What does it mean
When all the stories have been told?
You can stand upon the plains
Feel the dry, cold wind on your face.
See the dust blowing through titanic skeletons
And the weight of those stories pushes back at you.
Cracks in the mud flats,
Jagged canyons in the oil fields
Civilization collapsed as the surface did
And burned as the air did.
There’s nobody left to fight the elements
No one to defend our legacy from the ravages of time.
As metal will rust and cement will crumble
The Earth forgets we were there.
You can place the stone upon that spot,
Surrounded by towering ruins.
It says that we were here, we grew on this world
And consumed it.
You see, it isn’t that everything died.
It isn’t that the planet looks dead.
It’s that we grew in its old nature
And we can only remind ourselves of what it was.
“Do you remember that view two days ago?”
“Saturn’s rings?” Carson propped himself onto his elbows where he lay on the cold floor.
Don turned away from the flickering monitor, “Yeah.”
“Yeah, when that comet punched a hole in the outer ring? Made an amazing clound of dust.” He let himself back down and adjusted the jumpsuit he was using as a pillow. “We should’ve gotten a picture.”
Don turned back to the monitor, “I think we were a little busy that day. Still… A rare event. At least we got to see it.” The screen suddenly went blank, plunging the room into darkness, save for the dim light from a hole in the wall.
“Don, did you hook it up to Auxilery 4?”
“Yes! And 3! And 2! They’re all acting up! I-” A sharp electric snap cut him off and the monitor came to life, “…I apparently have crappy wiring skills.”
“It’s working?” Carson rolled over and pushed himself onto his knees. Moving himself over to Carson, he asked “Are you getting anything?”
Don pulled his glasses down from his bald scalp and began rapidly typing on the control pad, “Not yet but it’s accepting input, and that’s better than anything we’ve had yet.”
Carson nodded and stood up. Smoothing back his shaggy blong hair, he glanced around the small room for a moment, as if checking things off on a mental list. He walked over to the metal door and gave the handle a test pull, “The seal’s still good here… I wish this thing had windows.”
Don looked over his shoulder and looked at Carson over his glasses, “What, the door?”
He turned his head back, “If it had windows, do you honestly think we’d still be alive?”
Carson looked sadly at the dull steel bolts across the door. He ran his hand across the smooth surface. Letting out a sigh, he uttered, “I suppose not…”
“So thank your lucky stars you’re not breathing Martian air.” The screen was alive with digital progress bars and lines of code. Across several of the bars was written ‘Searching for signal’.
Carson was still staring at the door. The sharp light from the monitor reflected off of the steel door, catching the tear on his right cheek.
Don turned again and took his glasses off, “Look, Carson, it wouldn’t be any easier to say goodbye if you could see her on the other side of that door.” Behind him, one of the progress bars changed from red to green with the word ‘Connecting…’ blinking over it.
“I could at least say it, though…”
I noticed a blog called Daily Post and they were presenting a challenge. I thought I might exercise my creative writing muscles and try it out.
See for yourself.