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