by Zombie Doll
A short story based on a random generated topic I received. Star crossed lovers.
After more than a minute, he finally retreated down a path and into a house that looked as if it had been patched together with plywood. He plopped down on a chair in front of a cluttered desk, struck a match, and lit a lantern that was hanging from the wall above his desk. He pulled out a small book, and scribbled down a few sentences in it. His handwriting was messy, and barely readable. One could only tell that he was writing a diary. He slipped the diary back into the drawer he had removed it from, and sat there in thought for a few moments.
“It has been almost three months now since those ships came down from our atmosphere and destroyed everything we knew. ” He bit his lip, nearly drawing blood. “Almost three months since I thought you were coming home. How could I have ever mistaken those devil ships for the shining white ship I watched you leave on? I wonder, are you still out there somewhere? Did they happen to pass by without finding you? How far had your explorations gone, that you might not even know what happened back home?” He slammed his hand down on the desk, sending papers strewing across the floor. “I only hope that you are safe out there.”
Dante stood up slowly, and scuffed his feet over to a mattress on the dusty floor, stepping on the scattered papers as he made his way. He kicked his shoes off, and collapsed onto the mattress, sending a cloud of dust rolling into the air. He was so immune to the sound of the siren by now, that he could fall asleep during it. He closed his eyes, imagining a field of green flowers, and a small country house painted white. He imagined sitting on the porch, holding hands with a beautiful woman whose face was now starting to blur. If only he could find those pictures. That was his last thought before drifting off.
His face was burning. The whole world was burning, and he could feel the fire. It felt like his skin could start melting any second. He tried to cover his eyes, but the light penetrated his hand. It’s a good thing it was a dream, right? His eyes shot open, and he gasped. If only everything that had happened was a dream, and he would leave his house and walk out into a field of flowers. He stared at the ceiling, the hovering dust reminding him that it was still the reality he knew. He let out a long sigh, and started into a fit of coughing. It was extremely hot and dusty today. The sun burned through his makeshift curtains, and created dusty rays of orange light around his room.
He scooted across to the edge of the mattress, and slipped his shoes back on. He made his way to the door, and cracked it open. He stared for a moment, his mouth agape, before stepping outside. The fire was real. It engulfed the sky, burning the clouds. The heat trying to melt his skin. He threw his hand over his face, and peered between his fingers. There was no siren today. Shadows dotted the trash covered street below the hill. All of them fixated on the sky, their faces glowing a bright orange and red.
Dante snapped out of his daze, and retreated back into the house. He grabbed up his journal, and wrote quickly. This time he placed it into a safe, and tucked it under the desk. He jumped into his bed and curled up into a ball, covering his entire body with the blanket.
“This is just a dream. I hope your dreams are happier. I hope you dream of blues and pinks and happy colors. The color of the ocean, or the color of lush green plants. A dream you don’t want to wake from. I am glad you are not here now. I hope your world is beautiful, wherever you may be. Beautiful like you…”
The large white ship shot out of a giant portal that resembled a black hole, its figure warped and distorted at first, before returning to its original form.
“That was a rough jump. I almost thought we wouldn’t make it.” The voice was that of a short female with strawberry blonde hair tied into a tight ponytail. Her face was serious, and her composure was confident. “We should be arriving back at Earth. I’m not sure what to expect…” Her voice cracked slightly, “since we haven’t received any communication from them in over 4 months.” She stood, her arms folded against her chest, staring straight forward at the small dot that was her home planet.
“Lucia, I’m sure it will be fine.” A young lady dressed in uniform chimed in. “The Earth has such great defenses, I’m sure that it was just because we went so far out.”
“I hope you are right.” Lucia replied. “My husband is waiting for me to return.” Her face finally began to show a bit of worry. A voice came over the intercom and announced that the ship would be entering hyper-speed. Lucia made her way over to a seat, and pulled a buckle over her shoulders. Minutes later a countdown started and then all that could be seen through the windows was a blur of light and dark swirling together. After what seemed like an hour, the ship finally emerged, and they were hovering directly over Earth. Lucia, who had her eyes closed tight the whole entirety of the trip, opened them slowly. She stared, unable to comprehend what was before her. What should have been a blue and green planet, was covered in orange and red.
“What is this? Where are we? I thought we were heading home. This… this is Mars, right? No, it’s even too bright to be Mars. Where is this place?” She tried to keep her composure, but lost it when she realized everyone else was staring at the planet with expressions of horror and disbelief on their faces.
“The coordinates are correct…” The girl from earlier whispered. “This is indeed Earth… or at least it was.”
Lucia burst into tears. “No, no, no this cannot be!”
“We are still planning to land.” The pilot yelled. And the ship started dropping slowly through the burning atmosphere. Lucia clenched a fist, watching the burning clouds pass by the windows. When they exited the clouds, she could see that the once green lands were gray and lifeless. She held her tears black, clenching a necklace that was hidden beneath her shirt. She tried to keep some kind of hope. The ship touched down, kicking up an enormous cloud of dust into the air. As it settled, they could see that it wasn’t just dust, but ashes as well.
Half a day later, Lucia was standing atop the hill in front of her old house. Only parts of the house remained, and what had survived was charred and burnt. She took a deep breath and climbed over the rubble into the small room. She knew, even before she checked, what was under the rubble in the corner. She brushed some of it away, and tears streamed down her face. she placed her hand on top of some charred bones, that resembled a human hand. This had been the man she loved, the man she left behind to follow her dreams, the man who had been waiting for her on this god-forsaken planet.
She stayed there for some time, her hand in his, before standing back up. She made her way over to the desk, already knowing that there was probably something there. She searched around, and found the safe. She pulled it out, and brushed the dust and ashes from it. She pulled the necklace from under her shirt, and removed it from her neck. The small charm held the shape of a key. She placed the key in the safe, and it popped open. Inside was the diary. She grabbed it up, her tears staining the pages, and flipped through it. They were all notes to her. The last page fell out onto her lap, and she was able to easily read the scribbled handwriting.
I fear this is the last letter I might write to you. The sky has turned to fire, and the air has turned to ash. It has been harder and harder to breathe lately, but today it even burns my lungs. I only hope that you are safe somewhere. I always see you in my dreams. I hope that someday you will meet me there. We will hold hands, and sit in a green field, enjoying each others silence. I love you, Lucia. I hope that you have found a place with beautiful colors.
Six months later, Lucia found herself sitting on a white porch in front of a white house. She was alone, but she didn’t feel alone. She knew her loving husband was here with her. “Dante. If only you had waited one more month for me. You could have returned to Earthia with me. It’s a beautiful planet, filled with even more Ocean than Earth. There are all happy colors here, and everyone has found out how to smile again. Life is simple currently, but I know that you have always wanted a simple life. I’ve found the place you dreamed of, and I will wait here for the day I will meet you again…”