The Long Way Home: SciFi Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on September 13, 2016
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 175 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Source

Mark and Christy sat on the rooftop patio of the building where they lived in the city of Prima, on the planet Orbis. They watched the sunset, the first of two that would occur before twilight.

“Would you like to go out tonight and celebrate the fifth anniversary of our abduction from Earth?” said Christy

“Celebrate? That’s a switch from our attitude a couple of years ago when we were still plotting our escape.” Mark took a sip of sweet tea.

“It is one thing to be able to steal a space ship. It is an entirely different thing to navigate our way to Earth,” said Christy. “Everyone we knew back there has been dead a long time. We are alive only because we traveled to Orbis in Cryo chambers.

“So this is home?” said Mark.

“For me, yes.” Christy walked to the railing at the edge of the patio. “We have learned to trust them, even though they stole us away from our families. And they have grown to trust us. We come and go as we please.”

“Unless we asked for a space pod so we could spend a weekend on one of the moons. Our freedom has limits. But we’ve come a long way, and not only in light years. So yes, let’s celebrate.”

Tom Waits: Long Way Home

The two aliens strolled along the streets of Prima. Their favorite restaurant was only a few blocks away. It featured Earth cuisine for which Mark and Christy had provided recipes for the entire menu.

“To continue our earlier conversation,” said Christy, “not only is this our home, but these are our people.”

“I suppose that’s true,” said Mark.

“Have you noticed that there is no reference to God anyplace in this society?” Christy set a small voice recorder on the table beside her napkin.

“I’m not a religious person, so I haven’t paid much attention.”

“I have recorded everything I can remember about the Bible. I memorized large selections back on Earth, and it is all on here.”

“That’s great. I’m sure you’re finding a lot of comfort in those words.”

“I am not doing this for me only.” Christy sat up straighter and looked Mark in the eyes.

“I know you’re leading up to something, but I’m not quite getting it,” said Mark.

“They deserve to know.” Christy held the recorder in her open palm.

“Know what? About God?”

“Yes, and Jesus,” said Christy.

“I only remember one Bible verse from my childhood. It said something about God loving the world and sending his son there. I always understood that to mean Earth, not Orbis or any other inhabited planet.”

“Why limit God in such a way, Mark?”

“If God wanted to save Orbis, don’t you think he would have taken care of that detail a long time ago?”

“I only know that I have the command of Christ to go into all the worlds and preach the Gospel.”

“I think You’re taking some liberties with the text.”

“I will begin tomorrow, and when I have enough followers, I will start the First Christian Church of Orbis.”

“Hmmm,” said Mark.

“What do you mean, hmmm?”

“In a few years, after you’ve died, your converts can simply drop the Y from your name and they’ll have their messiah.”

“You are not funny, Mark.”

“One more question.”

“Please, no.”

“When Jesus comes back, will he stop by Orbis on the way to Earth or the other way around? I suppose it depends on which way heaven is from here?

“You are not getting funnier.”

“Can I attend your church?”

“I’ve pre-excommunicated you pending removal of the demons.” Christy slipped the recorder back into her pocket.

“Seriously though, why don’t you just open a soup kitchen? All God’s chillun gotta eat, you know.”

“Because this society already takes care of its own hungry people.”

“Ok, then open up a medical clinic for those who can’t afford healthcare.”

“Orbis has that base covered as well. Why do you have such a hard time with the concept of a church?”

“You’ve stated my case for me. These people already make sure everyone’s needs are met. What more could religion add?”

“Eternal life. The state hasn’t figured that one out yet.”

Source

Dinner arrived and Mark savored every bite of his bacon cheeseburger and a soft drink. Christy enjoyed her vegetarian lasagna and washed down with a local wine. They took their time with the tiramisu and wild berry topping, enjoying the blending of flavors. Their eyes met and each saw that the two of them had also blended, grown close, knew each other like old friends, like lovers without the loving.

“I got the coordinates for Earth, Christy.”

“What? How?”

