Your character, by chance or habit, peers through a telescope. They see something unusual — what is it?
Posted in Dystopian on Oct 26, 2022
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✍️ 54 stories
“The Mistakes We've Made” by Zack Powell
Content warning: Some swearingThe only problem with breaking into your neighbor's house is if someone else beats you to it.The Mastersons are gone for the month, summering in Fiji or Acapulco or wherever people go when they're filthy rich and can afford to flaunt it by using words like "summering." Before leaving, they'd asked me to watch their house. For free, of course. I smiled and told them they had nothing to worry about. It wasn't until their blue Bugatti sped down our dead-end street that I final...
“Eye Spy” by Katharine Widdows
Pete’s feet stuttered through the shop doorway. His hands arced out and caught the corner of the wooden counter before gravity could floor him. Shoulders stiff, head turned away from danger, his knees bent and narrowly missed banging the floor. The stocky pawnbroker in front of him erupted into raucous laughter, one hand over his mouth, the other on his hip.‘Oh, Sir,’ said the infuriating man between giggles. ‘You’re the third one today to trip over that. ‘ere, let me take it up before someone sues me.’ He reached out a ...
“The Forsaken World” by Howard Halsall
Vladimir adjusted his heavy winter jacket as he trudged up the icy metal staircase outside the observation tower. He’d always aimed the Agency’s electro-telescope outwards, beyond the known solar system. Tonight is different. The observatory’s entire structure creaks as its viewing dome rotates one hundred and eighty degrees. Vladimir refocuses on a glimmering blue orb thirty-four million miles away, his home planet’s closest neighbour.#It had been almost two thousand years since the exodus from the third planet. Earth’s ten...
“Who Let the Dogs Out?” by Kathleen Fine
Chandra Lal peers through his telescope at the deep, ebony sky. It’s a clear night, his favorite kind of night for star gazing. Although he’s in an attic and not outside like he would prefer, he’s pushed open the window to get a clearer view above him. He focuses the lens to get a better look at two of the four Jovian moons which rotate around Jupitar. As he turns the tube towards Saturn to see if he can get a glimpse...
“Walterisms” by Maggie Gibbs
“Judy! Judy get in here! You have to see this!” Walter had his 1944 vintage Nash Kelvinator binoculars pressed firmly into his eye sockets, while not so discreetly looking out the window of his study. The leather strap that once was new and sturdy was now coming apart at the studs on the ends and was filled with warped cracks all along its length. Those binoculars had seen so much in their 78 years, and so had Walter.Judy screamed something inaudible from the kitchen amongst the banging of pots and pans. He put the binoc...
“Mosquito Men of the Mata Atlântica” by Craig Westmore
Okay, so there wasn’t actually an astronomy salesman at the store peddling telescopes and promising me a wonderful evening on my balcony watching celestial objects like the moons of Jupiter. I dished out two thousand reais–roughly three hundred and sixty dollars–for a StarBlast refractor telescope because the picture on the box showed a father hovering over his son who looked through the telescope with his lips pursed i...
“Peering Through The "What-If" Telescope” by Kathryn Gabrielle
"I spy, through my telescope's eye, something strange and unusual!""What is that supposed to mean?," a swaggering wise guy asks.A meek geek wearing a striped shirt and broken glasses brightens up and starts rambling. "My name is Norman. Tonight is the night of the Full Moon. I peer through my Big Red Telescope and what do I see? Something very strange and unusual! A world where one exists but are polar opposites. Winter here, Summer there. Shy and awkward here, confident and popular t...
“Negotiations” by L.M. Lydon
“When the red planet transits the constellation of Gemini,” the white-bearded old wizard blathered, “there is an increased probability of windstorms. But when the red planet crosses through Leo, you may expect at least a ten-day of warm, dry air. In particularly dry years, such a transit may signal a lasting drought.” My jaws ached with the effort of keeping the yawn clenched behind my teeth. Finally, I...
“Lunar Apocalypse” by Greg Gillis
Astronomical enthusiast, Walter Higgins, stood with his son, Jason, on the back deck of their Southern California home one evening peering through his Celestron Power Seeker Telescope. The sound of the waves crashing against the pier had a calming affect on Walter. During the day, the beach was crowded with thousands of people, but at night, it was peaceful. That was the time t...
“Cry The Wolfe” by Chris Campbell
ALERT: Childish behaviour and Adult profanity… “JÜRGEN! Kommen Sie!”“What is it?”“Quickly! I can’t believe I’m seeing this!”“Seeing what?”“I was focusing on der exoplanet, Proxima B and I spotted a naked woman on der planet walking away from my view!... Ja! You can see her tucus, look!”“Ridiculous!!? Let me see…”Dr. Jürgen Muller, head of the German branch of SETi - Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, nudged his colleague, Inst...
“Blur” by Jaimee Randall
This telescope has been in the attic for as long as I can remember. It's tall, taller than me and an old sort of metal, shiny silver. It stands in its own space next to the big window right at the end of the room. Right now, the moonlight spilling in from the massive floor to ceiling window shines right on the telescope and makes it look like there's nothing else in the room. I pad softly across the wooden floorbo...
“Doomed” by Murray Burns
Doomed It was a night that quickly became an integral part of the college’s rich oral history, tales of past glorious deeds passed down from class to class over the years. Many of today’s incoming freshman dismiss it out hand, quickly discarding it into the abyss of the laughingly exaggerated, or even the impossible. But those who believe in the impo...
“A Sky So Clear ” by Ruby Bishop
The sky was so clear you could see a million winking stars in an ocean of inky black. The heat from the desert subsided as the night had fallen, which forced her to pull her winter coat and hat on as she set up her telescope in its usual spot. She’d been fascinated with worlds beyond her own since she was old enough to admire the sky. In her pursuit of finding the answers to the unanswerable questions, like are we alone ...
“Absorbed” by Tom Falconer
"God, my heavenly father, I understand you only throw at us what we can endure but how can I recover from this? Of what use am I now that I've failed to protect my family? What is the point of learning from this lesson? What is the point of being stronger, If the people I was supposed to protect: are gone."A bang from the closet shocked me and jarred my concentration— I lost my prayer. I hadn't touched that closet, or heard any noise come out of it in years. I made my way over carefully, snakes appeared in the house from time to...
“Hidden In the Corners” by Alyssa Tsang
The candle-lit room smelled of old pine, musty books and dust, a comforting assault on her senses. Dim light and silence were an enjoyable change from the bustle of jealous and loud colleagues. Wrapped up in a silk dressing gown and a wool jacket, she glimpsed through the telescope. Each planet and star glowing faintly through the glass. "Little star, little planet, where are you? Are you close? Are you far?" She ...
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