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Sad Speculative Science Fiction


Nothing survives the air,

Nothing except the tin metallic bones threaded through our hearts

to help us breathe in tune with the sky

We’ve become machines, the blood parts of us belonging only to the air

Sometimes, I wonder if the air is already inside,

clogging our minds with hopeless dreams of a shambled future.





 I don’t know how she laughs with the oxygen mask,

tubes and wires and a cart attached to her tiny frame

Each time she smiles, the fog shields her from her breath,

but Ru always smiles and laughs,

an emotion the rest of the world has forgotten to express




 I have an idea of what we should do today

The remnants of the sodden and tear-stained Earth make a mural on our window,

I watch, trying to capture a picture of this moment with my weathered palms,

but it doesn’t all fit, and I remember that today the strings will be

a little loosened so we can breathe without wires. 

We still look awful. 




What do you want to do? 

I want to go outside and walk until I can roll up the world into a blanket.

Why a blanket, Ru? 

So I can wrap it up and give it a hug. I think the world needs a hug.

A hug, and maybe three wishes from a magic lamp,

Forever and ever-revolving like each new ring added to the trees,

life still clings to the remaining weeds of our planet. 





My sister sweeps her hair up into a bun to keep it out of the way,

of her oxygen machine pumping life, to shield it from the air

Soon, in 2 years when she’d be twenty,

she’d work at the manufacturing factory like most everyone else,

except for the teachers, authors, doctors, and astronauts

Before, Ru wanted to be an engineer to construct tall buildings to conquer the skies

Now there are no buildings left, and it is the smoke that conquers

One day, I hope she’ll do more than clean oxygen carts and make new lungs for others

Someday, maybe my sister will become an engineer,

while I stare at my ink-stained pages dripping with truth and fantasies. 





 People only went outside to bury a relative or visit the past

 and Ru wanted to go on a walk amid the shrapnel. 

She was like that, my sister,

the one who was the river and I was the rock

Ru wanted to go places, to better places for the future of humankind,

and I wanted to grit my teeth and stare at

blank manuscripts on my computer

trying to hold her back from the dust among the stars. 





Are we going to check out? 

No, we’re going to check ourselves out, dummy. I’m sure Aileene won’t mind

that we’re going out for a walk. How’re your stories going, May? 

I thought Aileene would most definitely mind, but I swallowed my thoughts,

helping Ru out into the sundried martian landscape our city had become, trying to avoid answering her questions.

The city was discarded by the air, millions of factories and people dead

Dead in an instant, the fog vaporizing trees and buildings, greens and color. 





Because the air and the acrid sky was mad, so it threw a tantrum for the poor Earth,

Humans, the ones we have become

soon will be the only things left, stubborn and blunt, unmovable

Sadly living among the deadened world. 





 It took so much effort to move,

even though the smog hid the dying sun from view

Ru not even noticing or realizing that if one of our machines failed,

we’d be vaporized too, though the air wasn’t that toxic now.

I never knew how much I hated my ancestors until my eyes adjusted to the wasted away

scarred, marred land with only a cemetery dome up ahead

My thin papery skin longed for more vitamins, screaming for sunlight

watching Ru slip back into a depressed state,

And my heart ached for my sister who I couldn’t help to brave the air. 




 My stories? There aren’t any more of those, Ru. The world isn’t the same. 

I think we’ve finally written everything there is to hear. 

We walk aimlessly with no direction, not that there is anything to lead us





It’s unlike Ru to be this patient, to be this unresponsive,

but then I notice her gaze upon the tethered stitched-together sky

She is looking for a boat to sail upon the air’s current like those 

billboards the space station makes out of nylon taped for everyone to read

that they’re looking for volunteers to journey up in space,

For a new home. A new Earth that isn’t dying at human hands

Ru is the river and I am the rock, and I will never leave.




Suddenly she cries out and I stumble,

looking back over the cracked landscape we’d traversed over,

our breath coming heavily, our oxygen pumping faster from the tanks. 

Look, look, I’ve found one May! I knew there would be a chance,

a chance the stories haven’t run out! 




