Short Story —
The mist thickened — Brett Barrett shivered in his cocoon.
Planet Enos thumbed her fog at all the Southern Colonies this time of year, as if in protest to their interrupting her per-settlement simplicity — before the landings. Before the swarm. Before the tunnels, the mines. Before the Zimaplanes and Vendicopes that now rattle her surface and agitate her to the core.
Enos wondered — what could she do to shake these strange trespassers?
Brett wondered — what could he to to keep warm, here on the Great Steppe? Far from the civilized colonies.
My husband and I have been reading aloud to one another every evening since the Coronavirus Lock-Down first occurred. Fairy tales, mystery books, memoirs, humor — and I wondered, what if I try my hand at some fiction? I started with a prompt from a photograph I shot on a walk through our quiet, rural neighborhood, and gave myself 15 minutes to rough out the first two handwritten pages. By next day, I had this short story, scribbled in longhand, in my journal.
Here goes my first attempt at fiction writing — an interesting process! Stay safe out there, everyone, and I hope you can set aside some time to create :)) DawnSeeker
2601 — It Happened Through The Light
Brett, born on Claytona, moved here in the second settlement wave, while still in his late teens, seeking fortune as his father and grandfathers had done before him. Enos had more opportunity for the hungry, younger generation, Claytona fairly settled and fully tamed by now, depleted of most of her resources.
Fragile storybooks, prized family treasures, spoke of rabbits and squirrels and talking fairies on “Old Planet Earth”, now barren and burned, they say, after her sun erupted.
Brett had never seen anything on Claytona or Enos, like the lush gardens, forests, animal life, and sea shores from the ancient Earthen lore.
Work. Nowadays, that’s all Brett knew — work and toil and cold. But he wouldn’t return before his contract ran out — that he’d already determined. Disgrace his family, not he! Proud. Stoic. Strong.
Brett reached for It, instinctively, as he had countless times before.
It’s smooth surface reassuring him, even warming him, reminding him of his mother’s love. Not just that, but her faith in him, to keep It safe. Close. This treasured memento of his mother, who died when he was just a boy.
Would things have all gone differently, Brett wondered again, had she not taken ill? So many did — he was lucky to still have his father, uncle, sister.
Before the Viritoid Pandemic broke out, “A cruel act of war,” some speculated; “It was just a matter of time,” others surmised; families and friends were close. Social. Yet once so many started to succumb, the horrible Restrictions began. Schools shut, Laski games, Frenball, even the Baskenwer Tournaments closed — never to open again.
Brett’s Mum had placed It in his hand, before they sent her off to the “Clean House”. Given to her by Grandma Dee, given to her by old Papa Ben, who carried the talisman safe in his pocket during the Great Emigration from Earth.
Earth! Blessed Earth. Brett held tight his treasure, drifting to sleep, dreaming of forests, rivers and creatures from a world he’d never see. A world, sadly, long gone.
Dreams are funny things. Snippets evoke images, emotions, storyline — yet seldom remain intact when the slumbering mind awakes.
Brett’s repeated theme: yearning, always yearning to fill that hidden chasm . . . fleeting hopes . . . dashed delusions of something warm, enduring . . . just out of reach, to shore up the empty void.
Her face. Always her deep, assuring face. Open arms, wide embrace. His head, tears flowing, buried in her wisdom. Her strength. Sweet, calm, soothing.
Somehow, It always contains her, calls her, brings her mystical visitations, as though Brett’s night dreams of her are reality, and his cold hard work in the mines, are the illusion.
Isolated, alone (for the paranoid, Post-Viritoid Restrictions, drone on — interrupting customs and interactions practiced by humans for millennia).
Brett snuggles into his cocoon again . . . again . . . night after night . . . month after month, between grueling shifts of barren toil.
Sleep, his one solace. His one escape.
This night, holding It and drifting off, She came again. But this night, She ushered a warning.
“Sacara! Sacara!” Through tears and grief, She cried, “Sacara! In danger. You must go!”
Memories of Brett’s childhood flooded in — he and Sacara laughing, outside Grandma Dee’s hut, playing in the barren pile of rocks, sand.
Mud pies, tasty desserts. Hide-and-seek among the rock boulders that dotted the landscape there.
Sacara, in danger? Yes, yes! He must help her.
Yes! He must go!
In that instant, Brett felt his spirit separate, soar from his sleeping bodily form. Now he felt himself falling . . .
Falling . . .
Through a tunnel — long, dark, tube-like.
Bells, like the kind that rang outside Grandma Dee’s hut, the Sacred Bells, fashioned after the one’s spoken of from The Old Earth, started peeling, softly at first, growing louder now.
