The bridge between imagination and technological advancement, where the dreamer’s vision predicts change, and foreshadows a futuristic reality. Science fiction has the ability to become “science reality”.
Deep Space Fishing
The bright flashing lights blinded him as he awoke. His breathing was deep, each breath sounding like his last. Strapped onto a metal table, his heart began to race. Giant pillars with circuits and wires hung overhead and for some reason, there was classical music in the background.
"Not like the Rest"
CBzz... Bzzz...BZZZ... Kai's phone vibrated louder trying to alert her of the incoming phone call. Kai rolled over, picked up the phone and saw it was her mother. She quickly silenced the phone and got out of bed, knowing already why she was calling, and wanted nothing to do with it. Getting up out of bed, her cat, Fluffie, greeted her with her morning yowl of displeasure at her sleeping in.
“Five more minutes grandma.” Carlos reached for the alarm clock, willing the sound to go away. He hated that fucking thing, but his grandma made the best pancakes, so it was worth it. Except there was no alarm clock. And his grandma had been dead for over twenty years. Clarity filled his head. Silly Carlos, he thought. That was no alarm clock! That was a flash grenade.
Return to Sender
Venus Solar Occlusion Mirror #7 Venus Terraforming Station Cluster January 17, 2534 An insistent beeping noise rose over the steady thrum of machinery coming through the decks of the habitation module. Shohei glanced up from the screen in front of her, raising an eyebrow at the blinking light across the control room. Mentally putting aside the morning report of the four hundred kilometer long station she managed, she looked past it to her new distraction. She braced one foot against the console to her right and shoved off lazily, skating across the floor in her wheeled chair. Reaching out, she tapped to accept the transmission as she gripped the railing at the base of her new console, swinging into place with practiced ease as she spoke.
Interplanetary Sunsets (Chapter 4)
***Before you start reading!*** Check out the first 3 chapters here: https://skycraw25.medium.com/list/interplanetary-sunsets-dc489790ebad
Two minutes to docking. “I'm reading you a little off course Sal. High on the port side. Sending new trajectory info.”
Two men trudged down the trail, kicking up red dust into small clouds behind them. They’d been on the move for hours already and fatigue was beginning to bite at their feet and knees. T turned to look at F. He couldn’t have been much older then himself. Tired, drooping blue eyes betrayed a faint sadness and, like most men in the Wasteland, F’s skin was red and sun damaged. Cracked, dry lips poked through his large, wild beard. His hair was jet black, or it might have been, but grey strands had begun to weave their way through his tattered mane. In style it would’ve been difficult to tell the two men apart, but T had copper hair that glowed in the harsh midday sun. His eyes, more intense than F’s, were an icy and piercing blue. Eyes that looked through you, hard and unyielding.
Author's note: This story features characters that were introduced in Robot Amnesia and portrayed in Robot Remembrance and Robot Refuge. You are invited to acquaint yourself with them by reading those stories here on Vocal:
I almost pulled the marigold. We had just run back to the front in order to meet the pick-up, which me missed anyway and there it was in the middle of the field. Single and lonely. My hands wanted to reach out and grab its subtle petals. It looked so simple. Pluck it, take it and win. It would all be over.
... For A Better Tomorrow
Remembering that time the plain wrapped box had shown up in the post, I thought it was odd, considering there was no return address printed on the label, only the distinctive curls of a double helix. I was a bit on edge, having heard some alarming things on the newsfeed of the time about terrorist attacks, containers of white powder most of the time. I considered the alternatives: Toss it into the trash, turn it in to the authorities for testing or even suiting up in protective gear before opening the box. I had to chuckle at the latter, envisioning myself in a hazmat suit, wearing a gas mask and elbow-high rubber gloves, using the kitchen tongs to gingerly remove the brown paper and open the box.
Sinoah’s eyes cut coldly across the faces of dirty Outliers, positioned on the other side of the Path Between Lands that separates their tribes. She stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Nathan. They wear feathers and bones in their hair, and the teeth of their fallen enemies wound in leather cords around their necks. The symbol of their House, a queen, is tattooed on the outside of their wrists, illustrating their union, and visible as each parent places a hand on a shoulder of their surviving son.
I approached the cashier at Goodwill, basket full of stuffed animals. My basket included a set of sister rabbits, one with a yellow bow and one with a green one, Amber and Anna. A tiny turtle, a care bear with a lucky charm in the center of its belly and a pink dolphin. I didn’t know their names, I just knew I needed them. The cashier rolled her eyes when she saw me and let out an audible exhale.