Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TA DA! One Full Year Complete! [Prompt: Stairwell in the forest]

*Bowing* A blog post every single day in 2013. Every. Single. Day.

Thanks to so many of you for your encouragement over the past year. Special thanks to the many artists on deviantart.com and elsewhere who have so generously allowed me to share their inspiring images with you. And to Anne for sharing much of this adventure with me. I’ve really appreciated your creativity and support.

Still ruminating on the blog’s direction in 2014. But for now, one last story to round out the year. Enjoy!

Prompt: Stairwell in the forest

Thanks to “psdeluxe” for permission to share his beautiful image, “Forest”!

Dabren followed about twenty paces to Kingla’s left, sweeping his scanner side to side as they crept through the ancient forest. They had pulled off their helmets but kept the atmo films over their nose and mouth.

Technically they could breathe the oxygen-rich air, but it was hard to concentrate. When he got that much oxygen, all he wanted to do was take her back to the pod and…well, it was better to keep the film on.

He could tell by Kingla’s jerky motions that she was getting frustrated. Her whole career was riding on this venture. He was just the engineer keeping things going. She had the research community – and the rest of the galaxy – waiting with bated breath for their findings.

Which so far had been zilch. Nothing. No sign of HLS – high level sentient life forms – at any of their target landings. If they didn’t find something soon, they’d get recalled, and Kingla would be a laughingstock. A failure of epic proportions.

So yeah, the stakes were high, and she was wound tight as a coil on the pod’s engines. He cut her a lot of slack when she snapped at him, which she did frequently. She always made it up to him in the dark.

They entered a clearing in the trees. Kingla followed the curve of the water stream away from the pool, intent on her scanner. Dabren heard wind sweep through the leaves overhead and looked up from his own scanner. And stared.

“Kingla,” he said softly.

“Kingla!” He almost shouted. She turned around, a retort on her lips, whitened by the film. Her jaw relaxed and her eyes widened. He would have laughed if he didn’t feel the same way.

Steps. A curving staircase. Ancient. Rotting wood. He wouldn’t dare to climb it. Covered in moss, they curved around the far side of the pool.

His scanner trembled in his hand as he followed the line of the staircase. He thought it ended against the massive tree on the opposite side of the pool. But it didn’t. It ended in midair.

He glanced over at Kingla. She was moving toward the steps. “Kingla, don’t! It could fall apart before we have a chance to study it!”

She didn’t turn around. “I’m not an idiot. I don’t plan to step on it. Go back and get the gear pack. I want to climb up that tree next to it.”

“But it’s not—”

“Not attached,” she breathed as she came close enough to see. “Where does it go?”

Good question.

To be continued, perhaps…

Dogs in house
Houdini, Maize, Malachi

Time writing
~30 minutes, interrupted

December word count

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