“Sacara!” Fearful. Distraught. Brett’s very soul wept. “I must get to Sacara!”
Right then, he saw The Light. Faint at first. Almost like a mist. But The Light rose, moved closer, and even spoke, transcending time, space.
“My son,” The Light commanded. “Come and see.”
Brett followed The Light, yet he no longer seemed afraid. Instead, he felt overwhelming calm. Peace. Brett’s light just behind, almost touching The Light Guide, soaring together.
Suddenly, Brett found himself back on Claytona, just outside his father’s hut, and followed The Light right through the wall, down the quiet hallway, and through the wall of his sister, Sacara’s, room.
There she lay, white. Stricken.
Off to her right, and a little ways up, another, smaller mist-like light shimmered faintly.
“Give It to her,” The Light Guide said. “Put It in her hand.”
What? Did he still have It, Brett wondered. Or was It left, along with his physical body, back on Enos, in his cocoon?
Hark — to Brett’s surprise, It, too, had turned into Light — brightly shining, in the midst of Brett’s dimly-lit-palm. She had sent It — Sacara needed It, and Brett knew what he must do.
Every hero knows his duty. Every sage knows his path.
His mother had passed It on to him, as She knew her son had needed It. And Brett knew, he must pass It on to Sacara now!
Slowly, glowing, Brett moved to the bedside, and put It — warm as his mother’s embrace, light as a feather — into Sacara’s left hand.
Pulsing brighter now, the faint light above Sacara began to illuminate and grow. Like a comet. Like a nebula.
Then, The Miracle happened!
It, the Light of The Guide, the light of Brett, the light above Sacara, now, all seemed to pulse in unison — a strong, centered, purposeful pulse.
Brett was stunned. He felt the same emotions She evoked in him, when She visited, in his dreams, filling the chasm, the void. The only way to describe the experience: Absolute Love.
Now, the three lights, Brett, Sacara, The Guide, joined by It — the FOUR — seemed to intertwine. Bursting. Glowing. Ringing. Ecstasy. Harmony. Elation! Melding into cosmic conversion capable, Brett thought as he later reminisced, of creating the entire Universe.
“Sacara!” Brett cried.
Her body regaining color, the smaller light no longer above, but IN her now — tears of joy! Sacara quietly wept, It glowing in her hand.
Again, Brett flashed back to his childhood. He and Sacara, Mum and Pop, in the hut, happy. Fed. Warm. The music of the bells, Mum’s lilting voice, a fire crackling in the hearth. Safe. Overjoyed. Home . . .
Next instant, Brett felt himself zipping through the wall, outside the hut, catapulted now, up through the tunnel, into the dark — bells heralding the way, like the old days, at the Laski games. Like cheering crowds, saluting their heroes’ victory.
Up, up, then suddenly, in a shock, back into his sleeping body, Brett awakened — tears of awe in his eyes.
At that very time, Planet Enos felt a stir. What? Sensing something beautiful had happened, a glimmer of hope caused her to momentarily shake off her foggy cold, and allow rays of light to penetrate her surface from her far-off, dim galactic star.
Enos wondered . . . perhaps the trespassers could find redemption? Perhaps they would evolve? Perhaps they could rise in concert with her consciousness, and live in harmony with her cycles . . .
Looking out from his cocoon, Brett felt a strange warmth. A soft light — fog, lifted? Hope restored! But what about his strange, vivid dream?
Brett reached for It, instinctively . . . but It was no longer there.
Relieved. Euphoric. Then It really did happen!, Brett marveled, The visitation, The Light Guide, Sacara. It all happened through The Light!
But who would believe him? Sacara!
Brett reached for his journal, and noted the date: Avril 18, 2601. He would share his dream, his miracle, with Sacara when his work here on Enos, was done.
Yes, Brett determined, even stronger now. He would fulfill his contract. Proud. Stoic. Strong. Yes! He would honor his family’s line.
And Brett knew. And he had faith. Sacara would keep It safe.
- What do you think It was?*
- Why was It important to Brett and his family?
- Who was She (in Brett’s dream)?
- What do you think about The Light Guide?
- What do you think happened in this story?
* Fascinating reading, Talisman, from Wikipedia
Photos: Dawn Jenkins; Light graphic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light
Want to open a Gateway to a new chapter?
Ride along with Dawn and her homegrown horse herd–
Take a Virtual Ride!
Please visit Dawn’s Horse Blog: Soul Horse Ride :))
~~___(\ ~~___(\ ~~___(\
…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\