Saturday, August 3, 2013

Prompt: Cloud surfing

Zenobio tugged his ropes once more for luck and patted Markham’s helmet. “You ready?” he mouthed, not even bothering with the mike. Markham’s wide eyes were locked on his, and he barely managed a nod. Zenobio grinned with fierce anticipation. He bit the mike. “Okay, little brother. Time to fly.”

He grabbed Markham’s gloved hand and pulled him sideways out of the shuttle, twisting to dive toward Titan’s thick methane clouds. He spread his arms wide and felt Markham follow suit. He let go of Markham’s hand. He felt his brother’s quick panic and turned his head so Markham could see his face. “You can do this, little flyer,” he grinned. Markham’s panic was overtaken by annoyance at the old nickname. He rolled his eyes and waved a jaunty goodbye, jackknifing away from Zenobio with sudden bravado.

They soared through free fall, hundred of meters above the turbulent cloud cover. Zenobio kept a close eye on Markham—he didn’t want to be too far away when they hit. Markham shared his lifetime of adventure experiences on Earth, but this was his first time over Titan, and the methane clouds were a different beast from Earth’s tame water vapor. They had a life of their own.

He bit his mike. “Ready now, pull your cords in three-two-one-now!” Their chutes opened in unison, painted like Guan Jiang Shou, as they swept across the thick, swirling clouds that covered Titan’s equator.

Zenobia had surfed clouds on almost every planet and many moons in the solar system—one of the major benefits of his work as an asteroid miner. Titan was his favorite, but the most challenging by far. The clouds had more consistency and more speed than just about any others. Markham had spent the last three months traveling with him, but this was the first time they had been close enough to bring a shuttle over.


Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Jesse Cook, Free Fall

Time writing:
30 minutes, agonizing!

August word count:

1 comment:

  1. This concludes my experiment of writing names from A to Z over the past several stories. Many have meanings, some are just fun. An exercise to get me away from using "too many J names" as has been observed...

    I am thinking of starting a name database to see what different names I use. In my spare time...