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|Theraxis Comes to Visit (standard:fantasy, 3935 words)|
|Author: Harden||Added: Aug 28 2009||Views/Reads: 1138/1200||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Henry observes a new planet entering the solar system. It has frightening effects on some people but not others. In a state of wild panic, he runs till he comes to the answer.|
Theraxis Comes to Visit By Harden Taylor Bundles of scintillating photons form a single tiny spot on the soft, dark curvature of his retina, the source 9 or 10 light minutes away - at least a hundred million miles - the width of an astronomical eyelash. Henry Prentiss scans the southwest early morning sky 40 degrees above the horizon. A new planet is passing through. It rivals Venus with its bright glow. Word of the new planet had stirred a terrible panic. But after its course was well defined, the world heaved a united sigh of relief to learn there would be no collision. In the way of celebration, it was named “Theraxis” by international agreement - a name suggested by the African amateur astronomer who made the discovery. He thought it appropriate because the name, like the planet, had no known history. While he peers through his telescope, Henry wonders how the ancients would have reacted, they'd have burned 10 virgins every week until it went away. Poor things - locked in their superstitious illusions. Harsh buzzing from his morning-get-ready-for work alarm brings Henry back to the reality of Wednesday. He turns off the alarm and with the efficiency that comes from years of practice, breaks down his telescope and camera, and stuffs them into a black leather carrying case. It's a heavy lug from the flat roof to the bedroom closet in his apartment. The next stop is the adjacent room where Henry imagines a bemused Eva patiently waiting for his enthusiastic report while she practices her morning meet-the-world rituals. She'll like these even more than the last set. Gotta. She's got such an eye for beauty, Henry thinks, picturing Eva combing her long, lustrous night-black hair, counting the streaks of gray but too proud to dye them out. A face that belies her 40 trips around the sun - not as smooth as that of a marble goddess but always animated, always showing the richness inside. Her shoulders jerk slightly in surprise as Henry plunges into the room. “Look ... I took these with the new plates. What d'ya think?” Henry is talking to Eva but his eyes are transfixed on his prizes. He sits next to her, lays the plates down on the counter top in front of her and raises his eyes to meet hers ... they are not there! “Eva! What ... what have you done to your face? My God ... that's so clever. Beautiful! How do ... Eva, it's so very clever and ... but it's not like you. I don't understand. Eva, what is it? How can you do that?” Henry's energetic smile fades. Images in the mirror, in his eyes directly show the same impossible amorphous masses of swirling, exploding colors. No clear boundary, no detectable shapes other than vaguely round. Eva's hands and head have been replaced by a chaotic violence of colored gases. “Eva ... Eva ... EVA!! Can you hear me! Are you there? Please, if this is a trick, stop it now. You win. I'm fooled ... please stop now ... please!” The restless matter that was once her hands moves quickly around and toward him, sending him into a wild terror. Henry jerks to his feet stumbling and falling backward as he does, the advancing dangerous spheres are within inches of his body. He crashes to the floor his back hitting the edge of the chair frame. The fall stuns him. Several minutes are absorbed with internal clarions. Pain diminishes and he looks up at Eva. Her arms move back to their former position. There is something else about her ... she is taller ... she is floating several inches above the chair - impossibly floating in air. Henry sits, eyes frantic and wide as the night's full moon. Long seconds pass and he slips from panic to fascination. How could something so physically impossible be happening? What does it mean? Danger? Omen? Sign from God, infection of alien presence? He cannot take his eyes off the soft apparition before him. Curiosity sets in - Henry's innate, unstoppable curiosity. Maybe it would be safe for me to touch the blobs ... see if they're real, what they feel like. Henry Click here to read the rest of this story (371 more lines)
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