The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.
To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link. Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.
In total, sixteen ships came to rescue us. That meant that only sixteen thousand humans had survived the death of earth.
They call themselves Control Officers, the ones who have been assigned to watch over the humans. Most of us are subdued; happy to be safely off of Earth, but a few are already experiencing some kind of cabin fever. A Control Officer beat a man to a bloody pulp after he got hold of a gun from somewhere and shot at a window. The bullet ricocheted back into the room, imbedding into an old woman’s thigh. The woman would have bled out there and then if not for my mother’s surgical knowledge.
Mum and I barely converse with anyone in our dorm. After we boarded, we were separated into groups of two hundred and forced to live with strangers. There are five groups, so I’m guessing there are five areas of this massive ship that are occupied just like ours. There were sixteen ships in total, so that’s sixteen thousand people who have escaped the death of Earth.
Mum and I have to share a bunk no bigger than a camp bed, and the sweaty, musky smell from too many bodies in a small space is becoming intolerable. I try not to sleep- it sounds silly, I know, but its easier to doze for an hour or so in the rec rooms.
Our rec rooms are fairly spacious. There are arcade games, exercise equipment, and lots of tables and chairs. We do everything in this room, including eat. Vac pac food is wheeled in on trolleys three times a day; you miss it, you don’t eat. The Control Officers say that it will take three months to get back to their planet. I have a little piece of paper in my pocket, and I tally off the days just for something to keep me sane.
I’m alone in the rec room, so I drag some of the tables and chairs aside to make a clear space. I’ll put them back when I’m done. Then, pressing the button on the control panel for some music, a tune I have not heard before plays softly over the speakers. It is a pretty song- pretty but sad. My chest aches for home, and those who did not make it upon the ships. Removing my shoes, I stretch a little and let my body feel the music. Dancing reminds me of my Gran. She was my number one fan, and was so excited when I got into the dance academy, but then the solar flares started and life as we knew it fell to pot.
Dancing helps me rid myself of claustrophobia. We’re not supposed to be in the rec rooms after lights out, but its the only time I can breathe. It’s not like I’m being a nuisance. I always leave it how I found it, and have the music on its lowest setting. I’m dancing, for god’s sake, not shooting at windows.
I slump to the floor, out of breath and sweating.
“Your body moves like liquid,” says a voice from the door way. I jump to my feet at the sight of a Control Officer. “I have never seen that dance before.” His accent is strong. The Control Officers speak amongst themselves in their own language, but have learnt how to speak many Earth languages.
“I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be in here–”
He raises his hand to silence me. “I know you come up here. I like to watch you. What is that dance called?”
I blush crimson. “Well, it doesn’t really have a name. I supposed we call it improvisation. I just do what feels right.”
“So, that is not a dance with steps?” he asks. I shake my head and set to moving the table back into place. “Interesting. You looked sad when you were dancing. Dancing is supposed to be joyous, yes?”
“Dance is whatever you want it to be. I was thinking about home and my late Grandmother. I was… expressing my feelings through my dancing.”
“Your home is a dead planet.” His brow is furrowed, and he tilts is head in curiosity. “Earth is a shell. There is nothing to miss.” He has the same black and white attitude that is apparent in all the Control Officers. They have no time for sentiment it seems.
“Yes, but it is still my home. All my memories are there. I had friends and family there. I’m grateful to be here, but I miss Earth- I always will.”
His lips turn down for a moment. “You will like my home, Zan. It is much like your Earth, but our main stars are different, ours is bigger and red. Yes, you will like it, and you will make new memories.”
I smile. He’s trying to make me feel better. None of the Control Officers act like they have any personality, and it’s reassuring to know that they are similar to humans in some ways. “A red sun. Wow, that I have to see. Why did you rescue us?”
“Because you were in trouble. That is a strange question.” His face is an open book. They really did rescue us because it was the right thing to do.
“Usually, people have motives for doing something that does not benefit themselves, or at least, human people do.”
“That is… er, what is that word?…selfish. What is your name?” he asks.
“Lily, like a flower we had on Earth.”
“I am happy to meet you, Lily Flower, my name is Lowen.” He holds out his hand to me and shakes mine awkwardly. I giggle at the sudden formality, and the way he said my name. “Did I do it wrong?” he says, looking at his hand as if it is something foreign.
“No. It was fine,” I say, still giggling at him.
He lunges toward me, wrapping me in a stiff embrace. “I’ve seen other humans greet each other like this,” he says into my hair. “Is this correct?”
I burst into full blown laughter. “Something like that. We can work on it.”
Content belongs to KJ.Chapman