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Only in Dreams

Echo-1: Part 2

Out of the endless infinite darkness, I noticed a soft little light, all alone, by itself. I moved toward it. An Oort cloud of moving shimmering objects encapsulated the light. As I approached the outer edge I was dwarfed by the enormity of a solar system. I passed into a shower of comets that drifted apart leaving huge open expanses for me to pass through. What could have only been the Voyager spacecraft shot out of the darkness and whizzed past me. I watched it fade back into the darkness and when I faced forward again I saw a pair of dark blue orbs drifting away to my left. Ahead and to my right, the rings around Saturn gave me some sense of my location. Its delicate beauty was muffled by the enormous swirling gas storms of Jupiter. I was still straining to see all its moons as I passed through the asteroid belt and approached the inner planets. The sun appeared to rise over the edge of Mars. The illuminated orange planet spun past almost winking. I came up on the dark side of the moon, gliding close over its craters until the marble shaped Earth sat in full view in front of me. I watched the sunlight drift across the surface. A lone astronaut looked down with me from the observation deck of the International Space Station.

I left her behind and burst through the atmosphere somewhere over North America, heading toward the west coast. I dropped down over the ocean waves to witness a pod of humpbacks swimming north on their fall migration. One of them breached, holding its mass in mid-air for a frozen second, then splashed down with thunderous force. I moved parallel along the coast and back up onto the highway.

I was riding my bike again. This time at night. Lightning ripped the sky, reflecting crooked lines in the water. I raced around the curves even faster than before. I could see fire licking the night around the next turn. When I came around the bend I knew they would be there, but I wasn’t slowing down. The trailer was burning, fire shot out of its broken windows. The woman stood in the center of the road covered in blood, pulling at her hair. I couldn’t hear her, but I saw the scream on her face echoing out of her open mouth. The baby and the puppy lay smoldering on the pavement. The young man in the leather jacket was there again, right in front of me, waving his arms, his body engulfed in flames. I aimed my bike toward the guardrail again and twisted the throttle as far as it would go. I blasted through, sailing out over the breakers below. The bike and I hit the rocks at the same time and bounced off into the water. My legs were crushed in the process. Above me, there was an explosion. Fire lit the water as I sank. I drifted deeper, returning to the still darkness.

Far below I saw a shape. It moved up toward me, getting bigger and clearer. A huge shark opened its gaping mouth full of pointed triangular teeth. Its eyes rolled back white before it struck.

{ Part 1 ~ Part 3 }

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Sci-fi short stories to inspire your inner rocket building, planet-hopping, astrophysicist space pirate. 🚀

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