Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The End is The Beginning - WEP December Challenge

Round and round the circle of life goes, from beginning to end and beginning again. The End is The Beginning of a new cycle, a new life, a new chance.




Looking down from the bridge I could see the swirling depths calling. Here lies peace. But how do I know if I cross that line to the other side that there will be peace. How do I know that I won't still be in limbo, watching all those that live as I do now. A horrid contemplation.

My world,Terra, is disintegrating slowly but surely. As the water levels rise, more bridges are built, then man-made islands to be used by those displaced with the flooding in low lying areas. There are so many bridges now that soon that will be all that's left. The warming of the climate and the melting ice which used to change very little, is now reclaiming land which man has occupied for millennia. Is the planet deeming us unfit and trying to reduce the numbers of humans? Perhaps.

The news and travel channels are blasting out advertisements for'colony ships' which will transport people to safer planets. Other adverts cajole us to be one of the founding colonists of the Moon, our nearest neighbour, but that entails living underground most of the year. Mars also has underground colonies with only the scientific study areas and weather watchers on the surface. Terrans are having to make harsh choices, seeking to fix the problems born in the old 20th Century and proliferating into the 21st. Now at the end of the 21st century, we reap the consequences. The scientists say it will take 10,000 years or more for Terra to be habitable again. They say we were warned.

I see my partner coming toward me.

"Meli, forgive me for being late. It couldn't be helped."

"No worries, Jala, did you get the info for Mars?"

"Of course, but it took an hour's standing in line. A lot of people want to leave this planet, even the scoffers have admitted the truth; we will have to make our decision in a short time. Will it be the Moon or Mars? It's a tough call, but those are our best bets."

"I like the idea of being close to the mother planet, but can I stand seeing it die slowly? Now we have starships that can take us at least as far as the outer solar system, maybe further. Going to the Moon is the easiest, but Mars is the most interesting. Both force the colonists to live below ground - but we'll get used to that."

"You've got to get signed up now to leave on the next flight outward, so we must decide in the next couple of days."

"What did you hear on the street?"

"A lot of panic. Solar flares are causing a delay in the launching of the carriers. Storms seem to follow one upon the other, especially in the equatorial regions. Some reports say geysers of gas have been exploding from the ground in some national parks."

"Warning signs. Strong ones. Let's go for Mars, it used to be a planet and it's got a few colonies now. I think we stand a better chance there."

"I'll call and pre-register for Mars. We'll have to show up tomorrow to confirm identification, pay fees, and pick up starship tickets."

"This could be the beginning of another life, a life as spacers. Terra will be brought to its knees, an end not befitting such a beautiful planet. I hope without humans here, the planet can begin to flourish and become stable again sometime in the future."

One month later, the loading began. Our last vision of Terra was from the windows of the starship. I felt tears slipping down my cheeks. Goodbye, Terra. May we one day be able to return.

WC = 844 *****************

Have you had instances where you had to start over? How did you feel? Adventurous? Sad? Which colony would you choose between the Moon and Mars?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll reply. Thanks for dropping by. 

MAY THE HOLIDAYS BE MERRY FOR YOU AND BEST WISHES FOR 2018!


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Write, Edit, Publish (WEP) - The Challenge






It's December and time for another WEP challenge - with the support team of Nilanjana Bose and Olga Godim adding their imaginings and creativity. Thanks to Denise and Yolanda for being the hosts! It's been a good year for great flash stories and these bloggers and the participants have kept us all interested.

Create an artistic entry: a poem, a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less, a non-fiction piece detailing your personal experience or someone else's experience, write a script, draw your dreams, or post a photograph or a photo essay. The genre and the artistic choice are yours!

Be sure to check all the other entrants on the WEP participation list! This prompt could take us anywhere from the end to the beginning of something new. Hope you enjoy reading!

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41 comments:

  1. I do hope this is fiction. And fear it verges on truth. If not this year, next...
    I am not sure I could take either option. It smacks of a 'rat deserting a sinking ship'. A truly thought provoking piece. Thank you.

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    1. Remember that country song about the gambler - 'know when to hold them and know when to fold them'? Do we want to go down with the ship? It takes a huge effort to fix a planet even when all the people are committed.

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  2. Mars would be a more viable chance to take. Certainly nothing will ever grow on the moon. Hopefully we never have to make that choice.
    Have a blessed Christmas, DG!

