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David Taylor, 01 Feb '13

“Is this whole planet dead?” Daniel asked as they crested a low hillock.

“Certainly looks that way,” Mark replied quietly, raising a pair of worn binoculars to his eyes with despondent lacklustre.

Before them sprawled a modest village. It was as desolate and grey as the motionless ceiling of clouds that pressed heavily from above; devoid of anything green or anything that could break the forlorn world’s semblance of a tomb.

“Think we should check it out?”

Mark grunted in response, pushing his binoculars back into the leather pouch hanging from his belt, and began meandering between the rocks littering the slope as he picked a path to the village.

His heavy boots kicked up somnolent plumes of dust as he went and the clattering of loose stones resonated loudly across the horizon. The sounds seemed to hang unnaturally in the air, almost as if the bleak void created by the silence resented their presence, and Mark felt a tension creeping into his neck and shoulders with each brash step of their intrusion.

“We shouldn't be here,” Daniel said from behind him. “We’re not welcome.”

“I think you’re right,” Mark replied, flinching from the cut of Daniel’s voice as they stepped passed the first few buildings of the village.

The hairs on the back Mark’s neck prickled as he stared around him and he felt an unease that nagged at more than just his mind. The buildings were deprecating and seemed to leer at them with eyes of grubby glass, which had long since been encrusted by a fine layer of pale dust from the earth. The slats of their walls were parched and crumbling; the memory of all colour bleached away decades past by the faint disc of the faraway sun.

“Call the ship,” Mark said, dropping his voice to a low undertone. “We’re leaving.”

Comments · 2

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  • Jonathan Stevens said...

    Ooooooh! I want to know what happened next! Very atmospheric!

    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    Agree with Jonathan, this is very atmospheric and intriguing - if there was another part I'd read on!

    • Posted 6 years ago