All I see is pastel-chalk terrain until Ru moves my head

to where a small dandelion nestles between the cracks

It should’ve been vaporized like all of nature as I learned in school

but this still lives, and so do the stories. 

She’d been looking for it, this wilting sign of life mirroring,

her visions of a future on a planet besides Earth

like those billboards about habitable planets

right above the oxygen plant factory.




NASA was allowing volunteers to join the cause,

hop aboard spaceships with no destination for a better future,

but I couldn’t imagine deserting the planet we’d destroyed

to go and destroy some other one. 




 Ru picks up the dandelion gently

and closes her eyes, maybe remember the time when the living grasses

covered the Earth, lined with towering trees speckled with 

rows and rows of these dandelions,

Weed-wishers. Weeds that granted long-lost wishes.

I smile as Ru blows on the small puffs

laughing through the mask as

the puffs fly up to join the air we cannot breathe in.


   »──────ஓ๑♥๑ஓ ────── «




 She left in pitch-black darkness

when I was asleep over the wet ink and tousled ideas

where she left me a note consisting of three letters

There are stories 

And then I knew where she had gone,

to brave the billboards and ships to fulfill her dandelion wishes.




 I saw her on the news, heading up the gangplank with over half the population

half the population going up the gangplanks to different spaceships 

launched into space along with my sister,

My sister, the one who wanted to hug the world and become an engineer. 




Their ships scraped the skies and I begged for her to come back,

cried over her bed and added streaks of water to the bedspread

wishing on each cut-up tissue paper dandelion that wouldn’t join the air

that she’d come back to walk with me one last time.


 


One day, it rained hot ash and shrapnel,

her ash. Only Ru’s ash from the spacecraft that exploded

but everyone else was fine

the ones who went in the other ships.

So that day, she really had come back, and it was raining her ash. 

and I went out in the scalding heat,

burning welts into my yellowing skin

to scream and cry and lift my palms to the air to collect her dust. 




And one day, that dust would follow me through the martian-like terrain I wouldn’t leave

and I’d find another dandelion tucked behind a rock

knowing that maybe if I spilled her essence into the Earth trying to grow a piece of color,

My dandelion wish, 

Ru’s and mine alike,

would come to life again. 

April 23, 2021 14:09

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43 comments

Michael Boquet
15:53 Apr 23, 2021

This a haunting story with a hopeful exuberance. Is this the poetic story that you mentioned you didn't think went well? If so, I think you're selling yourself short. I really enjoyed this piece and thought ot was quite beautiful

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21:26 Apr 24, 2021

Thank you so much, Michael! Yeah, this is the one, though I'm happy you liked reading it.

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Hello! This is an absolutely beautiful story!!! The ending was beautiful, so sad with a haunting stlye! Keep it up!

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Hey, was your older name Owly or something?

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16:36 Apr 26, 2021

Yeah, I was owly because I absolutely love owls! I change my name a lot, but hopefully, I'll settle on one someday. *wistful sighing* I do like my current name, though. And thank you so much for your other comment! Looking forward to another amazing story by you.

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Oh! OK! Yeah, I can see that... and I hope you do too! Yeah! Same! WELCOME!!! Awww... thank you!!! ~SS

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12:00 May 01, 2021

:) New story out!!

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OH I'll check it out when I have some time! Thanks for telling me!

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12:40 May 03, 2021

np :)

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Frances Reine
21:42 Apr 23, 2021

Aw, this is so so sweet. 'grow a piece of color', oh my gosh. That's so pretty I could die. It's desperate but peaceful too. It said so much but feels incredibly light in this format. What a beautiful illusion. A real wonder and I love it.

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21:24 Apr 24, 2021

Thank you so much, Frances!! I'm so glad you liked this one...I seriously had my doubts about it😋

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Angel {Readsy}
19:16 Apr 23, 2021

. We walk aimlessly with no direction, not that there is anything to lead us miraculous and sublime line. It is a breathtaking story with astonishing and unbelievable events, keep it up ,great job.

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21:25 Apr 24, 2021

Aw, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

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15:22 Apr 28, 2021

May I ask, what am I staring at? a story? No, no, it doesn't fit, a poem, still insufficient, this, this can only be explained as a majestic piece of art, crafted so skilfully...

