Tag Archives: colony

Writing prompt: An elderly diatribe

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“An elderly diatribe”

“The children are not ready to inherit this planet. By their age, I had my second doctorate and a dozen papers. It isn’t their fault that no universities exist on this compromise of a planet, and yet none do. They are experienced at excavating and earth works and weatherproofing, but so was my general contractor in Seattle. I would not choose to leave the fate of a civilization in her hands.

“The young will say, who, then? Us. It still has to be us. The masters of physics and chemistry and psychology and metallurgy and meteorology. These aren’t fields where hunches suffice.”

I paused. I rubbed my aching, weary hands. My grandmother hadn’t looked this bad at 110, and I was only 80. So many from my generation had already died. We didn’t have real universities, and we didn’t have real hospitals. These things hadn’t occurred to us when we left Earth, full of vigor and zeal. Now what I wouldn’t give for an anti-inflammation treatment at an Appalachian spa.

We would have to hand over the reins at some point. But everything seemed so perilous still. Food supplies were a constant concern, weather still dominated every day, and the foggs were still deadly in the east. As my generation died, the next struggled to replace their skills. They were failing.

Writing prompt: An impending storm

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“An impending storm”

Enka jabbed at the thin soil with her trowel. If the flimsy little sprouts took to this thin soil, it would be a miracle. She knew that this work was essential, but understanding its importance didn’t make it any more enjoyable. Sometimes Sasha sang when she worked, low and slow, like a dirge. That matched more with how Enka felt about the work.

Around her, people paused in the work. “The tower,” they said. Enka looked up, and indeed, there was a light in the tower. She and the others watched the light, eager to know how severe the coming storm would be. The sky was clear and purple now, but Enka knew not to trust it. She’d heard stories of how confusing the sudden weather was to the Founders. People who lived with radars and satellites and never had to rely on their instincts. Not that instincts did much in the sudden and violent weather on this planet.

Two long blinks. A bad storm was coming. She helped the others pull tarps over the delicate seedlings. Then they would have to find shelter. Sometimes she wondered what the storms must be like for the towerkeepers, so high in the air during such violence, unable to run. A few months ago, one to the north collapsed, taking its keeper and several homes with it. Enka was glad that her own home was not in the shadow of the tower.

A little part of her longed to be up in the tower. Every time the storms came, she hid, and she saw the beautiful violence afterwards. It must be enthralling to stand within. The others had already fled home. Did she really have to be in the tower to stay and watch the storm?