Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

JUST FLIRTING WITH SF – story flash

on 13/02/2015

SEVEN GEMS

 
Seven gems were required to save the QPE, the Queendom of Planet Earth. Seven gems were demanded, no – desperately needed by her Majesty, the Queen herself. From one man, and one man alone.

A time traveller was wanted. Only one to find all seven gems. Only one to travel through centuries and bring back the seven gems. The gems were then to be taken to the seven inhabited planets around Earth. To prove we indeed were still the human race, despite the new setting in the universe.

Only humans could travel through time on their own planet, and our humanity was being questioned by our seven neighbours, because of the way we treated our planet. We were even suspected of being alien invaders from another galaxy who had taken on human form to delude the neighbouring planetary leaders, silently exterminate humans and all living conditions necessary for human beings as such to exist on this planet – to contaminate the air and water, to destroy and exhaust all natural resources and exterminate human race completely. Suspected of destroying our home, and rightfully so.

He didn’t know much, but he was sure he was human. Just as human as the next man, just as human as the Queen, but no more humane than the rest of the race. He took a deep breath and resigned himself to this decision. It wasn’t even a decision, nor a choice. He knew at that moment that he was meant to do it. All that he had done or hadn’t done in his life till that point had been leading him up to that moment.

He wiped his hands on his filthy trousers, stood up from the dirt, stamped his feet a couple of times to shake off the dust, and tried to go through his hair with his fingers, but they got stuck in the tangled strains of unwashed curls. He looked up toward the gleaming tower of the grand palace, all surreal in all its plexiglass and titanium structure, sticking up from the crumbling, smog-covered buidings, all practically the remains of what the city had once been, like dinosaur bones discovered in some desolate, remote, history-covered destination.

He started walking towards it, at first slowly, then faster, but steadily and unfaltering all the time, as if walking towards a brother he’d had a horrible fight with, but had to make peace with, because it was, after all, his only brother, his blood. And blood was still thicker than water, no matter how unclear the water had become. He had no direct ties to the Tower. It’s not like the Queen was his mother, not like he’d ever been there before, not like he would normally have had any business there. But he simply had to go. He was the Traveller. Nobody else.

Many would probably apply, happily, greedily, ambitiously, deluded by the prospects of rewards and status, everlasting supplies of fresh water and endless quantities of air filtres, naively believing that to be a noble quest. When all that it really was – was merely survival. Pure and simple.

But he knew. He walked past the long line of men, waiting in queue to sign up for the position, ignoring their shouting and pushing and shoving, and he entered the palace. It was time to get this over with.

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Anita Kovacevic

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