Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Entry #102

Escape the Burning Earth
by Juliet Wilson


The earth was burning, horizon to horizon.

Jessica held out her hand to shield her eyes from the glare. She was one of the lucky ones who had won a place on the last spaceship to leave earth. Well, they were lucky to escape but had nowhere yet to go. The spaceship dipped down for yet another orbit, drawn like a moth to the flames.

Jessica was bored. She had read all the books she had brought with her. She had stopped keeping her journal. Conversation with the others in the spaceship had ground to a halt. What was there to say? The earth was a ball of fire. Space was vast and empty. The future was unknown and hopeless.

Then she looked out of the window. She rubbed her eyes in disbelief.

“Look!” she said to Tracey, who was sitting beside her. “What's that?”

Tracey looked to where Jessica pointed. Two red phoenixes were flying from the earth, carrying a glowing ball of matter.

“It's a new baby earth!” said Tracey. “That could be our new home!”

She and Jessica smiled at each other. Soon they were surrounded by everyone else on the ship. There was a ripple of excitement. A champagne cork popped discreetly.

Outside the glowing ball grew larger between the phoenixes.

24 comments:

Damyanti said...

A new earth? wow!

Cath Barton said...

That's sweet.

j a zobair said...

Here, the twist is the happy ending!

I like that you show her bored. It's somehow real, that even when something life-changing happens, people go on.

Peter Davidson said...

Typical teenager! The Earth is toast but I'm BORED!

Good story!

Deb Smythe said...

Hooray for happy endings. Glad they packed the champagne.

Aimee Laine said...

So two phoenixes. Interesting since so many say only one can exist at a time. The idea of them recreating the earth though is cool since it's in fire that they are recreated. :)

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

I like how the phoenixes together are going to bring into being a new Earth, there's hope for humanity yet.

Nice job!

Dottie :)

Kunjal said...

wow:)this comes to my mind as soon as i read the ending:)
nice work:)

Erratic Thoughts said...

This made me smile...I am sucker for happy endings...which mention baby Earth?I liked it...:)

Four Dinners said...

Part of me smiled and part of me thought 'we deserve another Earth?'

Clearly we don't but any tale that makes anyone smile is a tale worth telling.

Cheers old bean...for the smile.

Good stuff!!!

Precie said...

A baby earth! I really enjoyed the movement of this piece, the joy of it.

Mystico said...

*would love to see how baby Earth grows* :D
The way a teenager views apocalypse is wonderful (what can I say, I'm a teenager too). Well done!

Susan Ellis said...

I like the plot of the story, but the end was sad to me. Jessica is forgetting the billions of years it will take for the new earth to cool down and be hospitable to life. She's facing years of boredom.

Michael Morse said...

That was a great example of writing simply for the joy of it, and on my end, reading for the same reason. Nice work, thank you!

bluesugarpoet said...

A bittersweet ending or a happy one? This one left me wondering if Jessica and the others are overly hopeful or justified in their celebration. Great concept! ~Jana A

Rachel said...

Nice to know books and champagne will exist in the future!

Even better to see young people entering flash fiction and seeing something new in the prompt. Great opening line....

Good job, Juliet

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow! I do like the baby earth and the phonenixes!!!!! What a brilliant idea, fab story, thank you! take care
x

Mikki said...

What a great way to end the contest: a piece teeming with vibrant description, believable dialogue, and new hope. Excellent work.

Thank you for sharing!

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Love the idea of a "new baby earth" emerging from the fires and the matter of fact way the narrator's friend identifies it.

Richard Levangie said...

Juliet: As an climate change activist, I can point you to several top climatologists whose research suggest that world will support fewer than 1 billion people in 2100 if we don't soon change our ways.

But the writer in me enjoyed your story, and your bored main character. :-) I only wish we could count on the phoenixes!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks everyone for all your comments! Glad you enjoyed the story and the characters!

Four Dinners - no we don't deserve another Earth, you're right (and see bluesugarpoet's comment!)

bluesugarpoet - very perceptive comment, thanks! That's what I hope readers might wonder!

Rachel - I think the fact that i didn't even stop to wonder whether books would still be around that far in the future, possibly hints at the fact that I'm not a young person any more!

Richard - thanks. it's thoughts about climate change that made me write this story!

Aerin said...

Am I the only one to wonder at the ending? As Aimee said, there is usually one Phoenix at a time so I wondered about these firebirds and whether the growing ball of flame would consume the ship.

I sound like I'm being cranky, don't I? I think it's because I find this a stronger piece by interpreting it with a twist. And it IS a very strong piece!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Aerin - thanks for your comment, and yes, I want people to be wondering at the end - is everyone on the spaceship deluded? are they imagining things? It's pretty doubtful that there will be a new earth so easily....

jason evans said...

Somehow, I didn't feel like it would end well for them. But perhaps they're spared. I liked the sci fi setup.

Congrats on Forties Club!