Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #191

The Dead Satellite
by Isaac Carmichael


The dark outline of the dead satellite drifted smoothly across the face of the round, full moon, gliding effortlessly, as if on ice. There is something intriguing – eerily fascinating and seemingly unnatural– observing objects out in the vacuum, unfettered by the bonds of gravity and friction we are born into and wear around all our days, close and familiar as a second soul. It crossed the pellucid white circle, awkward in profile after the collision, floating like a cold, mechanical bird; a icy harbinger of grim news.

Tears welled in my eyes and stayed there annoyingly with nothing to draw them away. What could I do, really, other than cry? The crack through which all the pressure and oxygen were escaping blurred, leaving only the dull clattering disharmony of alarms to remind me of my hopelessness.

I pulled the gloves off and placed one bare hand on the damaged viewing panel and the other on my unconscious partner. The window was cold – an oddly refreshing cold. Tara’s vacuous face was warm and soft and the closet thing to reassurance that I wasn’t completely alone. The tears in my eyes began to boil, and I wiped them away to look back out at the receding satellite trailing beautiful debris, golden stardust settling gently over the world lumbering below.

Everything got really small as that dark silhouette pulled my soul delicately along, in surreal spaghettification, and it feels like I’m forever crossing the tenebrous threshold home.

21 comments:

Tara said...

What great description. I love the sense of peace throughout.

Laurel said...

And the winner of the Laurel's favorite use of artistic license in the invention of a word goes to:

spaghettification!

That last paragraph is fantastic. Great descriptions and setting.

I have a personal obsession with adverbs and have spent the better part of the last six months chopping them out of my own stuff so I noticed a lot of -ly words, like glided effortlessly, where I didn't think you needed a modifier because your verb choice was so good. Gliding should be effortless. I think you could have finished up with your word count a little lower or space for one more line!

Good job.

Bernita said...

Good visuals, nice vocabulary.
And refreshing to see a different setting.

Preeti said...

Beautiful.
I loved the idea. The vocabulary is impeccable. Was enthralled by spaghettification. absolutely enthralled.

I think just for that word I would choose your entry as one of my top 5.

:-)

Aniket said...

Now thats a really good and unique setting. In the words of my dear friend Vesper, "Give me good science fiction and you've won me"

Impeccable writing, throughout the piece. Bravo!

lena said...

Love the descriptions and choice of words. You've done a really great work here!

laughingwolf said...

i get choked on misspellings...

kashers said...

Don't understand the spaghettification unless, that is, it's uncooked spaghetti. The spacecraft would follow the course of the gravitational pull whether internally powered or not. So, to the astronaut would feel like it was going in a straight line.

I guess this is one instance where the eagle didn't land (or dock).

sideshow bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isaac Carmichael said...

Thanks, everyone, for your praise. This is my first foray into public writing, so it is much appreciated.

@laughingwolf - D'oh! I can't believe I wrote 'closet' instead of 'closest'. I could choke myself! I apologize in advance for any other errors I've missed.

@kashers - Actually, 'spaghettification' - which I'd like to take credit for, but was actually invented by Steven Hawking (I think) - is a process that happens to bodies as they fall into a black hole. I was trying to use that process as a metaphor for the experience of dying that the narrator was going through.

MRMacrum said...

A nicely written piece. Similar to mine but in a different setting and your word usage was excellent. That first paragraph was excellent.

I handled the spaghetti okay, but I can see where another word/words would have fit better. Given the smooth delivery up to that point, it seemed out of place.

Still, this is one of my favorites. I really liked it.

Kartik said...

Impeccable choice of words. Excellent!

Craig said...

Great descriptions in the first paragraph.

truevoid said...

There is something intriguing – eerily fascinating and seemingly unnatural– observing objects out in the vacuum, unfettered by the bonds of gravity and friction we are born into and wear around all our days, close and familiar as a second soul.

lovely usage of words here. absolutely delighted.

James R. Tomlinson said...

I liked every word in this story; how you strung them together, except for "spaghettification." I'm not much of a Science fiction fan, but you did one hell of a job with this narrative.

pjd said...

For once I disagree with Laurel. I loved this without the last paragraph and wish it ended at "lumbering below."

Aerin said...

*gasp* You disagree with Laurel? Blasphemy, I tell you. Blasphemy.

*grin*



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

I was really pleased with the writing style of this - a good variance on line lengths & rhythms, the word choices paired in fresh ways. The plot was equally fresh and I personally loved that it actually involved a movement toward a resolution.

Something I Might Tweak

I, too, loved the spaghettification line, but I agree with Pete (I know, I know) about the last paragraph.

Aimee Laine said...

Eh he he ... "spaghettification". :)

Laurel said...

If Pete disagrees with me then it's probably worth considering! I mean, the man is a genius.

But I still love "spaghettification," I didn't know the bit about Hawking but the visual was clear and descriptive.

JaneyV said...

Isaac - I loved your descriptions and the mood that you created. I did feel like I was floating in a surreal space - aware of imminent death but somehow hypnotized by my surroundings into feeling utterly calm.

i particularly loved the sentence

The tears in my eyes began to boil, and I wiped them away to look back out at the receding satellite trailing beautiful debris, golden stardust settling gently over the world lumbering below.

It's because this sentence is so powerful and beautiful that I have to agree with Peter that the last paragraph (although a wonderful sentence and terrific image in itself) is not necessary.

Lovely writing Isaac.

catvibe said...

I'm commenting now on the last 10 pieces and I feel I don't have an original comment left in me. BUT. Loved this, agree with those above. Loved the word, but could do without the last paragraph. Loved the mood, the feel, the story even. Great job!