Don’t We Question Our Existence? — (Update)

Cocoon, a short fiction across between 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY & GRAVITY.

8

Gently his eyes grew open, his sight was waking up to the sight of Sarah, a beautiful woman with strands of blonde-brunette curling hair. Her eyes twinkled with admiration. There was a smile greeting him, and then a solemn expression remained on her face. He’d felt safe. And at peace as a lighthearted feeling of weightless air settled inside his chest. With a few gentle blinks he regained his consciousness. He recalled something.
He rose his forearm with the small mirror attached onto it, and glanced towards the lifeform. And waved. This was it. The red bubble began to fade from the bottom around his feet, as it slowly dissolved away from him. Slowly. Gradually making its way up his waistline. But he stared at her. His hand reached out to grab hold of her. Alaric watched as the bubble faded away, she too faded to a memory. It formed back into that red tennis ball like size. Hovering above his head now. She was gone.
Are you sure about this?…
“Don’t we question our existence?… I probably drift over here, that’s good. I’ll be among the stars. I’ll be home soon…”
Soon he’d be deprived of oxygen, and it was fine by him. Because he couldn’t stay any longer without her. There was Coldplay’s soundtrack, O began playing on the radio. Alaric let himself float away as he listened to the soundtrack, until his last breath.
But the red ball had an alternative idea. It gently moulded, elongated and then coated the canister hung behind Alaric’s back. It began to beam like a beacon.
You had passed through a blackhole… You can’t die out here. Earth is where home is.
The red canister then burst with vertigo-inducing thrusts. It made him feel nauseous. Forcing Alaric towards the direction of the blackhole, back towards home. Blue planet. Earth. The thrusts were potent enough to allow Alaric to pass through. It accelerated like a racing hydrogen-induced car… He closed his eyes. Focusing all his efforts and thoughts about her. When he opened his cautious eyes, there was some kind of a warp. Could this have been the blackhole he may have been swung into? A thrust some more, with enough force, he began to drift towards it. He tried to fixate his gaze, but it failed, he was tumbling closer and closer towards it.
Through the loop. Home is on the opposite side.
Alaric was sucked into the warp like a vacuum. Not a spiralling portal out of The Twilight Zone.

. . .

“Where’s Alaric?…”
The voice of a female astronaut declared.

. . .

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Wish I’d Known Some Poetry — (Update)

Cocoon, a short fiction across between 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY & GRAVITY.

7

“Wish I’d known some poetry…”
Alaric gently darted his glint eyes right and left into her eyes. She could sense the loneliness. He waited for her voice.
“Your eyes were an instrument… The words were always there.”
“You’ve been gone for a decade.” He continued.
“No one gets to stay…” She’d whispered softly and slowly.
“I find it hard to breathe… Every single day that goes by…”
“Life was never about overdosing on depression, suicide and loneliness… Never about dying out, like this…” A wistful smile made way across her face.
“Hallucinations a drug.” Gently she lifted his face visor, Alaric’s face exposed. She leaned in closer into him.
“Life is never over until you don’t stop breathing.”
Alaric’s eyes stifled but he couldn’t hold back a flood of tears. They began trickling down his face. Streams of it pour down. He tried to look away from her. His face wet, and dazed. Almost forming a wince. The ache in his heart had escalated.
“Did it hurt?…” His voice, shaking and struggle to allow words pass through. Listless eyes wandered.
“What difference does it make?…” She whispered.
“Let’s stay in the moment…” Her dark brown eyes so fragile, vulnerable and yet a glint of hope lingered.
The bubble gently circled as they floated further towards earth. There was silence. But words were being translated with expressions through their eyes. It was enough. Coldplay’s soundtrack, O part 2/reprise called out on the radio. The moment felt like magic. And touching too. The female vocals grew strong around Alaric’s heart. There was a profound sense of loneliness lingering. It was haunting. It felt the same about her. When it came to an end, soon, Alaric came to a life-concerning decision.
Right now, he found comfort. His eyes grew heavy from exhaustion, he’d fallen asleep.

. . .

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Your World Spins Around — (Update)

Cocoon, a short fiction across between 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY & GRAVITY.

