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Elia's Treasure

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Alexa has loved fantasy and Sci-Fi literature for as long as she could read.

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“He will return soon”, she said. “He always does”.

Perda was a small planet and its horizon bent like one huge, colourless rainbow.

They had chosen Perda because it wasn’t extremely far from Old Earth. You only had to know where to look and Old Earth was visible among that group of stars on the right. If you stared long enough, it would appear the brightest. “The stars look so quiet, up there. Isn’t it so, my love?” she said. Elia smiled. He was so far gone and yet, every time she watched the stars, she could hear his heart beating beside hers. Their rhythm synchronised with the vibrancy of the stars. At times, his heart was beating faster and she knew it was his love, driving him back with haste.

“He will return soon”, she sighed. “He always does”.

Elia returned to their small container. The door opened with a short creak. “Caution! The following metals rust quickly in your new environment: …” she had read the words on the Hub Trip, followed by a list of familiar metal names and another few unknown. She had read them many times, like a mantra, while he was sleeping and the nothingness outside the window was keeping her awake. The shrilling sound of nothingness was too loud for anyone to sleep.

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It was always a day or another on Perda and never a night, because it was so small and well-lit by two suns. Therefore, the container didn’t have any windows. Their tiny home was the only dark place on the entire planet.

Elia blinked nervously a few times, trying to adjust to the lack of light. “Is this how death feels like?” she said. “Trying to squint in the dark forever?” She thought of him. “He will return safely. He always does.” She felt for the matches. It was the last box, but he was to return shortly. If he were late, she would have to wait here, in complete darkness. But no, he will be back soon. He always is. He will bring matches, food and a gift for her. A shiny, precious gift. She lit one match. The glowing ball of light illuminated a small part of the room clearly and the rest in fade. “I should clean up a bit before he returns”.

The room came clearly in sight with the flickering light of the oil lamp. The oil lamp was archaic, dug up by him before, during the time he spent as an archaeologist. The small table beside their canopy bed was ancient as well. Dug up by him, as well. Almost 4000 years old and its metal not rusted. Bloody creaking door. Not even metal was as good as it used to be. Elia shook her head. He would grease the door when he returned.

The small table was polished and proper and it mirrored the dance of the oil lamp flame mockingly. The lions holding its legs also had a mocking expression on their feline faces. The flame dance stopped for a moment. Yes, the oil was almost gone as well. That was why he had to go. He had told her that he didn’t want her to lack anything on their honeymoon and had caressed her cheek. He was so loving and sweet and caring.

Elia made her way to their bed, stepping carelessly on clothes. She felt his blue cotton shirt under her toes and then her jeans. His shirt was softer. She tucked in and blew the light out. The room smelled of burnt oil now and the only way to refresh was through the door. The bloody creaking door. Too far. She was drifting away. He was to arrive tomorrow. She had to clean a little before his return.

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Three Days Later

Three days later, Elia had almost lost her patience. The stars didn’t look so quiet anymore. They looked bursting with people, bursting with women laughing, flirting, leaving red lipstick marks on martini glasses. The laughter was almost deafening and she felt the need to cover her ears.

Despite the maddening noise, Elia could still hear his heart beating beside hers, if she covered her ears very tight.

She had to take a walk and get away from the annoying laughter and buzz. Perda was small and it was a plain. There weren’t any hills, any volcanoes, any caves. Elia walked with her head down, stepping on grass, on sand, on grass filled with sand. It was lucky no wind was blowing today and she didn’t have to wash the sand out of her hair. She kept walking until she hit the only protuberance on the smooth terrain. The only patch of high ground. She smiled and remembered.

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He had been desperate to leave, he had told her that he wanted to bring supplies and a gift for her, but her love couldn’t let him go. Her love empowered her to lift the small, ancient table. It had been so hard to lift it above his head, that her arms still ached from the effort … and he didn’t fight back. He turned around and as he did it, he only looked surprised. And then his eyes widened, a thin red line dripping on his forehead and then they closed and she could feel his heart beating next to hers for the first time. It was good he was there. Down there, in darkness, just like it was going to be in her container, in a day or two, when the matches would be gone. He had always loved the dirt and the treasures it hid. Now, the dirt hid her treasure and only hers.

“He is here”, she said. “He always will be”.

This is my first try at the genre. Please be patient with my mistakes, because English is not my first language. However, I hope my lack of spelling, grammar and style, does not hinder the lecture. I value your opinion, so please leave me a comment.

© 2018 Alexa R

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