Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Beginning of my Sci-fi short (would appreciate feedback)

I've been working on this for a couple of weeks now, and I'm halfway through, moreover, I'm interested in people's thoughts on my shit outside of my circle of friends (friends that couldn't care less).

The prose is also my ode to Tarkovsky and Solaris.

I stand amongst the tall weeds and lavender.  The early morning sun imbues the surrounding fog and ghostly white mist swirls abound.  I watch the reeds sway to and fro in the cool water of the lake; green fingers grasping.  I amble closer to the streaming water, bend down and grasp a handful of earth.  The soil is silty and supple through my pale fingers – an earthworm sleepily flails upon my palm as I rest the dirt by the water’s edge.  I rinse my aged hands, and the sounds of laughter and voices long-passed permeate the ghostly, opaque mist.
It was this lake, as a boy, where myself and my sister would spend our summers submerged, swinging from a withered rope.  We would fish for tadpoles, and desperately try to preserve them in nets with holes far too large.  Our smooth, golden skin shimmered in the orange and purple dusk of the sun as our laughter harmonized with the wistful sway of the centuries-old oak trees and the ode of the frogs. 
I close my tired eyes and let the mist tinge my brow; the perfume of lavender, lilac, and moss permeate my senses.  I open my eyes to witness the reeds come to a gradual stand-still.  The interwoven greens and browns free themselves from one another, and like the breath from my lungs, wind ceases from the water’s surface.  It’s then that I notice the dense smoke atop the oak trees.  My heart abruptly begins secreting primal fluid through my veins as my feet thrash about through thick, thorny brush.  I arrive at the clearing to the crunch of the perfectly lined pebbled driveway and forceful flares encircle the small, timbered house.  I see a small, doll-like figure in the blackened window of the second- storey.  A porcelain personage cracking from the abhorrent heat; it glances at me with dark, hopeless eyes, falls through the glass and descends to the pebbles below with a thud.         
My eyes open and I let out a cavernous breath.  In the mirror above my white, cold bed, I watch my pupils constrict from the orange hue emanating through the small viewing pane.  Outside, the icy molten rock of the Callistonian Mountains is tinted yellow and orange from the sun – to the west is the ever-intimidating, enormous, gaseous planet of Jupiter.  Callisto, one of the four Galleon moons of Jupiter, is host to one of the few remaining celestial fueling provisions that facilitate continued deep space exploration passed the dusty rings of Neptune and far beyond the reaches of our Solar System.  I, Kelvin Connor, have been stationed upon this Jovian base, aptly dubbed Sagittarius, for two years as the sole engineer appointed by Copernicus Technologies.
        The canteen is predictably damp and dimly-lit.  I retrieve some rather stagnant black coffee from the rusted, half-broken coffee machine, and I take a seat in one of the many stainless steel chairs that line the long metal tables.  I rest my cool, callused palm on my unshaven face as I wait for the arrival of astro physicist Lina Marius and physician Thom Alfredson.  As much as I detest the putrid stale coffee and the unsavory, synthetic food, there is a strange comfort in the mustiness of the air; it reminds me of that of my grandparents’ house.  It seems like eons ago – sitting on their brown, spotted carpet watching some random baseball game while my grandfather watch from a smoky, rustic kitchen as he drank his coffee – his white hair glistening from the brilliant sunlight through the dirty window.
            I place my weary head upon the cold, silver slab.  The ration distributer behind eerily hums; my eyelids gradually encapsulate my red-streaked sclera.  Water drips from the water-stained, domed ceiling and tenderly, sensually wets the tips of my fingers. 
            I am floating now – deeper and deeper – towards the viscous squall of ancient gases and Maria’s charred, blackened breasts.  The grinding floods my ears and I fear they will bleed and they do.  I hover closer to the storm as reds and browns erupt and rest with seamless apocalyptic synchronicity.  My fragile body begins to vibrate and then catches fire – a beautiful thermonuclear spectacle of plasma erupting in space.  The remaining air in my lungs is quickly siphoned as the red embraces me.  I hear the screams, and I do the same.  I.
            “Good morning, Kelvin.”
My vertebra takes a rapid, backward snap, and I gasp for air as if surfacing from a deep, black ocean. 
“I take you’re still not sleeping well?”  Lina Marius stands before me, half-smiling, nestling a clipboard under her tiny, pale arm and with the other takes a sour sip of coffee.
“That makes both of us.  Thom should arrive shortly.”
I wipe the remaining saliva from my mouth and sardonically, “dreamt I was force-fed the chicken-n’-dumplings.”
Lina sits her coffee down on the damp, metal table, “ouch – that’ll do it.”
Inquisitively, she quickly jots something down on her clipboard and looks to me, “have you noticed a change in the atmosphere?”
I have to re-register the question and clear my throat, “I’ve noticed that the air seems staler than usual.  Is it something to do with the frequency of the dust storms?  I’ve noticed much more of an occurrence of dirt devils.”
She takes a swig of coffee, hesitates, and spits it back into the cup, “it’s possible but not only inside the station – the atmosphere outside.”
            Before I can attempt to answer, Dr. Thom Alfredson opens the hatch door and whimsically strolls down the water-stained white steps into the miniscule dining area.  Alfredson’s lab coat, sterile and pristine, flutters behind him as he takes a seat at the far end of the table.  Thom removes his glasses, rubs his mat of wiry, white hair: “what’s the order of business on this fine morning?”
