Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Beyond - A Short Story

This post is a companion piece to my previous post. It's a short story that @Christy (booksflutterby.blogspot.com) wrote after I showed her two pieces of science-fiction art that I did. I think it's a wonderful story (in my unbiased opinion) and I hope you'll give it a read.

Enjoy!

The Beyond
The Beyond
For years we lived in the peace of our world, content with the knowledge that had been handed down from father and mother to son and daughter. In the darkness of night, we gathered with families, heard tales of the Ancients, and learned that when one ceased to exist on this plane, the other world awaited. In the day, we went about our business, living our lives. When the skies were clear, one could look up and see the red stillness that was and had always been. It was simply, The Beyond.

The Beyond was a place the Ancients believed the essence of our being went once we ceased to exist physically on our planet. Another was The Traverse. The Beyond was preferable. It could be seen. We knew when we looked at it that perhaps our loved ones were there. The Traverse was frightening. What did it look like? Why could we not see it? As the ancients explained it, it was what was just past The Beyond, and only a select few were chosen to go.

We became curious and began to wonder what was inside, or even on the other side, of The Beyond. Did one truly go there when one ceased to exist? If we could somehow build a craft that could take us there, would we see our loved ones? And if we could go farther, would we find out who went to The Traverse and why?

And so began the journey to build crafts that would take us into The Beyond and perhaps to the Traverse. It took years of failed experiments. We worked as one, those on the long side of the world and those on mine. It became a universal goal. What was already a functioning global community became more so. Then the day came when one of the test launches of a craft lifted off, hovered and moved higher toward The Beyond. We were ready.

The world rejoiced! Soon we would have answers. More tests were done, crafts were built, and teams were chosen to go on the first journey. Training was intense, but all knew it was worth it. Those who were chosen would find answers, bring them back to our world, and perhaps become the new Ancients with new answers.

When the day arrived for the four crafts to depart, everyone was there to witness it in person, those from our side and the long side of the world. The crowds were large and the mood was high.We who were chosen boarded with pride and an intense emotion we had never before felt. Finally, we would see The Beyond. Finally we might see loved ones long passed.

All went well with lift off. We made it through several layers of atmosphere and neared our first destination: The Beyond. The red glow that had been so comforting was now slightly frightening. We were worried. As we entered the brightness of The Beyond, our crafts tilted and alarms sounded. We did our best to keep control, and watched as our three sister craft did the same. Finally we broke through.

The Traverse
Surrounded by the warm red glow, we marveled at the wisps of vapor that seemed to dance. Desperately we searched for signs of what the ancients had told us. Where were our loved ones? We continue to explore The Beyond, but there was no sign of life. There was no sign of a planet where we could land. There was no sign of familiar faces. With deep sorrow, we sent images back to our world with the message that we were continuing on to The Traverse.

Again, we struggled to maintain control as we moved from the red atmosphere of The Beyond to the mysterious unknown of The Traverse. It took such concentration, that none of us noticed what it looked like until we were through and steady.

Finally, we were on the other side of The Beyond and instead of the brilliant red we had known all our lives, we saw a peaceful blue that hypnotized us. This was The Traverse. The vastness was almost overwhelming. Our small imaginations had never envisioned this. We no longer believed we would find our loved ones, but we did believe we would find others, and we wanted to experience their beauty.

44 comments:

  1. Ed. Note: Just to let you know, @Christy banged this out in about 30 minutes and, aside from a few minor edits, it didn't change at all. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes the best work just flows quickly. Good job.

      Delete
    2. It's interesting that you said that. I think my best post on here was the one I wrote the most quickly. Wish there was a pill for that!

      Delete
  2. What a cool story! I love it! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you share more of @Christy's stuff with us?

      Delete
    2. HA! Funny you should say that. (Know where I'm going with this, Christy? ;-P) I'd love to share more of Christy's writing. Perhaps in the future...

      Delete
    3. I know where you're going. ;-)

      More to come...

      Delete
  3. Well written, and a good collaboration.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It makes me want to read more stories by @Christy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It made me want to read more of this story!

      Delete
  5. Great art and nice flash fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking a look and a read, Giada!

      Delete
  6. Thanks everyone! This was a quickie that just hit me when I saw the two pieces of art by Steven. He inspired me. I don't normally write sci-fi (I write horror), but this was fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And writing horror beats the hell out of writing horribly. (ba-dump-bump)

      Delete
  7. Great piece, I came across from Google Plus. There so much here, I wish I could read more about this universe. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay – An expat from G+! ;-) Welcome, and I'm glad you liked the artwork and the story. Maybe if I do another painting beyond The Beyond, I can entice @Christy to write a Chapter 2 flash of the journey.

      Thanks for the kudos and for stopping by, Von!

      Delete
  8. A fellow G+ sojourner (origin: Short Story Circle; #shortstory) here to read the recommended short. Interesting. Complimented the art quite well.

    I thoroughly understand this process as I've been writing shorts, poems and haiku, to my own images for several years now.

    A few years ago, I began writing to the inspiration of other artists. It's a lot of fun; can be challenging; mostly just plain enjoyable.

    When the 'flow' hits, it's really quite enjoyable. You just never know what 'box of chocolates' you'll be biting into next.

