Publishing our initial pieces
With a crack, the window shot open. I clumsily crashed onto the metal floor of the shuttle; my head snapped down. Dazed, I remember seeing for a moment through my outstretched fingers, a huge terrestrial disc, peppered with strips of thin cloud. I clambered up to my knees and gazed at the majestic sight through the hole. Even from 800 miles, it was clear that a massive globe was hovering in the blanket of stars. The sphere filled up all of heaven. Showers of shimmering sunlight shone over the glistening sapphire oceans, like a solar eclipse dawning on the horizon. Diamond waves lashed on the coastlines of cliffs and rocky beaches. From cliffs came hundreds of tall towers of stone in ice-capped mountain ranges, several erupting into lava, shining like beacons in the snowy wastelands. The continents sat proudly in position, with seas of golden sand, like an ocean of molten silver, but eastward, luscious grasslands and forests lay quietly in contrast to the deserts’ glaring sunlight. Still shocked, I was thrusted back as the window closed with a click. I floated and softly landed on the polished steel floors of the shuttle, sliding, confused at my momentous sight, yet filled with the everlasting relief that we had escaped.
How can I describe the thing I saw…
At once, Cavor’s face lit up. He stuttered.
“It can’t be!” cried Cavor. The spiralling stems branched out into leaves, long sticks coated with pink dust poking off the branches, occasionally disconnecting and dispersing from its parent. Fluorescent, neon green flowers pulsed and it caught Cavor’s eye. “It is moving!” Cavor shot an unbelieving look at me, “This isn’t a trick?” Before I could warn him, he was knocked over by a purple plant, coating his face in bioluminescent pollen. He coughed harshly. While he was struggling to get up, I noticed something: the soil was translucent. In the unknown depths of the dirt, I could see roots sucking the same purplish liquid I had stepped on before. I returned my vision to the plant; Cavor stood next to me and stared. We were silent.
“Do you know what that is?” breaking the silence but keeping my eyes locked on the stick.
“It is a seed,” said Cavor. And then I heard him whisper, very softly,” Life!”
By Timo Walker Arvola
With a click the window flew open. I fell clumsily onto my hands and gasped – a planet in a downward sky. I found myself in a state of disbelief, after traveling for so long I had finally found it.
The land below us was showered in sunlight, glistening in the empty darkness of space. Even though there was no sign of life on this distant planet, I could imagine our new home – full of lively animals and lush vegetation. This was a new hope.
Snow white clouds stretched across the sky, navy blue water washed upon the beaches and mountains rose high up into the air and dropped back down again. This was like the old Earth, clean, safe and full of life.
Then with a click the window closed again. I could feel a huge weight lifted of my shoulders. This is where my journey ends, at my new home.
How can I describe the thing I saw? It was a plant. Its stripy stems weaved together like a knot. The plant was very vibrant and seemed harmless. I reached out my hand and jolted back as it throbbed in pain. I noticed the stem and leaves of the plant was covered in a number of small needles. Then I noticed something else. A round little body hidden within a tangle of leaves. “It’s a seed,” said Cavor. And then I heard him whisper, very softly: “Life!”
Then with a shudder the window flew open and I tripped, clumsily, and fell on my hands and face, I saw the future. The planet below us was surrounded with sharp, sapphire waters that washed over the coasts of neighbouring countries: although, to the west of the levitating iron disc, twilight skies overshadowed the uninhabited sleeping, silent cities, this could be ours… My eyes, clouded with disbelief, were praying that this destination was real. Doubt and worry filled the air around me and my companion, he told me the planet was close, maybe a mere 800 miles – we could hope. The planet had molten silver coloured continents, merging into one deep azure globe. Light, misty clouds floated lazily below the ozone, possibly the only source of life for miles, aside from a glimmer of sunlight appearing from further in space. A comforting darkness grasped the sphere of life like a protective blanket, keeping it from the harsh, sharp rays of the close ball of flame.
The largest stretch of sea smirked with triumph as the silver dome-ship approached. Cavor’s expression was in wonder and awe – much alike my own as the atmosphere drew nearer.
We were so close now…
How can I describe the thing I saw?
