33 comments

Dec 11, 2020

Sad Science Fiction Speculative

Title: I'm Not at Home

Author: Haripriya


Authors Note: Hello everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic Friday and had a great week! Since I am really fond of the genre of science-fiction, I thought that this story was going to be perfect when picking which one to write. I went on a different route in this story, but all in all, tried to make everything fit the prompt. Hopefully, this choice was a good one! I hope you like the way I approached this prompt, and I hope you all have a blast reading!


Preface:ย 

During the 21st century, a lot of things have happened. Things that shouldn't have happened. Things that would have never happened if humans were just a bit more careful with everything they do. If humans ever learned that their actions can cause terrible consequences. Sadly, scientists could do nothing to stop the spread, because this wasn't some of the humans, but humans from all across the world. Millions and billions of people never listened and caused all of this to happen. Now no one could do anything but move to a different planet.ย 

Though scientists couldn't figure out how to stop Earth from becoming a non-habitable planet, they did find out how to transfer all the humans to another planet, Mars. All the scientists from the world teamed up to do this mission, they had some time to figure out the spaceships and to bring natural resources, things like food and water. Oxygen masks for everyone, and more things to make sure everyone would be safe and secure during this dangerous mission.ย 

Each country had a "boarding time" for everyone to bring the necessities, things like clothes, and other things for any human to live. When the Earth was getting more and more dangerous for people to breathe inโ€”even for a mere second. The political leaders, scientists, doctors, and other people working on this mission tried to calm everyone down and to prevent them from thinking pessimistic thoughts.ย 

But surely, everyone in the world finally teamed up for a good cause, because people all fit into the space pods and were on Mars. Obviously, the astronauts checked if they had oxygen masks, and if everything was fine in the pod. Who was driving the space pod? Well, one astronaut was placed into each space pod, and the people who were in a space pod and had no astronauts left were given an AI space pod. It would fly by itself.ย 

Soon, much time later, everyone in the world reached Mars. Didn't the water dry up on Mars? Yes and no. But now, meaning before the entire catastrophe ever happened, more and more robots were sent to Mars to dig up the surface and check for mineral components and composition. As robots did that, they found humongous chunks of ice beneath the surface. This was an exciting discovery for the scientists, so before all the common folks came here, chosen astronauts and scientists found the waterโ€”knowing that the water wasn't drinkableย yet,ย made an invention to purify this water completely, and making it harmless for our body when drinking.ย 

Soon humans orย Martiansย had a good set-up of life. Though things won't ever be the same anymore, their new life on Mars shouldn't be that bad. After all, humans were the ones who caused this and temporarily fixed this issue. But now, not only the home planet has changed, but humans themselves have changed a lot.ย 

The ancestors, meaning the humans who actually witnessed everything happening to Earth were the only ones who stayed in a "normal form". The kids who were being born had a different type of form, because of the different settings. Before, as humans referred to the term "aliens" or "extraterrestrial beings/things" was once considered a fantasy, but now becoming a reality. As more and more peopleโ€”aliensย were born, more of them forgot about the planet Earth. Humans soon became history, and so did the idea of living on Earth.

Not only did humans change physically, but also changed emotionally and mentally. Now, no one knows how to feel angry, rage, and sadness. No one knows what frustration and feeling loathe is. Everyone has stopped being selfish and started to be kind and thoughtful of others. Showing selflessness and caring about others. Since there are no cities and bid buildings like there was on Earth. It's almost like this is round two of the Martian civilization. It was almost like the entire world just started over again. Like the entire universe just played the repeat button. All these Martian tribes are living like the early nomads on Earth.ย 

Now, what is this story about? Who is this story about? Well, this story is about an old human-alien, who had witnessed the entire cataclysm, was now living on Mars. He has started to get used to the idea of living on this new planet. But still cannot get over the fact that Earth looks like Venus. All hot and burned up, and can almost see the bumpy atmosphere from a distance. He couldn't believe all the things that happened throughout his sixty-five years of his life. Alas, no one can blame him. No one remembers living on Earth, because there are only a few people left who remember the crisis. The rest are people born on Mars. Who doesn't know anything about another life on another planet?

The sad man has only a choice to bottle up his feelings because the other Martians won't understand what he is saying. This story is about how he conquers his emotions, and soon does somethingโ€”something he shouldn't have, but was tired of being the only one who knew this. Lewis, the old man's name, used to have a family back on Earth, but now, that's all lost in thisย newย world. If only things would go back to the way it used to, Lewis would feel much happier.

The Story:

Every day I wake up from the uncomfortable rusts of Mars's atmosphere. Back on Earth, I had a lovely home, a lovely life, with my family, and my friends. Here, I am stuck with an alien-looking species. Making me feel all alone, and miserable. I feel like I don't belong on this red planet at all. I should have just died, like the rest of my family. I shouldn't have come here.

ย If only people, folks like me, listened to scientists, going on and on about recycling and reusing things. If only we considered all these things, just maybe we could have saved the Earth.