    I hope the two of you continue to collaborate, as this is a story in search of continuance. Best success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never really thought about the idea of putting words to my art. Which is silly, really, because sometimes when I'm 'painting', especially sci-fi-oriented, otherworldly stuff, I have a running storyline in my head. I listen to my favorite science fiction soundtracks and imagine the world I'm creating actually existing. (Not that I feel like I'm actually creating worlds. That could sound a little egocentric! lol!)

      I think it's great that you've been putting pen to paint for a while now. The 'flow' applies to visual art as well as the written word. It's a great feeling to get in that zone and just run with it.

      I'd love it if @Christy would continue "their" journey, but I've learned not to push too hard. lol!

      Glad your journey thru G+ brought you over here for a brief respite. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Do you write @Steven64? You should try your hand at writing flash fiction for one of your drawings. Just see what happens.

      Delete
    3. I "sort" of write. lol! I've never actually tried to write fiction, but I'd like to try some time. I made a joke to @Sarah on G+ about how flash fiction would probably do me in because I tend to write anti-flash – I can get a little verbose.;)

      But I appreciate the suggestion and encouragement! A good place to start would probably be one of my own pieces of artwork. Hmmm...

      Delete
    4. You should give it a go. What can it hurt to try? Nothing. You might find that you have a talent for it. Especially if it's inspired by your own art. And if you don't have a talent for it, don't beat yourself up over it. We all have different strengths and one of yours is clearly creating amazing art.

      Delete
    5. You're so sweet! I think I'll give it a go. I mean, you're right -- what can it hurt? The only person who'd see my fiasco would be @Christy, and she'd be gentle (male ego and all). lol!

      Delete
  9. Flash fiction is so much fun, especially when it's inspired by cool art! I like your collaboration and hope you do more. I'm with @akilologos and @Von L Cid, I'd think this needs to be continued, @Christy. I'd like to read more about this world and it's inhabitants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't read your comment, @Kirani, until I'd finished responding to @akilologos. So see above (winks), and --

      Yes, flash fiction does seem to be a lot of fun! I'd never even heard of it until a few months ago. Like I said above, I'd love if @Christy would continue the tale! I'd even do some more cool art! :-D

      @Christy: But no pressure, baby! LOL!

      Delete
  10. Wonderful story!

    I'm a writer and always enjoy reading other's works. I'm not normally a reader of sci-fi, but the story was very intriguing and when they started on their journey, I was hooked to find out what it was like!
    I'm a novel writer, and don't do many short stories. I've also never tried writing a story to a piece of art, but it's a very great idea!

    I agree- you two definitely need to collaborate more. 2 very talented people need to share their talent with the world :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you read it and liked it! I think I remember you saying you're a writer. That's awesome. @Kirani Cole suggested I give flash-fiction a shot since I like to write, and I may do just that. I've never written fiction before and flash-fiction seems like a good place to start (short!).

      I'd love to collaborate with Christy more often. We just need to find the time to paint (me) and write (her). Thanks for the encouragement! :)

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the feedback and encouragement everyone. I may continue the story. I'm really looking forward to collaborating with Steven more. He inspires me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Replies
    1. It is! Christy and (a)muse each other. :-)

      Delete
  13. @Steven64, how did you get people to read your blog? I'd like to get them to read mine, but I don't know how to find an audience. I know I need to write more to keep people interested. I just don't know how to "advertise" it and where to do it.

    Thanks for your help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... Well, when I first launched the blog, I pimped it (that's what I like to call it ;-)) on FB and a lot of my friends visited but didn't say much.

      But it was when Christy posted something on her blog and I commented and answered comments on the post (I was able to because I work from home) that a bunch of people came over to my blog too. And then it sort of grew from there. Last summer was a high-point because lots of people were visiting and commenting. Then it kind've tapered off.

      It's sort of luck of the draw I think. A weird confluence of things led people here from Christy's blog. And it probably helps to have something to say and to post somewhat regularly.

      If you want, you can post your blog URL here and a maybe a few curious folk will migrate over and take a gander.;-)

      I hope some of that helps. :)

      Delete
    2. My blog is http://kirani-cole.blogspot.com/ and I'd love it if some of you guys would visit it and let me know what you think. :)

      Thanks for the response @Steven64.

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. I can! Are you a bald Asian chick now? ;-P

      Delete
    2. Yes! ;) I have to stay interesting.

      Delete
    3. You will always be interesting, Ms. N. :)

      Delete
  15. Crackerjacks! I'd like to read more short story stuff. Got any more from @Christy or do you have any you wrote @Steven?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Crackerjacks!" - Love it! I think we'll probably collaborate eventually, but not til after the summer. Too hot to be creative. ;P @Christy's written a couple of "sketches", but I've never written anything like a short story. I'd like to though. I bet you could too!

      Delete
    2. I can't write stories, but I'd really like to read some you 2 write. :)

      Delete
    3. @Sarah: If you're like me, you don't think you can write a short story because you haven't TRIED. But you write beautifully (I've seen your stuff on G+ and on here), so I know you can write. I'm going to eventually write something. Whether or not I post it on here is a different story! (Christy has editorial control over what I post. If it sucks, it ain't showing up here.)

      Delete
  16. Great story! I'd like to read more! Have you two collaborated on other stories and art pieces?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We keep threatening to write a story together along with a piece of my art, but we still have yet to get around to it. Glad you liked it!

      Delete