Tag Archives: water

Ra’s Art, Part III

Continued from Part II.

The ball of water curved through the air to where Cru floated. He laughed and swatted it with his palm, shattering it into droplets that flew in all directions. Then he swept his arms through the water around him, sending waves towards Ra, and for a time they engaged in a furious water ball fight, laughing and ducking and flinging handfuls of liquid all around.

“You did all this yourself?” asked Cru, once peace had returned. “You made this place? The trees, the river, everything?”

“Terraforming!” said Ra. “Gardening on a grand scale. I would say it can be art. What do you think?”

“It’s beautiful,” said Cru, taking in the forest and the river once more. “People would love to come and play here.”

“Do you think they would like to do this?” asked Ra, and she submerged herself, then launched upwards. She flew out of the water, enveloped in spray, pirouetting through the air before slowly falling back down. “Try it!” she said.

Cru ducked down, then kicked hard with his legs. He flew upwards into the air, twisted head over heels and fell awkwardly into the water again head-first.

“You’ll get it!” laughed Ra.

They leapt along the river, carried by their kicks and a slight current. They came close to where the river poured over the edge of the cliff, and Ra didn’t slow down. She rose up, waved, and fell slowly down into the waterfall. Cru gasped, took a deep breath and jumped after her.

The End

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Ra’s Art, Part II

Continued from Part I.

The water touched Cru’s feet first, clasping his ankles with a cool grip. Then it wrapped around his calves, gulped in his knees, slid slowly up his thighs. His chest welcomed the cushioning liquid like a new partner in some strange dance. As his head was finally enveloped, it occurred to Cru that this experience was quite unlike any he could remember.

He pushed the water down with his arms and propelled himself back up to the surface. As he refilled his lungs, Cru saw that the water thrown up by his impact was still in the air. Droplets glinted all around him in the sunlight. The splash had formed a wall of liquid around him, falling very slowly back down into the river around him. He saw the bright green of the forest that decorated the river bank, the details blurred through the remarkable window that was slowly sloshing downwards around him.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” Ra was swimming towards him.

“What’s going on?” asked Cru, gently kicking his legs to keep afloat.

“Because the gravity here on Yelva is much lower than on Earth, the water falls much more slowly,” replied Ra. “A splash becomes a moving sculpture that folds itself up as you watch.” With an out-stretched arm, she whipped a hand through the curtain of ice-clear liquid. Spray spun slowly in all directions, then a ball of water formed in the grasp of her fingers and she flung it towards Cru in a balletic arc through the air.

To be continued…

Friends

Graves jogged to a halt, put his hands behind his head and breathed in cool, welcome air. Nat was leaning against a nearby tree, taking gulps from a bottle of water. She waved.

“Not bad for an old man,” she said.

Graves laughed. “Thanks. Good pace.”

“Where’re the others?” she asked, offering the bottle.

Graves took the water and poured a little over his head. “Mags was not far behind me. Not sure about Deck.” He looked over his shoulder and saw Mags trotting towards the tree, a big grin adorning a red face.

She stopped, laughed, then leant over and put her hands on her knees. “Good,” she said. “Loved it when you surprised the dog,” waggling her finger at Graves, “very funny.”

Nat stood up and beckoned to the other two. “Deck must be having a hard time,” she said. “Let’s go and find him.” The others nodded.

They walked slowly back along the path. A few minutes later they caught sight their friend. He was jogging slowly towards them, face screwed up in pain, hand clutching his side. He waved, too short of breath.

They formed a line either side of him, and began to jog, matching his pace.

“Look at you sporty people,” he gasped. “What am I doing?”

“You’re becoming one of us,” said Graves.

“You’re pushing your limits,” said Nat.

“You’re making us proud,” said Mags.

They arrived at the tree. Deck hugged it and laughed. The others splashed water over him.

“I love you guys,” he said.

Corrupts Absolutely

Nathan walked down the road where he lived, towards his house. He was seething with anger at the events he had just witnessed.

“No I’m not,” he said. “I’m not angry at all, and I haven’t witnessed anything.” He walked on, kicking bushes and low walls, taking his aggression out on inanimate objects.

“I’m definitely not doing that,” he said. “That’s ridiculous, and it would hurt.”

He reached the gate that led to his house. There was a small overgrown garden out front, while the house itself was small, old and dingy-looking.

“It’s not that bad,” he said. “Stop messing with me.”

He strolled up the garden path and went through the front door.

“No I didn’t,” he protested. “I’m still out here on the front path until you leave me alone. I don’t want to go inside.”

He went inside.

“No, I’m staying here on the path,” he said.

It began to rain.

“Stop it,” he said. “You can’t make me go inside.”

Heavy rain, that soaked through his clothes and make his foppish hair drip water underneath his collar. He felt cold and extremely uncomfortable.

“Enjoying the power you have, are you?” he snarled.

A vast flood of water flowed into the front garden, destroying bushes and flowers. It roared towards his legs and threatened to sweep him away.

“You’re just showing off now,” he yelled. “Alright, I’ll go in.”

The water vanished as if by magic. He went into the house, muttering about writers under his breath.

Controller (Part III)

Continued from Part II.

“Jack! Help us!”

The steps down to the platform plunged into a torrential stream of water, sparkling sickly colours under the emergency lights. The water poured from a large crack in the tunnel wall at the far end. It churned and tossed and swept debris down the train tracks, disappearing into the dark behind the stairs where Jack perched.

He peered into the gloom. The Controller was in the water, head just above the raging stream, one bloodied hand at a metal post jutting upward, caught in the fixing that once held a display screen. The Controller’s other arm held up the head of young boy, who flailed his arms furiously against the water.

“His legs are gone!” yelled the Controller. “Ready… catch!” He let go of the boy, who was swept towards the stairs. Jack leapt forward and caught the boy before he went past and dragged him out of the water. “Go! Run!” The ceiling cracked and fell into the water. The Controller disappeared from view.

Jack grabbed the boy and carried him upwards. Up and up and up until the sunlight and the open air hit his cheeks, and they both collapsed into a crowd of paramedics and police. Jack looked back over his shoulder. Then he watched a man, in bloodied shirt and tie and dripping wet, hobble out from the darkness and limp towards him.

“And that,” laughed the Controller, lying down on his back on the pavement, breathing heavily, “is why I’m the boss!”

Controller (Part II)

Continued from Part I.

“This is an emergency,” said a calm electronic voice that emanated from the ceiling. “Please evacuate immediately.”

Jack and the Controller reached the bottom of the spiral staircase. They found themselves at the end of a small tunnel that stretched out a few metres and then turned a corner. There were bright lights and tiled walls. Over the noise of the alarm, the sound of rushing water and screams echoed from beyond the bend in the tunnel.

They ran on, weaving through the passages, until they came to a gate. On the other side was a much larger tunnel, packed with a crowd of people filing slowly past. Professional men and women in suits, mothers with young children, teenagers, the elderly. Yet the clothes and colours and tribal differences had melted away, leaving a group of human beings to press together against their fear on common terms. Their faces showed not panic but grim determination.

Jack hastily unlocked the gate, and ushered people along the tunnel to the spiral stairs. The new exit eased the crush and the crowd began to flow faster. Over the heads of the escapees he saw the Controller pushing back through the crowd, heading away down the larger tunnel.

A young woman stood to one side, calling out encouragement and calming words. Jack squeezed up to her.

“Tunnel collapsed!” she said. “Water’s coming in, flooding the tracks.”

With thanks, Jack sent her on up with last of the crowd, and headed down after his boss.

To be continued…

Controller (Part I)

Jack Alderman’s two hundred and seventeenth unsuccessful attempt to flirt with the Controller’s assistant, Marcie, was a particularly memorable one. It failed not, this time, due to Jack’s ineptness at movie star impressions, but because of the interrupting vibration that shook the walls.

Pictures rattled around their hooks, papers fluttered. Marcie’s mug shuffled off her desk, spilling coffee onto the threadbare carpet. Screams of surprise floated over from other desks. Then the door between the control room and the office flung open and the Controller appeared at full sprint.

“Jack, follow!” he yelled as he thundered across the room. His arms stretched out to slam open the double doors at the far end, and then he was gone. His footsteps echoed as he hammered down the stairs.

Jack looked at Marcie. Marcie shrugged. Jack placed his mug down where Marcie’s had been, and ran towards the staircase.

As he jumped the lower steps of each flight, an alarm started screeching. Jack caught up with the Controller five floors down. The Controller was still galloping but breathing heavily. The sweat was beginning to show through his shirt.

“What was that?” shouted Jack as they ran.

“Earthquake!” came the reply. “Red lights over the entire board!”

Two flights down the stairs became a spiral, digging further below the lowest floor. Another fifty steps took them towards the tunnels, and a sound, out of place, floated up to great them. The Controller halted, breathing heavily, shock creeping across his face.

“Water!” he gasped.

To be continued…