Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The ants were the first to reach the bones, burrowing for precious calcium through quivering flesh whose owner was made blessedly insensate by the inadequate atmosphere.

“No signs of life.” they said, forgetting the many probes that had been sent, whose slow decay under wind and scouring sand had released microorganisms from their own planet.

“Uninhabitable.” they said, unable to imagine that life forms could be made from any element in the right combinations.

And combine they did, giant planet-wide dust storms picking up minerals from the ground and remnants of living things from the dead spaceships and tossing them miles high into the atmosphere where the spinning built static and electricity was, just as Shelley had predicted, the true spark of life.

In their hubris the scientists and explorers couldn't fathom that the dreamers had been right; that the color of the sun was relevant, that shades of blue could speed mutations and evolution could happen in decades rather than millenia.

The ants were the first to reach the body, skittering cloudy silicon shells across the desert, drawn by the scent of rare materials, drawn by the visitor on the bright side of the planet. They burrowed deep inside, winding their tunnels along the bones, chipping away as she lay slowly dying, her blood seeping into the sand, calling the larger animals to feed.

Prompted by Nightmare Fuel

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