“I was working with a technician at the space navigation center. He left for a few minutes and I saw it on his terminal. I know enough of the language that I could tell what it was. I printed a copy and translated it properly.”

“What are you going to do, Mark?”

“Will you go with me?”

“I can’t. I have plans here and the risk of going back is too great. I can have a good life here if I want it.”

“We’d be separated by billions of miles.”

“By the time you woke up from your sleep in the cryo chamber, I would be dead.”

Source

They paid their bill and went out to the street. Mercury plasma antigravity vehicles, all shaped like saucers, silently navigated multilevel throughways.

Mark took Christy’s hand. “Let’s take the long way home.”

“Yes, let’s,” said Christy.

“I found something else as well, a musical instrument something like a piano. Did you know I play the piano?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I’ve been practicing, and I’m picking it up quickly. If you need a piano player in that church of yours, I’m sure I can learn Amazing Grace in time for your first service.”

Their first kiss tasted like wild berries.

Source

Questions & Answers

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      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Deb, I'm glad you liked it. The conflict part is something I've thought about over the years decided to include it in a scifi story. Then it turned into a love story as well. Funny how these stories morph.

      • profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        2 years ago

        I loved the story. It tugged at my heart that Christy adopted the new land, and it sounds like Mark was certainly willing to give up his original plan for Earth. This reminds me of the old style sic-fi that I grew up on.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 years ago from Central Florida

        Amazing story, Chris. There's a little something for everyone in it. I'm not into sci-fi or space exploration, but I found the story fascinating. The conflict between Christy and Mark was believable. I could feel the gentle tug of emotion between them when Mark was considering coming back to Earth. I'm glad they decided to stay together and create a new life for themselves. One of love and discovery.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        I believe they stayed, Lawrence. :)

      • profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        2 years ago

        Did they go or did they stay and found the church?

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Eric, that is exactly how I felt and really why I wrote this. What if? I'm glad it got you thinking on the subject.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Venkatachari M, Thanks for reading. I'm glad you found the dialogue interesting.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        I really got a case of the daydreams here. What if?

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

        Very interesting and entertaining story. Enjoyed a lot with their dialogues. Thanks.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Michael, no, you did not miss it this time. :) You nailed it. It's a love story in a science fiction setting. I had no idea it would end up like this, but that's how stories are. The go where they want to go. Thanks for reading.

      • Michael-Milec profile image

        Michael-Milec 

        2 years ago

        No emigration dilema, Chris. Very enjoyable read, taking me in and out of reality/ dream / phantasy. Who would think of better ' love' story than you with all your venturing on this sub religious earthly discrepancy of facts and dilemas. ( Did I miss it again?)

        Good night. Peace with us.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Larry, thank you, I appreciate that. Glad you liked it.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Ann, thank you. I'm glad my world building worked for you. With only one thousand words, it is difficult to give any real detail.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Ruby, Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you liked the story.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        manatita, thanks for reading and for your thoughts on the story.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Bill, thanks for reading. What do you know? A lot more than me about this business. I agree, when it comes to marketing, flash fiction is not the best name for the format. For anything under a thousand words, I'm thinking of going with short short story. Writer's Digest uses it, and probably others. Over one thousand words will be short story. I might even begin not using flash fiction here.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 years ago from Hartford, CT

        Thanks, John. I hadn't planned on it being a love story, but that's where it went. Glad you liked it.

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        2 years ago from Oklahoma

        Wonderfully described.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        You've presented an intriguing alternative planet here, Chris. I was enthralled all the way.

        Ann

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        2 years ago from Southern Illinois

        This was an incredible read. Your imagination soared with this one. Of course I loved your flash fiction, my favorite genre...

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        2 years ago from london

        One with a difference. Vivid imagination, Bro. Much Love.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        There you go with those flash fictions again, Chris. Quality as always....I'm still learning towards short stories as more marketable, but really, what the hell do I know?

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 years ago from Queensland Australia

        This was a very enjoyable sci-fi love story, Chris. Good work.

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