I should have listened but, I was tired and didn’t want to get up again. The cries in the night are not unusual for an active-minded child. Well, that’s what the psychologist told us. “Go back to sleep, honey!” my wife said to me at 2:02 a.m. Yeah, 2:02 will forever haunt me.
You see our six-year old daughter was a sleepwalker, night talker and screamer. Often, I would wake up to a small figure cuddling close to me in the wee hours of the morning. I’d typically throw an arm around the child and go back to sleep. On this night, however, she only screamed, and my wife and I decided to give it a few minutes before I got up to go comfort her. She always slept through her nightmares, and she never remembered them the next morning.
This one time… Oh God! This one time I let here scream more than usual, and even the abruptness of her stopping should have warned me something was different. It wasn’t until the next morning when I went to her room to wake her that reality hit me. My sweet daughter was gone, and I knew in an instant I would never see her again.
I was still crumpled on the floor crying when my wife came to check on us and see what the hold up was. Upon seeing what I saw – she too crumpled. After a time, we managed to get up and discuss where we had gone wrong.
The old stone-carved idol we had found on our vacation to the Grand Canyon lay where our daughter should have been lying in sweet slumber. The old figurine that once occupied its countenance had changed to that of a young girl. I guess the old Native American man wasn’t joking with us after all.
The following short-fiction is inspired by the photo above posted by Diana of Myths of the Mirror.
Time had transformed the future into a robotic and Artificial Intelligence ruled world. Children were created only in test tubes and mankind, as we once knew it, had collapsed into technological chaos.
Relationships between humans were, for the most part, non-existent. Human life was lost to the very technology that mankind had once so proudly worshipped as the future to save the planet.
Manipulation of DNA was initiated by the Keepers early in the gestation period and the vessels (mothers) were kept in stasis. All this leading to an obviously unsustainable population.
Mar had traveled far on a cruise ship that had been lost at sea for years. He grew up with parents, still of the old days, who taught him how to survive. They recognized that creativity was going to help Mar live a fuller life, so they taught him to dance and entertain. These lessons helped him to survive and keep his sanity after a plague wiped out all but he and a handful of others on the ship.
The sun was first blocked by the small planet, now in synchronous orbit with the earth, back in the late 2020s. What Mar remembered was the ship had lost all contact with the world when communications ceased to work after the ship barely survived the wrath of the ocean during the horrific transition. The captain and most of the crew had also perished during the catastrophe.
When supplies on the ship had eventually run out and the equipment to catch fish had all dilapidated or broken… it was time to leave.
In one of the lifeboats, Mar made his way to the distant buildings and then upon the deserted shore. Though scared, of he knew not what, Mar straightened his frame; he took a deep breath; and then, he danced a solo dance.