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Far Away Land – #atozchallenge

April 7, 2016


Far Away Land

“I don’t know why I agreed to this, Cletus.”

“Because, Romanov,” Cletus sighed as he tapped his friend on the back, “you need support, just like the rest of us.”

Romanov shrugged at his friend and turned around to walk beside him, backwards. “I’ve been to support groups. Too damn many of them. The people just whine and cry about their lost families and friends.”

“This one is different. You will see.”

“Sure, sure it is,” Romanov muttered as he dug his hands deep into his jeans and did a little shuffle dance in the cold evening breeze. He turned back around and walked beside Cletus in silence, but thoughts boomed insides his head. Why had he survived? What made him so goddamned special? He didn’t mourn for lost family or friends. He’d been an orphan and Cletus was his only friend.

When Rep-V struck Earth three quarters of the inhabitants died almost instantly. Out of the remaining four billion, another two billion would die in the following months. Within the year only one billion people walked the face of the Earth. The virus baffled scientists all over the world. It killed indiscriminately and those who survived had no unique genetic markers that made them any more susceptible to the virus than those who’d died. After a year of near-annihilation, the virus simply disappeared.

They arrived at the old abandoned church and walked inside. A large gathering of people sat in a circle in the center of the church. It looked just like any other support group to Romanov, but he would give Cletus the benefit of a doubt and just listen. The two men took seats across the circle from one another.

A tall, blond-haired man stood up and walked to the center of the circle. Everyone, except Romanov, began clapping their hands and chanting “Gustav, Gustav!” The man waved his hands as he turned around and around in the circle. Finally, he stopped and crossed his arms across his chest. The group fell silent.

“My fellow Pre-Earthers, welcome!” Gustav exclaimed in a deep German accent. He lowered his head and stared straight at Romanov. “We have a new member with us tonight. Stand, dear brother, and state your name!”

Romanov squirmed in his seat. He didn’t like to speak in front of people. A woman beside him poked him in the arm. Romanov cleared his throat and stood up. His left eye twitched and his knees felt weak.

“Romanov,” he mumbled with his head hung low.

Gustav walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Have you seen the visions, brother?”

Romanov raised his head. His eyes widened. He’d told no one about the visions. Not even Cletus. “How… how did you know?”

Gustav smiled down at him. “We’ve all seen them, Romanov. Every single one of us,” he said as he turned around to the group who all shook their heads in unison. “Would you like to tell us yours?”

Romanov couldn’t believe it. He thought he’d been mad, but here he was with all of these people who’d had visions too. He slowly shook his head and wet his lips.

“In the far away land,” he began, but halted when the whole room began whispering yes, yes. Once they hushed down, Romanov continued, “the land is covered with vast forests and lakes. Crystal towers stand in harmony with the beasts and inhabitants. A mere thought manifests food or drink.” He paused as the group once again whispered their chant of yes yes. After a moment, he cleared his throat and began again, “Two moons hang in a violet sky. There is no war, disease, or famine. We all live joyfully as one.”

Romanov’s last statement caused a resounding cheer through the group. They stood and clasped hands. Swayed back and forth together. Chanted, as one as one, over and over again. Romanov glanced over at Cletus who nodded his head at him.

“But what does it mean?” Romanov asked.

The room fell silent and still again. Gustav walked back to the center of the circle. He turned to face Romanov.

“We don’t know. Since the virus, we’ve all had the exact same vision. We’ve all told it the exact same way you just did, brother. We think…,” Gustav paused and looked around at everyone and then continued, “we call it home.”

Romanov scrunched up his face. “But this is home,” he declared.

Cletus walked to Romanov and stood before him. He smiled down at his friend. “Does it feel like home to you anymore, Romanov? Don’t you have a longing to be in the far away land?”

“Yes, yes, of course, but longing doesn’t make it so!”

“But you believe in the far away land, right?” Gustav asked.

Romanov nodded his head. “Yes. I believe.”

“Then take our hands,” everyone whispered in unison.

Gustav held out one hand and Cletus another. Romanov stared down at them. He inched his hands forward and then paused.

“It only works when we are one,” Cletus informed him.

Cletus stretched his hand forward and clasped onto Romanov’s hand. Romanov nodded his head and took Gustav’s hand. Then the sound of everyone joining hands rang through the hollowed church. The room buzzed with energy. A violet light shot up through the center of the floor and beamed through the ceiling. The group spun in a circle, faster and faster. Romanov felt nauseous for a moment and closed his eyes. The violet light pierced deep into his mind’s eye, and then vanished. The spinning stopped. Romanov opened his eyes. The vision he’d seen for so many months manifested before him.

Β©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

(942 words)


The Prompt via Mandy Wallace:Β A virus attacks humans. The survivors, now fused with the virus, begin to remember a time before Earth.

Each day for the A to Z Challenge I will be writing a 500-1000 word Science Fiction story. I hope you will enjoy them.

  1. Very nice! I enjoyed the tale.

  2. This is so breathtaking! Loved the narration.Great job, Lori!

  3. Ooh. That’s good!
    But if the virus chose an apparently random subset of humanity to spare and to transport to the new reality, one has to wonder why. What fate awaits them there? And what does the virus, or its controllers (!) purpose to do with the now depopulated planet?

    • Thank you, Keith!
      All great questions.. and I haven’t a clue how to answer them… “no one told me”

  4. Great story !! Violet skies and two moons, crystal building, instant manifestation – sounds brilliant πŸ™‚

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