Wednesday, 16 June 2010

What's in a Name? (Part 1)

A short story that I wrote back in June 2008, for my Mom.

On a world many, many light-years away ….

The Stranger gently landed his flighter on the top of the hill with a final burst of the ventral jets. He clambered in an ungainly manner out of the cockpit, and leapt lightly to the ground, clearly accustomed to the manoeuvre. Standing tall, he surveyed the urban sprawl that sprouted at the bottom of the hill on which he stood, expanding out in a northerly direction over the ridges and dales surrounding the valley bowl. Through the centre of the valley ran a river – or rather, it limped. Even from this distance the presence of numerous obstructions to the normal flow was evident.

To the Stranger’s left of the river, he observed neat, orderly roads, residences and what appeared to be a sort-of town-centre. It was a real gem to look at, the cobbled streets tidy and flowers in boxes at every window, To the right – he paused for a moment as he glanced in that direction – the overall colour was brown, which stood out in stark contrast to the surrounding land. There appeared to be little order to the ... chaos ... and it was, in fact, an eye-sore.

Unerringly drawn to this divided settlement, the Stranger started down the hill, intent on learning more about such a place of contrasts. He was not sure of why, but it was this curiosity that had caused him to land his flighter.