A short story inspired by a Media Prompt - hope burns brightly for a young couple
|Leah hummed softly to the baby squirming in her arms. The music had the effect she desired.The infant turned his head and closed his eyes, snuggling into his mother’s chest for warmth and comfort. Leah continued to allow the melody to flow from somewhere deep within her, conjuring memories of her mother’s honeyed voice. She had forgotten the words long ago, but it didn’t matter. The song itself was home. A home she would never see again.
As she hunkered down in the ditch, the rushing sound of fire and the staccato crackling of field grasses bursting in the heat grew louder and closer. Marco must have set the torch to the last symbol. It wouldn’t be long now.
Marco was the one who realized that the crop circles appearing in the fields were messages.
“Leah, I believe that if we can send the messages back out to them, they will come for us. The crop circles must be a sign that they know what is going to happen and they are warning us. If we show them that we understand, I believe they will save us,” he had excitedly explained to Leah. “We have to try, our son deserves a future.”
NASA had announced Earth’s imminent collision with Asteroid 12N7 just a few days ago, but they had known of its existence for months. Despite the efforts of the top scientists and a coalition of all the countries with space programs, there was nothing that could be done. They had one shot at the asteroid, but simply did not have the ability to alter its course and there was no more time. No time for second chances, no time for brainstorming new solutions, no time left for humanity.
The Others had been visiting her father’s farm for as long as Leah could remember. Even as a child she watched their bright lights trailing through the night sky and dreamed of traveling out to the stars. The crop circles, however, had been popping up only for the last five years or so - after her father’s death and her marriage to Marco. She had just begun to realize that the timing was not random. Marco had some deeper connection to the Others. Leah could recognize that, even if she didn’t understand it.
And so, when Marco asked her to help him dig the trenches and construct the bonfires in the configurations of the crop circles, she did so without hesitation. “They will be here, Leah. Trust me,” he said.
Somehow, she did trust him. Marco had entered her life just when she needed someone most. They were inseparable almost from the moment they met. With both her mother and father gone, Leah had felt so lost and alone. Marco filled all the holes in her heart with hope. He seemed to know her better than she knew herself. And he never doubted the existence of the Others. If anything, he was more convinced of their presence than she was.
And so, here they were - crouched in a ditch, watching as the fields burned, hoping their future lay in the skies above.
Word Count - 524