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13:07 Apr 29, 2021

:) Aw, you're so sweet!! Thank you so so so much!

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Riya 🌺
21:43 Apr 27, 2021

Ohmygod! I got so happy when they found the dandelion. It's sad to hear that we're the ancestors who are causing global warming. I thought they would find another planet but when the ash part came I was so sad. Your story is so heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time but it's sad to think this truly might be the condition of our lovely Earth. I really like the format of your writing. This was so good!!!!

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Riya 🌺
21:45 Apr 27, 2021

Ugh! I keep commenting on ppl's stories and then forgetting to like them. It's so annoying. Thankfully, I remembered to like yours!

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15:42 Apr 28, 2021

Aw, thank you so so so much!! This comment made my day---and yeah, sometimes I forget to like stories when I comment. I need to remember that :P We really need to take better care of the environment.

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E.C. Nickelson
12:57 Apr 26, 2021

This is truly beautiful and magically haunting, Darling.

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21:25 Apr 26, 2021

Thank you so much, Rose!

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Svara Narasiah
12:10 Apr 26, 2021

Beautiful

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21:26 Apr 26, 2021

❤️❤️❤️

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Eva Bhalla
21:51 Apr 25, 2021

This poem was beautiful and sweet along with detailed, as first confusing a bit but I understood in a bit, I just really loved of how the words were created a picture in my mind. The vocabulary is excellent! Overall very enjoyable!

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21:23 Apr 26, 2021

Thank you!! Hopefully, it wasn't that confusing. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this, though I was debating whether I should submit it or not.

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Eva Bhalla
02:00 Apr 27, 2021

Well I am glad you did submit it!

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Amarah Friedman
18:34 Apr 25, 2021

This is horrifying and beautiful. Your imagery is fantastic, and I got chills when I read the part about raining Ru's ashes. A true earth day story... too true, if we're not careful. May your prose inspire change.

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21:24 Apr 26, 2021

I truly hope this inspires change because this is our future if we don't take care of the environment. Thanks, Amarah. Your comments always make my day :) Honestly, I think I went too dark with the "raining Ru's ashes" part, but whatever. Thanks again!!

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Amarah Friedman
12:45 Apr 27, 2021

Never too dark when it comes to climate change! This is a serious issue with serious consequences. Love reading your stories. Have a great day! :D

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12:25 May 04, 2021

New story is out if you don't mind reading :)

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Monica June
18:08 Apr 25, 2021

I absolutely loved this story. The metaphors were beautiful, and the almost poetic-esque lines gave this story such a unique feel. AMAZING work!!

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21:22 Apr 26, 2021

Aw, thank you so much, Monica! I just wanted to try something new because April is National Poetry Month and I wanted to get this in before the month ended. It's not exactly a short story by reedsy standards, but it's short and it technically tells a story, so...😝

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Monica June
22:17 Apr 26, 2021

I think poetic stories are the best! That's why I like short stories, I can be more poetic than I can be in a full on novel. P.S if you would like to check out the two stories on my page, feedback is appreciated! :)

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04:08 Apr 25, 2021

This is so beautiful, you did a fantastic job. :)

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21:25 Apr 26, 2021

Thank you! (By the way, I love your name!! Carefree chicken!! )

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22:41 Apr 26, 2021

XD thanks!

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Arwen Dove
21:55 Apr 24, 2021

This is a wonderful story! I love it!!

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16:38 Apr 26, 2021

Thank you so much, Arwen!!!! Your stories are always amazing to read. (How on Earth do you write so fast every week?! I'm out of ideas this time)

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Arwen Dove
19:55 Apr 26, 2021

Haha! I love these prompts! ;)

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Ellie Yu
17:15 Apr 23, 2021

This is gorgeous! I love the ethereal vibe that plays throughout the whole piece and the bittersweet ending.

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21:25 Apr 24, 2021

Thank you so much, Ellie! I really appreciate your kind comment :)

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Nyx ⛥
16:03 Apr 23, 2021

I loved the story! very well written and i like how you played with words!

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21:26 Apr 24, 2021

Thanks!

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