Daily, genre-inspired writing prompts for authors, teachers, and journaling

SciFi/Fantasy – May 12

“What egotism, what stupid vanity, to suppose that a thing could not happen because you could not conceive it!”

Philip Gordon Wylie, born on this date in 1902.

Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist is imperiled because an event of which s/he cannot conceive occurs.

One Response to “SciFi/Fantasy – May 12”

  1. Chaswick says:

    Anjela’s hand was placed palm down against the side of the aquarium. She could feel the coolness of the water within inducted through the glass to her hand. It was an average sized aquarium, holding about 20 or so tropical fish. It housed small flashy ones that liked to stay together and dart between the fake corals and castles in unpredictable fits and starts. There were also a few larger, irregularly shaped kind that staked out claims on various decorations and holes in the scenery and defended them fiercely, but otherwise didn’t move much. And there was one that just kind of hung off the glass, sucking on it with its mouth. It was like any aquarium you might find back home except that this one was in low earth orbit, attached to a space station.
    “You aren’t trying hard enough, Mally”, Anjela said for probably the hundredth time.
    “I can’t focus Anjie! I’m tired, this isn’t my thing anyway. People have limits, you know!” Mallory, Anjela’s sister and crew-mate through her hands in the air and sent the fishnet sailing across the cabin. It clunked against the force-dampening far wall and began slowly spinning in zero gee.
    Anjela carefully floated over to retrieve the object as she considered how to teach in the moment. After collecting several loose water droplets using the net, she looked for a moment out the starboard porthole where she could see the Earth below them. Not so much floating, though she knew it was, as threatening to pull them back.
    “Of course we have limits. Physical limits, emotional limits even. But mental limits? Limits on focus and discipline? Think about all the great people we learned about in school Mally. The greatest do not have any mental limits.”
    Mally glared at her sister, fuming and frustrated. “Who said I was great, anyway?”
    “That’s easy, no-one did. But if we are going to be better, if we all are going to be better than we were yesterday, then we have to keep trying.”
    “Well I won’t. I’m tired. I’m tired of this whole-”, Mally gestured around them, “-damned ship. And mostly I want to sleep! We’ve been up almost 48 hours!”
    “That’s all part of the test.”
    Just then an alert sounded. Overhead speakers began vomiting static before resolving themselves into the familiar violin strings of ground control.
    “Space Station Armstrong, this is Houston. We are showing multiple incoming-”
    That was all Anjela heard before the cabin exploded in a shower of sparks and wind, wailing and sucking everything within into the beyond freezing blackness of space.
    The safety bulkhead was to her left. Or was it her right? She struggled to shake the cobwebs from her exhausted brain, but everything was all turned around. She had to find the safety airlock. All ships had one, a fortress against the dangers of space, expected or unexpected. It was their only chance. And she had to save Mally. The air was almost gone now, her vision was darkening and blurry. She felt a strong feeling of disapproval wash over her, even as she finally found and poked at the airlock button that led to safety. It was stuck, or locked. Her parents faces were looking at her. “Take care of Mally,” they said. “You need to protect your sister.” Anjela began crying as she tugged listlessly at the door.
    As her eyes closed she saw the airlock iris open and her sister, wearing an oxygen mask, pull her inside.

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