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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2111917-Escapism
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2111917
"Don't you understand? When you give up your dream, you die." A "What's Your Line Entry"
Escapism
inspired by the movie line: "Don't you understand? When you give up your dream, you die." Flashdance (1983)


The sun rolled off the dark cloud tops and fell in a gleaming cascade of jewel-like light until it crashed upon the ground. There, it slowly melted, spreading little warmth but illuminating the ice and snow covered hills.

What a strange dream. He had seen his wife floating in the air, poised above the clouds. There was something foreboding about it. He shook his head and crawled out of the sleeping bag.

A faint humming sound, the fitful wind strumming across the tent's fabric, sent a chill down Rolf's spine, reminding him of the cold and chill that lay just outside. He struck the flint and was gratified to see a small shower of sparks fall onto the kindling. Patience, he reminded himself.

He exhaled softly, his breath ghost-like in the air, nurturing the tiny embers. A small flame rose to his challenge and he fed it small twigs until it was able to sustain life on its own. Faint shadows began to appear on the walls, their grotesque shapes moving in an arcane dance.

Satisfied, Rolf sat back. "There," he proudly announced.

Lucille poked her nose out of the thick fur wrappings. Radiance from the fire glistened on her face, making her eyes shine jewel-like in the shadows.

Rolf let a smile of pleasure find purchase on his face. She is so beautiful came unbidden to his mind. He let the warmth of the fire seep into his body while the warmth of his feelings worked from the inside out.

There was a moment of deja vu, a certainty that this had occurred before ...

The shock of cold water hitting his face brought him back; back to the feel of rope burning his wrists as he hung from a cleat in the ceiling, back to the agony, back to his situation. He stifled a scream of pain as reality swept aside all other thoughts.

He was peripherally aware of the hut, the stick and mud daubed walls, the thatched roof. The scientist part of him assessed his surroundings and what it said about the inhabitants.

Rolf half opened his swollen eyes, taking in the group of skeletal figures back lit by a fire. Beakers. That was what they nicknamed this primitive group because of their bird-like appearance and their unique facial structure. The narrow jaws protruded forward with sharp, cutting edges where teeth would have been on a human.

A buzzing sound broke into his thoughts. So, it begins again.

After a moment's pause, the sound resolved into words as the translator spat out an imitation of human speech. "Why come you here?"

Rolf was part of a xenology group that was assigned to make first contact with the natives of Proxima Centauri P3. Why indeed? he found himself asking. This was not how it was supposed to go.

One of the group came forward, carrying a crude knife made of stone. "No answer?" He took the point of the knife and made a gash across Rolf's chest, the skin splitting open and blood welling up.

The initial contact had been cautious but seemingly friendly. After a week, they had moved from the ship to a makeshift camp in an attempt to mimic the habits of the natives. All had been fine until the first night. The Beakers had attacked them in their sleep. From what Rolf was able to piece together, they were somewhat telepathic ... and human dreams were like acid, burning into their minds with no escape possible for them.

He had tried to explain but ... His thought was interrupted by a second gash, forcing a scream from his lips.

Rolf's mind couldn't focus. Instinctively, he fought back the only way he could. With zen-like concentration, he closed his eyes and ...

The sun rolled off the dark cloud tops and fell in a gleaming cascade of jewel-like light until it crashed upon the ground. There, it slowly melted, spreading little warmth but illuminating the ice and snow covered hills ...

He was oblivious to their screams.



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An entry for "Invalid Item
Prompt: "Don't you understand? When you give up your dream, you die." Flashdance (1983)
Word Count: 666
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