“We’re still a long ways from home,” Lina wearily replies.
Thom smiles at me, “home is only a dream away.”  I can’t help but smile myself. 
“Why don’t you ask Mr. Kelvin about dreams, he seems to be having some very stimulating ones as of late,” Lina interjects. 
Thom, with great relevance, leans towards me – folding his arms: “what dreams”?
I rub the stubble on my cheeks, “they’re nothing, really; ambiguous most of the time.  I can only recall them occasionally.”
“Do you know what Freud said about dreams?”  Thom wipes his glasses.
“Freud was a whack job,” I express with a pensive chuckle as Lina opines: “his studies were somewhat outdated, even for his time, and his theories on consciousness and the role sexuality play in it are flawed and juvenile – at best.”
            Thom soberly looks to Lina, with the lights of the canteen in his aged glasses, “may I finish?”
And without looking up from her clipboard, a grin clambers across Lina’s dimpled cheeks which give the go-ahead.
“Freud once said that, ‘neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.’”
“Then shouldn’t Man be free of suffering?  Is there anything left to ponder?”
  Lina solicits, fleetingly.
 “Man will suffer until our own voyage is complete; that’s the true wonderment – what distinguishes Man from the rest of the cosmic dust,” I utter as Thom and I sheepishly glimpse at Lina.
“It’s all relative, of course,” as Thom coerces an anemic, unconvincing smile.
“Of course – and Kelvin, I’ve been noticing much interference on the console interface; however, it sounds much too muddled to be transmissions of any sort – can you take a look when you get the chance?” 
“Sure, I’ll work on it this afternoon.”  These disturbances have become almost trivial, mostly caused by the simultaneous orbit of Europa or electromagnetic radiation omitted from Jupiter’s atmosphere.
            “Is there anything else, Dr. Connor?”  Lina fixates her pale, blue eyes on something through and beyond the circular, amber-hued panel. 
“No, only that Aquarius won’t be here for another couple of months, but I think that’s common knowledge as of now, and that the docking quadrant to the west of the station should be operational by the time they arrive.  And as I said, I’ll take a look at the console in a few hours, but I’m sure it’s just minor interference.”
Lina’s gaze breaks from the emitting tawny prism – “great, then maybe I’ll see you two at dinner; if I’m needed I’ll be having a hot shower, a drink, and a long nap.”
Thom discerningly nods as Lina dismounts and meanders towards the hatch with inert lethargy.
“What’s with her today?”
Thom examines his brittle fingernails, “it’s her mother’s birthday today.  She passed closely to Lina’s departure; I think she was the only remaining family she had.”
I feel an abrupt upsurge of nausea throughout my sour stomach – “I didn’t know that.  I’d heard her mother died, but she’s never spoken about it, specifically.”
Thom’s stoic, wrinkled face is imbued with the golden vibrancy of the sun glistening through the window as dust particles dance upon his thin white hair.
“I guess we’ve all lost something, someone; otherwise, I don’t think we would waste our time on this futile eyesore of a space station.  Half a billion miles from the nearest garden of roses or a good bottle of scotch, but I suppose when we are home we long for things beyond our direct vicinity; that’s the manner of the insatiable Man.”
            Outside, eons-old black, icy rock glistens from the Callistonian dawn; generating spectral, silver slivers above the coal-like dust. Particles of dust and gas found refuge on this ousted moon countless millennia before the genesis of Man and will do so long after our cycle is complete. Not until the ancient satellites bear witness to the inevitable cataclysmic, ravaging from our aging star, will they join Man amidst the remnants of an abolished solar system.
                   I look from the amalgamation of water on the table and stand to leave, “home is a concept – a complex.”
“I suppose it is,” as Thom’s withered body resembles ghostly, winter foliage.
“I guess I’d better get my stuff ready to go out, see what moon is inadvertently sending us signals,” I say monotonously.
“Be careful, Lina said that there could be a storm coming; we’re orbiting closer to Jupiter.”
“Thanks, I will.”
I grab my dingy, grey jacket and head for the hatch door; as the hatch opens with an un-oiled grate I hear an echo of Thom’s faint voice: “Hey, Kelvin?”
I look back as if looking at a weathered statue with spectacles, “Yeah?”


I like it.

It needs a tad bit of refinement, it seems as if some of the dialogue is too classical, very dickens or bronte. Sometimes things don't need to be stopped and explained. It's okay to compress some exposition that is quite complex and important for different emotional reasons, into seemingly offhand, quick comments. Remember that in this world, the characters are real people and don't simply serve to explain to you. People toss off important details as if they were insignificant all the time because, to them it is common knowledge.


I tend to overwrite; I plan on going back over it when it's finished and exicisng some of the exposition and dialogue (which I despise writing).

I guess the dialogue is a personal choice.  The story is very fantastical that I don't see the use in having the dialogue be 'realistic', but i'll edit it.

Thanks for your input.


I like the dialogue, actually. It's stilted, but it does seem like a stylistic choice and contributes nicely to the heightened reality/tone of the story. The prose is indeed overwritten though -- way too many adjectives and adverbs, and some of them don't really fit. He walked "whimsically," a "pensive" chuckle, etc. Be less descriptive and more evocative with fewer words, that's my two cents.


I've since re written it, but I got depressed and quit.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)