ย What kind of a man am I? Being alive after watching my home die? I shouldn't be here. I just wish someone would have the faintest memory of this tragedy. No matter how hard I try to fit in this world, I just can't acclimate here. Even if I do, I'll always remember Earth. I'll never forgive myself for being a cause, and effecting my planet badly.ย 

Oh how badly I wish for things to go back to how it was before. Oh if only that ever happened to my life. It's not easy being stuck with these people all day, and possibly until I close my eyes forever.ย 

I am not interested to live a life full of regret, sadness, and misery. Knowing that I could have done something to help it survive. But it was out of anyone's hands to do that. Honestly, in retrospect, I don't even know how Earth survived this long! It was a miracle. With all the deforestation, air pollution, fossil fuels being burned, climate change, Earth had a limit for surviving these things. So, I guess we are 99.9% the reason why the once earth's habitable atmosphere has become filled with toxic gas.ย 

Unfortunately, not even a single bit of a living organism can even survive there anymore. Plus, the water has also dried up because of how hot Earth had become. All of these things were a factor to consider.

I was only a ten-year-old boy when this happened. At that time, I didn't know why any of this ever happened. My father was a scientist, and my mother worked in a hospital. I also had a little sister who was five at the time. She was a sweet girl. But, I was the only survivor in my family.ย 

My father and mother died from being outside too much and risking their lives. They couldn't wear masks all the time, so ended up inhaling the gas Earth was producing. But my sister, she...I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to look after her. Frankly, I didn't even know how to properly take care of myself. That fateful day, I and her were playing, and when I was getting a snack for us in the kitchen, apparently the ball had gone outside. She didn't know and...went to pick up the ball without the mask.

When I came back from the kitchen to give it to her, it was too late. I put on my mask and went to call the ambulance, but that same day they told me my parents were also in the ambulance. I couldn't bear all of this. I was dreadful.ย 

I could've at least saved my sister. Why did I have to take such a long time in the kitchen?ย 

After that dayโ€”meaning the evacuation, I went alone. I didn't want to go with anyone. Actually, the people controlling the space pods couldn't even care less about who was going in, because they couldn't see themselves in the rapid crowd.ย 

I don't know why I remember this, but the family who was sitting with me were kind people. Though I faintly remember their names and faces, I still remember the kind gestures they had done. They gave me food, water, and made me feel a little comfortable. I remember feeling a little happier. The frown had disappeared on my face that day when I was with them. I was more of a faux pas, an introvert, but I felt like I could easily open up to this family. Somehow, they felt like magical people to me. Almost like they were sent to accompany me, to make me feel a bit happier.ย 

Sadly, I have never seen them to this day. Though I do hope that their entire family is safe. The little baby, who was just a couple of months old was sleeping so soundly, and I could still remember seeing it sleep. Looking at her reminded me of little Lilly, back when she was just an infant. I remember playing games with her, and feeding baby food for her, though I used to always eat some of her food.ย 

Feeling like the happiest five-year-old boy in the entire universe. I even swore to protect her for all my life, a promise which I easily broke. But all these memories come to me in an instant, like a flashback. It was always good to recollect the times I spend on Earth, and the good memories my and my family shared with each other. Though they may not be with me physically, they're in my heart, always.

Suddenly, I feel my lips, slowly trying to smile a little bit after many, many years. For the first couple of minutes, it did hurt a little, but after that, I kind of got the hang of how to smile. I prayed for these memories to always be with me, forever.

I couldn't dwell upon the past forever. I had to move on at some point in my life. Though it was nice to recollect these warm memories because they made me feel happy in the back of my mind. But it was time for me to spend another day here, and I was going to try and make the most of it.ย 

I yawn and stretch, and officially start my day here.

The usual morning routine for everyone who lives here is just to dig up, find the chunk of ice, and purify it into water. Eating wasn't really a thing for Martians. The only people who actually ate food were when the space pods actually landed on Mars. But soon food did run out, and as new people were born into this planet, they only found water to drink. I first thought that it was quite weird, and unappetizing to only drink water for a day, but soon when I had no food, I started to drink water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.ย 

At first, my stomach would throw up most of the water, and cause stomach pains, but my body adjusted to this liquidy diet from then on.ย 

So I woke up and drank water, and just roamed around here and there, trying to talk to some people for once. Yup, I never really talked to people here, because I didn't know their language, and barely anyone even knows how to speak English. For a couple of years, I couldn't really communicate with them, but hesitantly, I took up a challenge to learn their language. I mean, I needed to have some aim or goal here. Not just waste my life doing absolutely nothing but muttering to myself.ย 

There Martians didn't have an iota of common sense. Didn't know how to do anything, like normal tasks and chores. I couldn't blame them though, because if I was around the early ages or Earth, I wouldn't also be able to do some things modern people could do.ย 

These tribes though weren't that friendly. They would only be nice to others who looked like them. Only be friendly and welcoming to those who wereย Martians.ย They thought that people who looked like me were dangerous people and that they needed to stay away from me.

Whenever I did something fallible, not knowing, of course, they would all start attacking me. I always found it kind of strange, and a little odd. But I tried to forget those moments completely.