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    1. I've seen all those Mars movies and yet it would appeal to me too to try the red planet. Hopefully mankind will try to fix the problems. . .I too hope we can go outward in space through choice, not because we must escape a planet that we haven't managed well.

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  3. I thought your short fiction piece was very interesting, well written and I enjoyed reading it. The topic, of course, is sad but handled well. I've had to start over too many times. Some were heart breaking and others were joyous occasions. I would choose Mars over the moon. Happy Holidays and I hope 2018 holds many good things in store for you.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. I just happened to fixate on environmental issues which could cause an end and force a beginning. . .Mother Nature has her limits.

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  4. Having lived a fairly long life and looking back, much of mine has been about starting over, creatig my own future, as best I could. Sometimes it was one big adventure, other times great sadness. A wonderful and thought provoking story. I would want to to go to a cold planet, if I chose to leave.

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    1. You are showing your roots, Inger, but I'd also prefer a cooler climate. On Mars or the moon the climate would be controlled as most of the living space would be in constructed shelters or underground. It's nice to have a few adventures in our lives.

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  5. I've definitely had to start over and it's always with some regret or nostalgia for the past. You did a great job at capturing that in your fiction piece.
    I would definitely choose Mars.

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    1. I know what you mean about the nostalgia and the regret. I've had some great restarts though. . .

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  6. Hi DG - leaving planet earth ... not for me - I'll see it out thankfully! But I'd love to know how we fare in future time ... perhaps we'll be able to find out.

    What a decision though - moon or mars ... I think I'd go for the moon (it's nearer!) ... but no decision for me ... starting over on this planet has over the years been interesting ... cheers Hilary

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    1. If you stay, Hilary it will depend on if there's anywhere to stay. Unless we get plummeted with gamma rays, there might still be some livable remote areas. I like to think we will go onward and become space travellers.

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    2. Hi DG - thankfully I think I'll survive here til my natural end ... and really not sure I can think about leaving the earth - equally not sure what will happen - cheers Hilary

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  7. My entire life has been a catalogue of new starts and I wouldn't have had it any other way! Mars or moon? Neither appeal to me and I doubt I'll ever have to choose!

    Click to read my WEP story!

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    1. Don't think I'll be here then either unless they come up with an immortality elixir.

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  8. Hello D.G. A very topical issue well considered and written. I especially thought your words: "I hope without humans here, the planet can begin to flourish and become stable again sometime in the future" were very poignant. Climate change is so important, too important to be ignored. I know your story is fiction, but there are quite a few facts as well. We all hope it doesn't come to this...

    Merry Christmas to your and yours. I hope life is treating you well. May 2018 bring you many blessings.

    Thank you for your enthusiastic participation in WEP for so many years. I hope you'll continue to find the inspiration to post for us.

    Denise :-)

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    1. Thanks, Denise, I hope you enjoy your time at your beach house (if that's where you'll be) and I do like the WEP challenges and the great prompts this year - kudos to your team! I've seen those Mars movies and I watch a lot of science shows. . .it may have influenced me somewhat.

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  9. Firstly: I have to disagree with the notion that humans are solely responsible for the eventual demise of the Earth.

    However; I can believe solar flares may eventually scorch it beyond human habitation. Or, the planet may just naturally age, and die.

    I liked the space-faring story you've offered. You used believable science and a hope for future life. The dialogue and world building is great. Very well done.

    I've had lots of adventures in my life; from travel, life changes, and general exploration. Not all has been welcoming, but none has left me devastated. I'm a tad Pollyanna, lol.

    I'd likely choose Mars. Yes, farther away from the actual demise of my home world would make it more of an "adventure" than a desperate race for life.

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    1. Our adventures and our problem times make us who we are. How we handle things shows our resilience or lack of it. Exploring and travel are generally fun, but it depends on where and what.

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  10. Reading your submission, I thought about what is going on on our own planet earth. How long earth will exist, no one knows, but I do hope that people are not allowed to conquer Mars until we have all learned how to live together.
    Thank you for a thought provoking piece.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a successful crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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    1. That's an excellent point, Pat about erasing the many hangups we have before we settle again. Humanity doesn't have a good track record in that respect.

