Jill finds a pretty thing in the snow. She should have left it there.
|Word count: 493
Written for "The Writer's Cramp" 1-18-08
Prompt: Write a story or poem about a strange backyard discovery.
Jill started as she peered out the window by her desk, looking again for the place where she saw the reflected sunlight. There it was again. The sun glinted off something in the snow in the backyard. Strange, she thought, there shouldn't be anything shiny out there. She tilted her head, trying to get a better angle to see what the red glow was that seemed to emanate from a small area on the ground where the tomatoes would be planted in the summer.
Her curiosity piqued, she shook her head and donned her coat and boots to get a closer look. The gleam was brilliant, like a faceted stone. She crunched through the ankle-deep whiteness to the spot where she thought she had seen the sparkle of red.
There it was. Like nothing she had ever seen before. It was a pretty red mirrored sphere resembling a glass Christmas tree ornament, but it scintillated with color when she looked closer. She reached out to pick it up; it was heavier than its size indicated, and she felt it vibrating. She tapped it with her fingernail and heard a hard chinking sound like fine china. Jill looked around, there were no human or animal footprints, or any indication of a way the ball could have been brought into the yard and dropped. She looked up, wondering if maybe a bird dropped it. She shrugged and carried the ball back into the house.
She left the red bauble on the dining room table, but it seemed to have some strange attraction for her as she kept looking over at it from her desk. It seemed to glow with reflected light as she looked at it. She stared and became mesmerized as she smelled a faint aroma of roses, and a low humming sound filled her senses. She rose and walked to the ball, reaching out for it as she came to the table. Her face and outstretched arm were enveloped in a softly throbbing red light as a sense of extreme peace overcame her. She smiled as she sat down at the table and touched the ball. Her body convulsed with pleasure as her finger was pricked by a sharp-tipped appendage that slid from the interior of the sphere. The exchange felt miraculous to Jill for nearly three minutes as it continued, then she fell to the floor convulsing with pleasure. As she lay on the floor, panting and shaking, all she could think of was touching the sphere again. Whatever it was the strange sphere had injected into her hand, Jill wanted more of it.
The ball rose from the table and smashed itself through the kitchen window to the outside, streaming toward the stratosphere, its energy needs thus met. Jill cried in anguish, rising unsteadily to see where the glistening red ball was going. She dropped to the floor, sobbing with the thought that she wouldn't feel that rush again.
The sphere had crashed on this horrid little planet when it veered off-course, and lost its power. There wasn't a proper energy source here, as there were no dissalons, but it sensed the electrical currents held by the creatures that inhabited the ground. It found the larger bipedal ones to be much more useful than the smaller four-legged things when it tasted their blood. It needed a pint to fuel itself for a week. Perhaps this would be a good planet to colonize, as there seemed to be so many of these easy sources of energy to tap. It would be noted in the report to the home planet.