Friday, April 4, 2008

Flash Friday the Third

It's that time again, and I'm late. I don't know if I'll be able to do this *every* week, but I shall try. Here was our very first picture prompt:

And here is my contribution . . .


“To your left you will see what is called a painting – an ancient form of art, utilized by humans from pre-history through the late 23rd Earth century. The artist is unknown, but it clearly depicts the first hail of the Alcorian Empire in 2384. The messenger stands with his arms held high, welcoming his kin to their new home. Many believe that this event marked the end of humanity, while Alcorian historians deem it the most important event in our people’s history . . .”

Tasha stared at the vivid swirl of colors before her as the robotic guide’s voice continued down the hallway. “Daddy, how did they do that?” she asked, pulling on her father’s arm and planting her feet.

His whiskers stirred at the question, and he looked down at his inquisitive daughter’s wide black eyes. “They made the colors soft, and then they transferred them onto something hard,” he answered, wrapping a tentacle around her wrist and yanking her forward.

“I’ve never seen those colors,” she said, tilting her head to one side as one of her own tentacles whipped out and coiled about the railing. “Why?”

“Those are colors from above the surface,” he answered gruffly. “Come on.”

“Above the surface?” Tasha wondered aloud, dragged behind her father reluctantly.

“When our people first settled here, the humans lived above, on the ground.”

“What happened to the humans that lived on the ground?” she pursued.

“The ones that did not move underwater with the Alcorians died,” he answered, quickening his stride to catch up with the tour.

“Will I ever see those colors?” Tasha asked, looking back over her shoulder at the painting, now burned into her memory, pasted to the back of her double-eyelids.

Her father stopped and knelt down in front of her. “No, sweetheart, you won’t. Those colors don’t exist anymore. The planet has changed.” He clicked his tongue and lifted her chin when she looked down at the floor between them. “But it’s better this way, don’t you think? We have an endless supply of water. Our people will go on forever, and even the humans have a place to live, here with us.”

Tasha looked down again, and nodded. She remained silent for the rest of the tour. Even though she was very young, she knew that there was more her father wasn’t telling her. She would solve the mystery on her own, she decided. Because she didn’t think it was better at all.

The colors were too beautiful not to be missed.

--422 words


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I love dystopic fiction! So dark, so depressing, so wonderfully cynical. And yet hopeful, too. Usually.

The only thing I can think of as I read this piece is that the whole bit about the colors calls to mind Jeffrey Overstreet's Auralia's Colors. Have you read it yet?

Unhinged said...

Ohhhhh. Love it, Gwennie Girl. I so admire your imagination--it's like an Energizer Bunny.

Wonderfully written. Just wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, Gwen! I like this! You paint a creepy and compelling vision of a post-human world. Paint pun intended! :-D

Gina Ardito said...

Wonderful, Gwen! I was totally enthralled.

Gwen said...

Susan - no, I haven't, but I will definitely check it out. For any others, you can read more about it here:

Andi - thank you honey! *hophophop*

Thomma Lyn & Gina ~ Thanks so much!