Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)
TITLE: Calypso Cultural Park
By Beth LaBuff
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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. Saturn’s moon, Titan, was designated an industrial park while the moon, Dion, was a mega shopping emporium. The Cassini Division, the gap between Saturn’s rings provided ample and nearby starship parking for all zones. The irregular shape of Saturn’s 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 System’s largest planet, Jupiter, was designated the capitol planet. Capitol Planet name-brand apparel was worn almost exclusively by Jupiter’s 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.
Tonight’s 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 Calypso’s crater. The glowing orbs of Saturn’s 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 residents—and their apparel— 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, they’re stranded; they can’t shake off sand and scuttle away. Their concentration refocused to the open panel on the Tachyon’s 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.
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