Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: space

Hostile Mythologies

When somebody dies a star appears in the night sky. Brilliant flash of commemoration. Makes no sense. Consider how the stars are so far away that it might have taken them tens of thousands of years to traverse thickets and clear-felled expanses of light and darkness to plant themselves on our un-sky-coloured marble. (Sky is black; we are pale blue.) Of course: the causality is wrong. When a star appears, somebody dies. The entire galaxy is instead a sort of gun pointed at our world; each star has a prophecy of death in it, like bullets with names on them.

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New Story about Augury

Dear readers! I have a new story up at The Thrusting Sensations’ blog: thrustingsensations.co.uk/blog/?p=47. You may recall earlier collaborations between me and The Thrusting Sensations resulting in a few stories (/tag/the-thrusting-sensations/). This is a continuation of those. There are more stories like this on their blog, and you should go read it. My story is reproduced below.

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Anchorlust pt. II

It is all about frames of reference. She is moving faster than the asteroid, spinning slower. Two-hundred thousands miles per hour means nothing, when she is inching forward like this, thrust for thrust.

“You’ve been chasing that thing for an hour, come back,” tries someone in the radio room, distantly.

“Not yet.” She comes up next to it. It is spinning out of control. She just needs to reach out and grab it, and simply hold on. She steels herself, spread-eagles and then clasps it.

For a while everything spins, and then she is part of it.

She stays there.

First Draft of an Unsent Love Letter

Subj: Something I Imagined

There is interference on the line, and a delay to boot, and I feel like I’m in love with an entity the other end of the galaxy. Two distant stars radiating outward, hoping that the signal-noise ratio is high enough to have a conversation. But I mean every gesture, every thing I repeat three times hoping one of them will get through, and I cherish what I hear from you, and when you say,

“I love you,”

I feel like I am touching you for just a split-second, all distance in the world be damned.

The World Shatters

The world shatters, no piece larger than a clenched fist is allowed to be. The world was awful and big. I am tiny, I can fit inside a suitcase, I can make myself smaller, I can fit inside your pocket. They left the moon alone. The big dark looming shadow of the planet is no longer upon its visage, every night is the full moon, and I can see all the new pockmarks and craters. Micro-scopic. I have to learn them anew. I am floating in space, unfolding myself, gravitating toward the moon. I would like to think I am.

A Scholarship

A scholarship. A good time. Slight friction. The vast expanse of sky. Names of stars, drinking games. You forget his name. Last call. One planet, veering out of its orbit, crashing into another planet. More good times. Blood on the bedsheets. A conversation best had sober, easiest had drunk. Somewhere in the between. An unanswered question. The going-through of the evidence with telescopes, the plotting of vectors in the sky. Vodka. A shiver. He wasn’t going to say anything. You were the one who–

Electricity. One last look at those blackened sheets. A garbage chute. An envelope; a scholarship.

Acceptance.

Curtains, but No Windows

This room has curtains, but no windows. They hang in such a way as to suggest that they are blocking the sunlight. If you were to look behind them, you feel, sunlight would flow into the room like water from a burst dam. This is an illusion you keep with you. You know not if gravity still affects you. Your legs are touching the floor, you cannot lift your arms; but you got like this long ago. Your heavy heart. Maybe now you’ve moved somewhere where the sun is nothing but a distant star, where nothing pulls you home anymore.

The Night the Moon Broke Free

The night the Moon finally broke free from Earth’s orbit, we held a party and watched it through small but enhanced opera glasses. It was hard to think of that little coin in the sky as once having been a huge protective disk for the older generations among us, but then it was hard to think of the past at all. The Moon’s course had been plotted, aided by small thrusters, and its surface was pocked with prime-number formations. The event itself was very low-key, simply the passing of some mathematical threshold, but the night, oh the night was momentous.

Fragments of a Work in Progress

Thoughts stretched like shadows elongating; like you’re on a painstakingly slow-revolving ship made of glass heading outwards from your sun, awaywards, deepspacewards. Your thoughts (the shadows) are then everywhere because the sun is underneath you – and you ascend, unless your mammal mind has already adapted to the rotation.

Grahm found that difficult. Everything he believed in space was new; the cogging went in spirals inward. For a few amorphous months Grahm had gone through every holy book he had ever been taught about, and delved into the library for more. He used them up, quicker than he shed his skin and replaced himself (which for regular humans was the luxurious length of 7½ years).

When he had first been shot out into space there had been food with him, to trick him into thinking he had a supply. In fact, all those paperbags were one and the same bag, and when he opened the first one he collapsed them. Grahm, though advanced enough to eat the starlight shining in through all the windows, had requested this specific food to carry with them into the cold of space and now the bag had gone stale and the smell of Americana was faint enough that it could have been anything.

On a similar trajectory as he was his Chanceone, his choice one, Decarulin, who he was told was beautiful. He did not really care; they were going to fuck. That was the one thought that came back, though it too in different shapes. It was on the list. Some parts of him liked her, others hated her, but his whole being wanted her. That was sensor-proof.

Grahm started making up his own gods, but they lacked in weight and symbolism compared to the old gods and he used them up too quickly. He could spend a month in the intermediary state spoke of in the Bardo Thödol, or six weeks digesting [the footnotes of [the footnotes of [the footnotes of a typo]]] in the Torah scrolls but when worshipping the Eternal Lobster all he could do was shed and empty, all his skin cells aligning to attention. Days flew by, Grahm felt motion sickness from it – or was it the rotation? – and his pantheon thinned to just him, the devil, and the Alien.

“I am chock full of clockwork chemicals,” he said to space which did not reply, but rather looked scornfully back at him, malice in its million eyes. Looked back at them. He tried for a moment to repeat the declaration but started rhyming and embarrassed himself.

21

Day, night, day, night.

Day; night. The sun races across the sky like it’s got something to lose and hides behind the big blue planet when it can.

 

Day … night. We grow plants on our bodies and we hold our breaths when we can’t see the light. It burns our lungs. Day, then night. The stars come out to play like fish in the rain. They swirl out here, quite unlike the static sky down on soil. They spin and spin and spin and we are more still than ever. Day –

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

night. We are never going to go inside again.