shirt, sitting by the boulder, remained silent and dead.

The walking man continued his path into the desert, and the body with the red shirt continued sitting in his place. “I won’t take long.” The walking man said as he left the corpse behind.

The man’s back arched forward, as if holding at its top a load. His stride was slow and his footsteps heavy, and his gaze was set to the disappearing sun.

If he continued walking, he thought, he might postpone the night, and the darkness would not come. If he could keep the sun above him, if only he could walk a little faster, then maybe he’d forget the cold, and he wouldn’t have to shiver. But the sun has always been harsh and distant, and unremorseful in its actions. Never had it waited for him, and never would it wait. The last light shined behind the mountains, drawing with it their outline, showcasing the first of the coming blackness.

“It’s okay,” He said and sighed, and he stopped with a loud thud, “Tomorrow we can try again.”


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