I have joined the group "Blogging from A to Z" . This is a a month long challenge to write a short story everyday and each day corresponding to the letter of the alphabet. I have linked up the site - simply click on the name so that you might read any sort of short story from the huge line-up available. The stories are supposed to be short so that many can be read, quickly. Simply a titillation of talent. Happy reading, and thank you for joining me. My sister-in-law is writing under "Vicki's Place" currently her placement is #1259. If you are catching this on my Facebook or as an e-mail follower my number is currently #1324. (people drop out and the numbers contract)
U is for Universal
We sat sipping our cocktails at the bar. Catching up with old friends is absolutely the best thing to perk a girl up. We had chatted about our lives, our children, our spouses, and the world in general.
As I ordered us a second round, I slipped off my sweater. My jacket was already on the back of an empty chair.
We had met during the war. During the Great War. Not on the same side of the battle. Which makes our friendship even more odd. And yet it has lasted most of our lives. We meet once an Earth year to catch up in person or rather “live”.
The Great War, as it has become known as. It was actually an inter-galactic war. War of the worlds. War of the beings. War. From my history books I know that the phrase “Was is Hell” was coined back in 1863 by General William T Sherman from what was then known as The United States of America.
Things aren’t as simple now. But, war is still Hell!
We met oddly. It was a holiday every world is required to celebrate. The Grand Union. A universal celebration of the creation of the union. A union of economics joining several galaxies. It even included those barbarian wildings from the moons of Jupiter; Europa, Lo, Ganymede and Callisto. Unusual “beings” indeed! They were a frozen species from a frozen orb they called home. But, I digress. I had begun to tell you why there was a “celebration”.
Out on patrol, on a forsaken planet, our flight tanker had been shot down. Only one other, besides myself, of my unit survived the crash. Janelle was a spindly thing, she had enlisted the same time I had. She was from a planet I only knew as B45. They grew tall and thin. Her skin, seemed to me, like tree bark. With just the two of us alive, we had only each other for moral support. We spoke using a vocal translator. She had put on the translator and told me her planet was lush and tropical. I always imagined she must have had to grow so tall and leggy to get close to the sun. By my calculations, we had been stranded for two Earth months.
Our rations were low. Quite literally, depleted. By now I was certain she would survive her wounds, but I wasn’t certain either of us would ever survive that frozen planet. Hunger drove me out of our cavern we had made into a shelter. I fashioned rabbit-traps for whatever might stumble into them. I foraged and fished. I gathered berries and leaves.
Upon returning to our hovel, I was met by another pair of eyes. I dropped the frog-like thing I had fished out of the nearby river. Stepping on its hind leg to keep it from hopping away, I brandished the pike I had fashioned. Janelle held up a limb, halting me.
This new “being” was as different from Janelle as I was different from Janelle. I was a medium sized female from Earth. Janelle was a very tall female from B45. I had heard of flight beings, but never seen one. It has wings. It was blue. It was almost as big as my hand. It had a unicorn horn sticking out of its forehead. I was ready to step off the frog-thing and step on it.
Janelle had the vocal translator on, “This is Dianthia, or at least that’s as close as I can get to saying her name. She is a warrior from the planet Xellio. At least that’s as close as I can get to saying her planet too.”
“What the Hell? Why is she here? Here?!” I could not believe Janelle would allow the enemy into our sanctuary. She had let the blue beast into our safe haven. My mind reeled. Trying to think of where we would or could go to get away from the blue beast. My pike was again at the ready.
“She too is alone. She is the only one left here. They have all perished in this frozen forsaken land. We have won our battle by default since the enemy cannot survive here, at least not for long. She doesn't know why she lives. She only knows that she is lonely. She has been alone for about a month and known where we hid for most of that time. She only just decided she had nothing to lose. Waiting for you to leave, she snuck in here. Let her stay too. She will go crazy and perish if we turn her out.”
Of course I wanted proof. I demanded to see her fallen comrades. I wanted verification she was the last. Eyeing the frog-thing I was standing on, she asked if we could eat first. That was the start of our friendship. Hardship. Every year when we three regroup, we try to find a universal truth.
My face becomes flush and I fan myself. Janelle laughs at me and begins to blossom. The blue beast, Rhondu, she begins to bloat much like someone had blown up a balloon. Our universal truth. A truth that is so on every planet in the universe. We all move past those reproductive years. All three of us mark the passage of time; I have a hot flash, Janelle experiences a blossom, and Rhondu bloats. It doesn’t matter which planet you are from, our bodies mark the passage of time.