“What Lies Beyond?”


The spaceship Expectation glided smoothly through the membrane of the known universe.

The captain, a stout man despite his many years in cold sleep, nodded as the systems board flickered green. The newly-wakened crew bustled about him. They had no time to celebrate. They had work to do. Observe. Return home in their miracle ship. Report. Answer the question: what lies beyond?

He gave an order and the ship leaped forward into the nothing beyond the everything they had known.

Time passed.

The captain ordered a hard about, opened the viewer.

They saw their raindrop universe on a feather eyelash.


Sometimes a picture inspires more than one story. When that happens, there’s only one thing, really, you can do. So here’s a bonus 100-word story.

For the record, this one was a bit more difficult to write than yesterday’s story. That one, which I like quite a bit, came to me quickly and darned-near wrote itself in about 30 minutes. Including edits. I pretty much nailed the 100-word limit in the rough draft, a rare event in the last month. Usually my first draft runs 125 words and most of the writing time is consumed in painful negotiation over single words. Perhaps I’ll write a post about how I cut from 105 words to 100 one day, when I’ve a few more of these stories under my belt and I feel less like a duffer and more like a real writer.