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  11. What a choice they have to make but at least they have a choice.

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    1. Yes, many do not have a choice except to leave and hope they find somewhere to live.

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  12. Great scifi story. I'd go for Mars - its gravity is closer to that of the Earth gravity.
    For me, this story feels too close to the heart. I'm an immigrant. I left Russia for Canada when I was already a mother of two kids. The mixed feelings of hope and fear is so true. At least, your characters are going to a place where people speak the same tongue. One less hurdle for them to overcome.

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    1. I'm an immigrant too but I only came from the USA many years ago now. I married a Canadian as well, but became a citizen prior to my marriage. I loved British Columbia as soon as I landed here. I didn't know about the gravity of Mars, so thanks for mentioning that.

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  13. I have thought about this and my story has to do with Mars. It is sad to think that we would have to live in a biosphere or under ground because there is no atmosphere or not enough oxygen in the air on Mars or on the moon. Kind of scary too. Makes me really appreciate our beautiful Earth.

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    1. Yes, we take a lot for granted here on Earth. Air, water, etc. I've read stories where those who live underground or within biospheres become fearful of being outside. . . I'll have to read your post now sooner if it's about Mars. (I love scifi)

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  14. The idea of living on Mars is interesting but being stuck underground always makes me feel sad. Overall my loyalty would be to the Earth, where I would probably end up sheltering in caves anyway.
    In life I love a change of direction, though some of them bump you off course with no warning, the result is your authentic story, a lived life :-)
    Happy Christmas Everyone - wishing you all peace and pleasantries and no bad surprises at least for twelve days xx

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    1. I agree, I would have made a bad dwarf (a la LOTR) as I dislike the idea of being underground. But I suppose it could be done to reduce that impression. I would have no problem exploring in space. . .although I love the Earth.

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  15. I couldn't choose either. I'm too claustrophobic. I'd have to get a job on a starship and stay out in space. I hope that's an option! :)
    Great story, and yes borders on reality! We are destroying our home!

    Wishing you the Happiest of New Year's!

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    1. Great answer. That idea of working on a starship would be a great way to see more places in space. . Yes, I'd make it an option in my story. It would take a lot to get me underground too.

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  16. I've had lots of instances of starting over. It's sad to leave friends and things that are familiar, but it's always interesting to meet new people and see what's waiting around the bend.

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Sherry. Home is where your heart is, and many people do relish a new start. Hope your Christmas was merry as well!

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  17. Hi DG!

    A sad end for Terra, and I don't think they'll be able to return. This is too close to our current reality for comfort!

    I've had many endings/beginnings in my life so far, starting over in a new city/country is always an adventure and a steep learning curve and a heartache. None of it is unalloyed joy/sadness, most things are a mix of many things, hard to define as one or the other.

    Your writing is always a pleasure to read, sorry I am so late in making the rounds. Wish you the very best for a happy and peaceful and fulfilling New Year.

    Nila.

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    1. I was inspired by Asimov, as he writes of it taking a catastrophic event to get us out into space in his robot series. We learn what we value in life when we have to start over.

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  18. I'd choose Mars if had to pick either one. But then I'd rather just say the heck with it and board a spaceship to space and search until aliens blow us out of the sky, or a meteorite hits us lol hopefully we find ways to fix things that we screwed up before that happens though.

    Had to start over a time or two, but just makes you stronger and you learn things you never knew.

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    1. I could live with that purpose, it would be similar to Star Trek - to go where no man has gone before - sorry watching old Star Trek movies recently. You might age very slowly too if you travelled enough - if time/space works the way we think it does. . .

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  19. To the moon
    I'd never go
    Because of the
    Heat and cold

    A mole is not
    The life for me
    And the stars I'd
    Never get to see

    Only two places
    You gave to me
    So I'd die on Terra
    And be there for eternity

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    1. A 'mole's life' is a good way to describe the choices. It will be interesting to follow the future flight to Mars (via the news of course). Thanks for reading my entry.

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  20. Mars or the moon? It's a tough choice to make. I like this take on the theme and the sci-fi edge to your story, D.G.

    Planet earth has a lot going for her. Let's hope her tenants see the error of their ways.

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    1. I do hope that enough of those in power see and act to correct what we humans have damaged. The scientists have tried, but too many politicians and business leaders are ignoring the obvious.

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