If someone were to ask me the difference between humans and Martians, here's how I would explain it.ย 

Humans: Complicated homo sapiens who have many body parts to make who they are, and many complex emotions and feelings.ย 

Martians: Predictable people, who are ready to hurt others for the protection of their own people, and have only a few feelings.

I inferred that since their kind was only starting to develop, they won't have that many complicated features and functions which humans have. But still, living with a group of aliens did seem a little...queer.

Ironically, Martians consider me as an alien, though I am supposed to consider the Martian as an Alien.ย 

As far as I have noticed, these Martians really value their home planet and value each other. But that's not the thing which bothers me the most when living here. It is that I know I can't keep this entire Earth dilemma a secret.ย 

A person has a limit of hiding things and keeping them a secret, don't they? I mean, since no one wants to talk to me, even though it took me a long time to learn Martisian (their language) and be confident enough to start speaking in Martisian. Being all alone in a distant world, a place that will never feel like home to me is not exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life here. I feel so desperate, in keeping all of this a secret. These people need to know that their ancestors were on Earth, don't they?

I just didn't know how, or when to do it. If I keep procrastinating, then I'm going to end up not doing it. But still, this question circles my mind: Isn't it right for them to know?

I mean, if people didn't destroy the Earth, all these "Martians" would still beย humansย and would be on Earth right now, being normal people. So, is it right for me to just sit around here and there and not tell them this secret? How can I just go on and about my day when I used to live on Earth? I wouldn't be a good person if I just kept it all with myself, would I?

My brain was working indefatigably, always trying to forget about my past, about Earth, and try to blend along with these aliens, but somehow, they are just not working.ย 

These Martians are still an inchoate civilization, where they were just learning to express emotions and feelings. No wonder why they are so predictable. Humans are much more than that, they used to be people who do things for goodโ€”or at least we used to be.ย 

No matter how much try to make Mars feel like my home, everything still feels a bit uncanny. But how much longer am I going to keep this all to myself? They have a right to know about humans and the neighboring planet Earth. I have to be the person to take that risk, to take that step, and tell everyone about this. Though at first, they may not listen to me, I shouldn't give up.

I take a big sigh and walk, feeling unabashed, holding my head up high. I walk until I reach the center of Mars.ย 

I talk in Martisian, "My dear fellows, before you Martians, there used to be a species called humans. These people immigrated to Mars because theirโ€”ย myย home planet got destroyed by humans themselves. I know none of you expected that I was from a different place, but this is the truth, and I figured that it was time I told you all about this. I thought it wasn't correct to keep it all to myself, so I just felt the need of telling this to you." I finally end my entire talk and continue walking as I feel the stares from all the Martians.

~The End~


You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

33 comments

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a good Friday and a lovely week! A couple of things to say about the story: 1. This is my first story which hit EXACTLY 3,000 words in Reedsy. Actually, I previously had 3,100 words, but Reedsy made me delete 100 words from the story to make this go to the submission, so...yeah. But, I'm really excited about how you guys think about this story! 2. In this story, I added things like a 'Preface' which just basically means before the story, so that entire part is kind of like the background option fo...

Reply

Show 0 replies
That Asian Creep
12:29 Dec 17, 2020

Hi Haripriya! I love your story... well done :)

Reply

Show 1 reply

WOAH. I've always wanted to do like a science fiction story, but it never turned out as good as yours! This makes me wonder, if this may actually happen in the future. It was sad, but extremely cool. I loved how you described everything, form how us humans went to mars in space pods, to the "alien looking" species. I enjoyed reading this very much!

Reply

Thank you so much for your awesome words!!! I am so glad you liked this story! Also, I know you're stories are great too! :)

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Nora K
21:02 Dec 11, 2020

Hi Haripriya!! YAY!!! Look how high you are on the leaderboard! ๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽŠ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Such a fun and exciting read!! I always love reading your sci-fi stories! Your story was so very creative and unique, an outstanding take on this prompt! Once again, your characters are so fantastic and lifelike, and your descriptions of life on Mars is truly wonderful!! A marvelous job, keep up the fabulous work!! :D -Nora :)

Reply

Thank you so much Nora!! I always LOVE your comments! I am so glad you liked this story! Also, it's because of all of YOU who got me up this high, and I am so thankful for it! :)

Reply

Nora K
23:22 Dec 11, 2020

No problem! You totally deserve it!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ :)

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Grace Jarvis
23:19 Dec 25, 2020

Great read~~ Do you mind reading my latest story and at most providing feedback?

Reply

Oh no problem! I will surely read your stories, and thanks for reading mine!

Reply

Grace Jarvis
02:22 Dec 26, 2020

Thank you~~ Yeah, anytime. I loved it

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Kevin Broccoli
19:51 Dec 21, 2020

I've enjoyed reading your work so much, including going back and reading older pieces. This one felt so polished, I could easily see it being published.

Reply

Wow, wow, wow!!! Your comment has made me so happy! I feel so happy just as if I got my Christmas Presents so early! Thank you so much for being such a kind and sweet person! I really love this comment! Again, thank you! โค๏ธ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜Š

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply