Friday Fictioneer 100 Word Story: Airship

Airship

Riding golden llamas in cold bright sun, we’d reached the highest ridge, where the air is thin. We looked up in the sky and saw a fearsome sight: through fine mist, a giant eye, strange symbols written on its skin. It was nothing we’d ever seen. We thought it God.

It was silent in the cold, not a sound floated down. It sat there so still, like a reptile waiting for a mouse. We wondered what to do, afraid to speak, afraid to move. We stayed like statues until darkness came. We are still here, frozen, but God has gone.

 

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61 comments

    • Phillip K Dick thought that God had gone mad and left the universe he created. Not on my mind as I wrote the story, but I read his books long ago and ideas like that stick in one’s mind. Ideas: he was full of them. Thanks for your comment.

    • I don’t think I ever saw The Gods Must Be Crazy; I wasn’t really thinking about that aspect of the story. “Inattention to detail” should be branded across my forehead; many of my childhood teachers would have held the branding iron.

  1. You’ve got to admit – if you’d never seen one you’d be totally shell-shocked at such a sight. Nice one Carlos, and I loved the idea of riding llamas in the cold bright sun. A simple phrase like that set the scene, the time, the culture perfectly. Well done.

    • Thanks, Sandra, I appreciate your comment. I was driving, trying to think of something to write – I’d already written something unpublishable – and found myself singing that first line like the beginning of a song.

    • Thank you so much, Celestine — is that your name? If so, it’s a beautiful name. Also a lovely song by Norwegian pop singer Bellman. I liked your story very much, and now I understand the last line (sorry!), which makes it even better.

  2. Dear Carlos,

    ‘Airship’ was stellar storytelling. “We are still here, frozen, but God is gone.” I also thought the golden Llamas were unique and that they set the stage for your tale with just the right hint of mysticism. You transported me.

    Also, the juxtaposition of the transport modes of two cultures was brilliant.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    For fellow Llama riders, my link.
    http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/joining-a-murmuration-or-bud-cowarts-view/

  3. GOLDEN llamas in a cold sun [brilliant, that], and I too took a fancy to the reptile image. Ahh, the price we pay for our limited efforts to explain the world … we can, after all, only use the things we think we know to explain that which is new or unfathomable. I can think of some folks in this country who should be frozen in their tracks for the explanations they try to cram down our throats. Mine is not nearly as poetic, but you can check it out over at http://scottcheck.blogspot.com/2012/06/heist.html

    • Thanks, Scott. The story began with that line in my mind; I was singing in the car, trying to make up a song. I’m trying to learn to free my mind better for writing. Have you read Lindaura’s? I think it’s really good, speaking of free minds.

      • I DID read Linda’s … and like you, thought it was exceptionally good. It took me (per usual) some effort to figure out how to leave a comment (but I finally persevered) … including one entire loop where the comment page would start to load but then would switch to a blank page (without even any scroll bars), and then when I hit the “back” button, the comment page would start to load before turning back to the blank page. Sheesh! I happen to have bought a G5 Mac (desktop) in the early days of production, so mine lacks an Intel processor and is pretty much yet another dead end for me in the Mac World (remember when I bought an Apple GS instead of the first Mac … or got that Apple IIC before laptops started being made?)

      • Hey Scott,
        I bought an Apple IIGS – it cost a fortune back then and then no one made any music software for it. I love the computer I have now, a Macbook Pro 13″ with a 640 GB hard disk which is reasonably powerful and very portable. I have a 20″ monitor I connect to to give me two screens, which I need for my work.
        If you can figure out how, disable CAPTCHA, or whatever it is called, on your blogsite in order to bypass everyone having to guess the annoying word scramble thing. It’s something you get on Blogger but we don’t on WordPress.
        The weather here has been horrible, btw. Freezing cold and rain with biting wind, and here it is a week into June.

    • Thanks, Kathy. It never gets cold in Texas? Sometimes I get a chill just from reading about Texas. But I had my best Mexican food there – several times. And met an old friend there, Cornell Hurd, who has a great roadhouse Texas Swing band.

  4. Did you ever see the film What the Bleep? If you did you will recall a scene where an south American Indian is unable to see the ships on the horizon because they have no concept of what they might be – this had a flavour of that to it, really nice 🙂

  5. When I read this I pictured an ancient race being visited by travelers from the future who have somehow slipped through a tear within times or something, now I could see how it would work as maybe a group of people who were just unaware of the technology and thus viewing it as God. It’s very good either way, great take on the prompt.

  6. Thanks very much. Any interpretation will do; we each bring our own mindset to a story and it means something slightly different to each of us.

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