#SciFiPrompt 62: Terminal

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Nanna used to take my little brother and I to the starport every month. We weren’t going on holiday anywhere – that was reserved for a cheap, terrestrial flight to a nice, hot country with a golden, sandy beach – but we loved to watch the ionwings taking off.
We used to take a little picnic basket – sandwiches with the crusts cut off, mork pie, carrot and celery sticks, little bottles of colourful soft drinks from the local corner shop – and we’d sit on her favourite woven blanket, brought with us for the occasion, multicolour scraps of other fabrics tied together into something useful, in the thistle-bordered glade by the perimeter fence, and watch as those lucky (or rich) enough to head to other planets departed, on trails of pulsing blue light, to Mars or Centauri or Vega or any number of other geoformed worlds.
She would pass a plate of provisions over, then conjure stories of those on the ships: “The businesswomen on that one are off to Mars; they all work for Iroco, mining for water and iron,” or “There’s a secret agent on that ship, a spy trying to find a lady who has stolen the designs for a new ion engine,” or “A little boy on that ship is off to find his long lost family on Aurora; they went before him but then went bankrupt and he has had to stowaway to get there.”
We, my little brother and I, would sit, chewing, and playfully add to the fantasy. “One of the businesswomen is going to find green jewels in the mine and become so rich she can buy the company and live in a huge mansion on Io.” These dreams, of people we wished we were, came and went like the ships leaving and returning, until the light faded and, reluctantly, the woven blanket was folded away for the journey home.
Eventually, inevitably, inexorably, the time came for the blanket to be folded and stored for the final time. Older, my brother (who is no longer so little as much as still younger) and I returned to the glade and dreamed once more. “Perhaps she’s on that ship, a stowaway, going to Europa for a long swim in the topaz sea.”
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#SciFiPrompt 62: Terminal by Dav Kelly is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0