These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.
I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month. The prompt was “The stars stood on standby”. Mostly it gave me this horrible sense of foreboding so that is where I am letting it take the story which the prompts are dictating to a degree.
Stella rolled the smooth white pebble between her fingers as she watched the sea lapping at her feet. The sky seemed to melt into the grey of the water and it was hard to tell where one started and the other ended.
“So where to now Jess?” she asked not looking up. “What are we meant to do?” It would be dark soon and the nights were getting colder.
At 18 Jess was 5 few years older than she was, so her natural instinct was to let her make all the decisions. Jess had found her scavenging for food in one of the empty houses in the neighbourhood and helped her to bury her parents and had looked after her ever since.
“I’m not really sure Stella” she answered looking up and down the pebbled beach “we probably need somewhere to settle in for a few days to rest up and then work out how we get off planet.”
“You think we need to leave?” Stella answered throwing the pebble into the sea. “You really don’t think things are going to get better then?”
She really liked Stella, she was a good kid and had been through a lot but despite all the death and destruction things still seemed to surprise her. Stella envied that about her.
“The Transporters are all shut down and we haven’t seen any sign of Fed forces for weeks now. They’ve abandoned us for sure. There aren’t even any Fed instructions coming through on the short wave anymore.”
“But why would they leave us Jess” Stella asked looking confused. “The government are meant to be making everything better.”
“Stella…” her voice trailed away as she looked up at the sky, the clouds parting and stars already visible in the inky black of night. “Stars Stella” she said pointing. Jess looked up and smiled.
“Dad knew all about the stars” she said. “He used to take me up to the observatory in the summer and teach me all about them.”
“Do you know which they are then?” Jess asked.
Stella laughed, “No I just went because it meant I could stay up past bedtime and it was a chance to spend time with him.”
“I think it might be Sirius” Jess said smiling. “I remember from school that it was the brightest.”
They both stood quietly for a while. The idea of school and family and a normal life seemed such a distant memory now.
“Are stars supposed to move” Jess asked breaking the silence, the sky now rapidly turning dark. “Because that really does look like it’s getting bigger”
“Do you think it could be someone coming to rescue us?” Jess asked, her voice filled with hope.
“Maybe sure, why not” said Stella. “We’re not sick so why wouldn’t they want to help us.”
The light in the sky grew brighter still and was soon surrounded by others and a silhouette began to emerge high in the atmosphere. The
“That’s no star Stella, that’s a ship of some sort.” Jess said excited. It’s pretty high up but it’s definitely a Fed ship. No one else has anything that big.” It had been weeks since they had seen anything up in the sky, or on land for that matter and Jess knew a Fed battle ship when she saw one. They were always on the news a few years ago when they made first contact with the Genaris and everybody thought it was going to be the end of the world.
Jess walked forward as if to try get a better look, the waves lapping at her feet and covering her boots. “Its huge Jess” she said smiling. “They surely have room for us” and she began to wave her arms.
Stella laughed. “Jess, Jess they can’t see us from up there. They’re miles and miles up.”
“Yes” Jess answered. “But at least they’ve returned and that’s surely a good thing. She stepped into the shallow surf and took Stella’s hand and squeezed it gently. “Don’t worry Jess” she said, her voice calm. “It will all be over soon.”