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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Calypso Cultural Park
By Beth LaBuff


The question catapulted into my mind, interrupting my reverie, Can that Tachyon starship really travel one astronomical unit per minuteóEarth reckoning? That thought was quickly supplanted; I did a double take. The Tachyon was parked askew, monopolizing two parking spaces, no doubt to prevent damage from other starships parking too closely. I maneuvered my outmoded and trusty Phaeton into a space adjacent to the Tachyon. In the early evening sky, several of Saturnís moons reflected in the mirrored ebony finish of the Tachyon. I could only fantasize of one day owning a starship such as this. As I disembarked, my disloyal thoughts returned to my ancient Phaeton and its recently rebuilt solar cell. My destination was the moon Calypso for an evening concert in the park.

With the colonization of multiple planets in our Sol System, it seemed logical that due to the central location of the fifty-three moons of Saturn that they become industrial, commercial, and cultural zones. Saturnís moon, Titan, was designated an industrial park while the moon, Dion, was a mega shopping emporium. The Cassini Division, the gap between Saturnís rings provided ample and nearby starship parking for all zones. The irregular shape of Saturnís moon, Calypso, and its craters made a natural amphitheater. Calypso Cultural Park was an asset to our Sol System with weekly events scheduled, like light shows, concerts, and artisan exhibits.

Our Sol Systemís largest planet, Jupiter, was designated the capitol planet. Capitol Planet name-brand apparel was worn almost exclusively by Jupiterís residents. Over time, Jupiter citizens had also donned a pride that was followed by a disdain for citizens of other planets, especially the inner planets of Earth, Venus, and Mercury. It was as if your residence decided your intelligence, and a smaller planet dictated a diminished brain capacity.

Tonightís huge draw was a sold-out concert by an outer-planet band, Lux Polaris and the Quasars. I stretched my blanket out on the fine iridescent sand of Calypsoís crater. The glowing orbs of Saturnís other moons presented a spectral backdrop for the concert. Angry whispers to my right penetrated my hearing. I turned my attention to the commotion as contempt exuded from their stares. Immediately I recognized Capitol Planet apparel while my own everyday attire oozed inner-planet-moron. In their arrogance they stood, shook out their seating mats, and moved. The realization descended that I was the reason for their relocation.

As the concert began, I was transported by a music that could only be described as restless and haunting. The legato movements employed polyphonic ethereal woodwinds performing music that was based on the Plutonian scale, which implemented quarter tones. Capitol residentsóand their appareló were quickly forgotten.

The harmonies echoed a refrain in my mind as I returned to my Phaeton. Mild astonishment surfaced when I noticed the owners of the sleek Tachyon were unable to start their starship. Then my mouth popped open as I recognized the family who had taken offense and moved when I chose to sit near them. I cautiously approached, then thought, theyíre stranded; they canít shake off sand and scuttle away. Their concentration refocused to the open panel on the Tachyonís hood. Upon perusal, I identified the problem they were incompetent to detect. My eyes sought permission as I effortlessly reconnected a cable that had worked loose. The starship immediately resurrected with flickering lights, wheezes, and chimes. Sheepish looks escaped the flaunters of Capitol Planet apparel; they murmured their thanks.

As the Tachyon sped off, I gave my fatigued Phaeton an appreciative pat on her hood. I grinned, then considered, There is justice in the universe.

* fiction

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This article has been read 1157 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 11/04/12
This was a fun read, even with the author's claim that it was pure fiction. (Quelle surprise!)
Good research and detail which sometimes Mars the flow of thought in sci-fi, but not in this case. Did you planet that way? he asks - with his laptop sitting on a 'saturn' tablecloth.
Very well done.
Margaret Kearley 11/05/12
Wow Beth, I am flabbergasted, this is SO clever! What a gift you have! I struggle with descriptive story-telling at the best of times but to do so in sci-fi .....! OK, I confess it, I guess I 'live on a small planet with diminished brain capacity'! Your story really made me smile - an innovative and inventive take on the topic, and just great!! Thankyou
lynn gipson 11/05/12
Clever, unique, imaginative and great! Excellent writing and a wonderful, humorous read!

God Bless, Lynn
Loren T. Lowery11/06/12
It seems that even in the future vanity/jealously and even disconnected cables will still exist (sigh - will we ever outgrow our need for mechanics?) But just as well because compassion and justice trumps them all! : )
Myrna Noyes11/06/12
What an extremely creative and clever take on the topic!! I enjoyed the sci-fi tone of the piece and your interesting descriptions. Nice job! :)
Bea Edwards 11/06/12
Unique and very creative use of this topic. The similarities between the futuristic world and our own abounded from the very beginning. Kudos!
Nancy Bucca11/07/12
This is so creative. A fun, unique, intergalactic sci-fi read if I say so myself! And with a wonderful ending too.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/08/12
Congratulations, Beth. I am so proud of you! I have never been a sci-fi fan, but your writing could make me change my mind. I love the mc, the plot, the humor--the whole delightful story.
Leola Ogle 11/08/12
Wow! Good job, Beth! Congrats. Loved it.
Karen Pourbabaee 11/08/12
Congratulations Beth on this fun intergalactic tale...such creativity to spin it!
Loren T. Lowery11/08/12
: ) : ) What can I say? Way to go - this was fun, yet oracally (sp)- meaning able to predict future events - profound, which makes it enduring. Congratulations, Beth. This is great to see you placement and your work as well!
Margaret Kearley 11/08/12
Many congratulations Beth on this wonderful and clever story. I am so glad it did well.
Myrna Noyes11/08/12
CONGRATULATIONS on your E.C. win for this captivating story! WAY TO WRITE!! :)
Noel Mitaxa 11/08/12
Highly Creative
Hilariously Comical
Humble Congratulations
Heavenly Communication.
(I'll leave it there because all I could think of next was Holy Communion - which would not have been appropriate, so I'm glad I didn't mention it.) Well done Beth!!!
Charla Diehl 11/08/12
Beth, congratulations on winning a spot on the Editor's Choice list. Sci-fi tales usually are not my favorite, but your genius with words and imagination kept me reading--it was fun.
Ellen Carr 11/08/12
A very creative story, which I enjoyed though not usually a sci-fi fan. Congratulations on your HC.
Frankie Kemp 11/09/12
This was a "fun" read. I found myself smiling at the end, not even sure exactly which clever part of your little story I am smiling most about. You know, I don't even really like outer space settings in my usual reading--but, you made it feel natural and every day and matter of fact--not like some strange scientific-other language--other-worldy mind type of experience. You captured what it is to be human--even though your characters lives had expanded beyond earth's borders. That's what makes all readers enjoy a setting that wouldn't normally appeal to them.
Lisa Mikitarian11/09/12
Who knew Beth was a natural sci-fi writer!!! Really enjoyed this out-of-this-world entry. And that last line made me laugh out loud--not kidding. Congrats!