6

Alaric been extremely, and solemnly quiet.
You’ve been thinking about her again.
His drooped eyes rose with response. His eyes grew listless as he began to be absorbed by her thoughts even more now. Tearing up.
There was a distraction first. I could sense that much. You let your mind adrift with all the information. Why?…
“Have you ever felt lonely?…” There was a long pause, a really long one. Seconds seemed to stretched to minutes. This seemed very human from an alien, Alaric felt.
“It’s a human condition of hopelessness… That’s what I feel.”
Speak some more…
He closed his eyes and recalled her face, her dark eyes that reminded me of an ocean. Like two strobes of universe in themselves that left him spiritually at peace. Upon opening them, his sight grew thick of blur from tears. But she was watching him outside of the bubble. Afloat in gravity and waiting. No space suit. Like a ghost. He reached out towards her, his hand bubbled against gently. His hand softy smudged against the surface of the red bubble, paused then pressed into it. No penetration. The bubble couldn’t jeopardise Alaric’s life. But Alaric needed to know if she was really there, in front of him. He stared as silence fell over him. His eyes trying to tear through the bubble to see clearly.
“There’s a lot of questions. And you begin to question the purpose of your existence. And then your world spins around…”
As he said these words, she began to gently spin the red ball around, in which Alaric was cocooned inside. Representing this with physical motion, with a sense of metaphor. When it came to a stop, Alaric was facing upside down, but they stared at each other. His tears trickled onto the surface of the bubble, sliding in a single stream, creating a curling lane. Before she corrected his position. The lifeform fell silent. But the emotion had grown inside it.
“She was there on Earth, then gone a moment later. Tragic how someone stays in your life. And be gone when you want to them stay, like forever…” His inner will diminishing.
She’d had been here with me once, floating around the space station. Days after being back home, she’d fallen ill…”
“She never smoked, didn’t do drug or alcohol. She cared too much at the cost of having her feelings crushed… she was a great, caring person…” He’d began speaking his thoughts.
“She was phenomenal…” He added.
“It was terminal cancer.” His heart sank as he spoke such words, under the invisible weight of grief, but he chose to further explain.
“Stage four malignant brain cancer, this tumour that grows inside your head. It interferes with your brain functions… Things grew worse as I watched her deteriorate days to weeks.” He took a sharp breath, his chest stiff and heavy, like there was mountain placed on top.
“Diagnosis suggested that she had six months to life… She chose, Euthanasia. A means to end her life by assisted suicide.” Alaric had phased out the existence of the lifeform, as if he was speaking to himself now, analysing his thoughts openly. In order to find a sense of closure.
“I held her into my arms as she left, peacefully. Her sleep had grown permanent…” Tears trickled down his cheeks in uncontrollable streams. He couldn’t put to words what such a feeling felt. The fact that he held her for a really time. Whimpers converted to a stretch of sobs. An invisible cloud of blanket covered his sight, as he rested his palm onto the inner surface of the bubble.

“I stare at the electric activity. A constellation of glowing human beings, emitting their light. And think to myself, there’s one less. Every single time… Do I believe in God, ethics of scientology or a born atheist? When I find myself afloat here in space, staring at a constellation of stars, If she were converted to a glow of energy, I search for the brightest star out there. It keeps me that much closer to her… I like staying around.” He stared into nothingness.
She wobbled through the bubble, inside it, as if the transparent wall of the bubble had dissolved and formed a whole again. The room within the red bubble was larger. Alaric was tearing up now. This became so important to him. For her to be there with him, once more.

. . .

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Space Facts — (Update)

Cocoon, a short fiction across between 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY & GRAVITY.

5

“You remind of Hal.. The red ball state… Minus the glass eye. Only you’re not dangerous out here. Glad to know that. “
Whats Hal?…
“A sentient computer HAL 9000 from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey, who has full control over their spacecraft. An artificial intelligence responsible for taking the lives of four astronauts… You’re nothing like that.” Alaric fell silent, without extending or elaborating. Just avoiding to plant a seed of thought that shouldn’t need to be present right here. Out of curiosity. What if this lifeform was learning and evolving as the same time?

. . .

“Space fact 1. Neutron stars can spin at a rate of 600 rotations.”
The purpose of this? Your attempt at educating me?
“Just killing time… Not literally.” Alaric had retrieved from space facts via iPhone, especially from Mashable UK.

. . .

“The Apollo astronauts’ footprints on the moon will probably stay there for at least 100 million years.”
“99% of our solar system’s mass is the sun.”
“More energy from the sun hits Earth every hour than the planet uses in a year.”
“If two pieces of the same type of metal touch in space, they will bond and be permanently stuck together.”
“The largest asteroid ever recorded is a mammoth piece of space rock named Ceres.”

“GPS failed.” He added after registering it. Coldplay’s soundtrack, MIDNIGHT rolled in.

. . .

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