The Last Message Home

You heard it on a radio, some transmission made decades before, a fragment of a conversation, picked up as your ship travels its now uncharted path. “I’ll see you soon, put the kettle on,”  then  laughter and a silence which is infinite. “What was this life, and who were they” you could not say, now on some mission and in a distant galaxy, sent out to explore the universe decades ago, before the Earth was hit by meteorites.

“Life on other planets. I hope so” was all you could think of at the time, as you turned to look at Greg, the captain on this now unrecorded voyage. “Shall I make a note of it” you ask, but he just shakes his head: the answer is in his lack of interest.

What’s the point. There’s no one left who we can talk to, and nothing but these fragments of conversation bouncing round in space and prodding at our spent emotions. These brief relics of a vanished world, heard on this voyaging craft which travels on without reference points.

“Can’t beat the view” you say, trying to keep it light, but routine sapped magic from the flight some years before and silence has become the known companion. Now galaxies pass by unremarked  by two souls lost in travelling , robbed of home and context by that catastrophe which destroyed the  planet in mid-evolution.

“What does it mean” you ask yourself, but mute indifference supplies no answer. At some unspecified hour, you accept, some black hole or other matter will swallow this last evidence of man and his ambitions, and suns will rise and planets form without comment or exclamation from this lost life-form now a particle in space.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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25 Responses to The Last Message Home

  1. Al says:

    Wow, do I see a movie possibility in this short passage. I might even have a shot at the lead role since I am expert at floating around aimlessly.


  2. I’d rather avoid all this and fix the messes we created here. The earth will heal itself if we just stopped stopped trying so bloody hard to kill it!


  3. Scarlet says:

    The last evidence of man? Now there’s a thought! Probably a jar of pickles and a silicon breast implant.


  4. Ooh I like this Peter, eerie and sad too. It made me glad I was sitting cosily safe with a cup of tea. Meteorites – a very scary prospect.


  5. genusrosa says:

    Very sad, my friend. But the eternal optimist, out there bouncing around amongst the sparkling confetti-like particles of space, would no doubt point out that even a meteor is powerless against the infinite sound of laughter, and the promise of tea with a loved one… (as your world weary traveler hurtling through the fragments might have found out, if he had listened longer to those echoes from time.) :o)


  6. A sad concept brought to life. Well done!


  7. Every bit as haunting and revealing as Clarke’s “Rescue Party.” And you say you don’t “do” science fiction? Each day you reach further and hone your skill sharper.


  8. Not an unsurprising end to our noble experiment. I prefer the Star Trek Voyager outlook–that something out there will provide a new home or a way back. Very thoughtful, Peter.


  9. Great story Peter. I’m afraid I have the same dark thoughts about our future. Seems so inevitable.


  10. Reblogged this on thewholeillusion and commented:
    What’s the point. There’s no one left who we can talk to, and nothing but these fragments of conversation bouncing round in space and prodding at our spent emotions. These brief relics of a vanished world, heard on this voyaging craft which travels on without reference points.


  11. Bleak, dark and written with a fabulously dispassionate voice, Peter. One can imagine this scenario, and the resignation felt by any survivors: I like the idea of no-one listening to the vanity we plough into sending our ‘voice’ across the universe. Great stuff!


  12. elainecanham says:

    That was so poetically lovely. You made it suburban and scientific and , well, I’m going to go and read it again, now!


  13. Peter,
    You can say SO MUICH w/ so little.
    You. Are. Gifted, sir. xxxxx kissssss from MN.


  14. This post makes me want to call a friend for conversation and a cup of tea. You paint a vivid picture of loneliness.


  15. I see why you have your own book, because you are a wonderful writer who can tell a story and evoke emotion and thought.


  16. r e douville says:

    An ddy in a stream… swirled into prominence only to spend its energy and return to conformity, its existence never noted.


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