Another’s Treasure

On days like this she often found herself wondering about all the space junk…

Where did it all come from? How long had it been floating about in atmospheric limbo? What shard or obscure object is floating directly above at this very moment, and most importantly what untold story does the object hold? It was these questions she liked to speculate on most.

Sitting at the desk in her living room with her head tilted to the stars, she would watch as the moonlight seeped through the cracks of the ceiling in silver ribbons, and, sure enough as the joints and foundations of the room began to sigh and groan under the pressure, off came the lid of her living room, revealing a universe, speckled with infinite wisdom.

Like flying over the lights of some foreign metropolis, the vast, interconnected veins of constellations and clusters of gas told stories as timeless as the pitch darkness from which they were conceived. Tales of loss and longing, tales of redemption, and so on. All written into the firmament with an eloquent hand. Burning within the core of some younger stars she could see chapters yet to be told. Through varied and ever-changing heat, others were constantly re-writing and evolving as they shifted into deep-sea blues, blueish whites, shimmering yellow shades, and finally ruby-red, like painted lips on a black canvas.

And then, seemingly static and pinned at first glance, but ever-so slowly moving, afloat in the atmosphere were countless pieces and foreign bodies of accumulated space junk. Their rigid shapes and torn edges cut sharp paths, some no larger or denser than an empty aluminium can. In cold, metallic colours they wandered overhead, stiff and inflexible… a stark juxtaposition from the flickering dexterity of their galactic backdrop. Drifting, counter-productive, off-putting, out of place. To her on the other hand, these were time capsules; eery, resilient and brilliantly misinterpreted.

In their silent symphony they continued on their course; a mass migration of twisted metal and debris. All the while drifting, like she was, into the jaws of the night sky.

(Short fiction piece written for Open Pen Magazine, 16/3/2016)

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