It was poisonous. Or venomous. Or both, it looked so extreme. The ghostly buds stared at me with cold, calculating eyes, the menacing thorn like petals writhed around while releasing an aroma of fear. Or terror. Or both. I could see wisps of the unseen, shy, bone – coloured roots. Poison green coloured stems moved gracefully yet they were far from beautiful. Like a cobra’s cousin, they revealed themselves painfully slow. The alien plant grasped at air, like a flytrap, in action.
“It’s a seed,” said Cavor. And then I heard him whisper, very softly, “Life!”
Then with a click the filter flew open. I tripped over my feet, and through my gloved fingers, I saw something. It was a planet. With water. And air. We had been searching for a new planet, a place to call home, we had been searching for ages, dismissed a lot of planets already, but this was it, I could tell- a planet in a downward sky.
We were flying high- George told me we were about 700 miles up- but we could still make out details. Beneath the wisps of clouds we could see land. It was twilight and vague, but there was a distant source of light, turning the seas to molten silver. The land was covered in jagged peaks, but to the north was a sapphire ocean. Then, the clouds parted, and we could spot ice caps, huge deserts of white.
Like a shining beacon in the darkness, this planet sat there, like it was waiting for us. I was relieved that we had found a planet. Achieved our goal: our mission. It looked like a shining jewel in the middle of an empty wasteland- a black and unforgiving one. I was so happy, I started to relax, and drifted away from the window, nearly hitting a wall, before regaining my composure.
The sunlight started creeping towards us, like long fingers holding a ball, and I knew it was too bright to resist. I would have to close the filter, otherwise I would be blinded. I glanced one more time at the planet- our new planet-and closed the filter with one last click.
How can I describe the thing I saw?
It had strange curling, almost spiral stems, and they were shades I never knew existed. Some were like purple, and a bit of green, with a tint of red to it, whilst some were nearly white, but kind of blue, and orange. Atop those, were small little flowers, a few were delicate looking, with lots of petals, but others more like dandelions. Beneath the surface of this rocky planet, it had lots of roots that were like little arms, holding the plant down. Along the edge of these were miniscule root hairs, the hands for the arms. That was when I noticed that this plant had a spectacular smell, reeking out of it. I was stunned. It was so strange, and incredible, it felt like I was in a dreamland.
Glancing out of the open window, I felt that everything was spinning away from me; the sight I saw was astonishing. It felt impossible to move and my eyes were glued to the magnificent area before me- a planet concealed within a majestic sky.
Although the journey felt as if it had lasted a lifetime, my companion reported we were only 800 miles into the unknown areas of the universe. We approached this new world and I couldn’t help but let my hope overcome me; I thought the end of our search was finally nearing.
Inside of my head, the whole universe had frozen as I looked downwards, only to see breath-taking view of glistening seas and stunning meadows continuously nearing. Closer and closer. Even though we were still hundreds of miles away, it was clear to see that this mystery land was a globe. The land below us was showered with sunlight and vivid with colour. But eastward, the vast grey of a strip of tireless ocean twisted and turned like a spider may do when threading its web.
As we came closer still, I could just about make out the coastlines of islands and large continents. No longer could I hide my emotion; we had found it, our new home. Planet Pandora…
In my time of happiness, I did not notice what was happening around me. Before I knew it- considering I had only been distracted for a moment or two- the window clicked shut. I found myself lost in a state of immense confusion as I felt my hands slide softly against smooth glass.
How can I describe the thing that I saw? It was writhing menacingly as it appeared to glare down at me as if I were its arch-nemesis. All of the flowers were in a violently unique form. Even from my distance away it let out a clear aurar; one of hatred and death. All of a sudden the untameable nest of seeds exploded, out came a singular stem, coated in an oily substance. Webbed petals fought out of the zebra-striped cocoon. The flower that emerged had a sense of cruel beauty. Then it all disappeared, as my imagination ceased to continue making things up. All that was there was-
“It is a seed,” said Cavor. And then I heard him whisper, very softly: “Life!”
Then with a click, the shutters flew open. I stumbled: awe-struck. Through the glass of my window, I saw what could be our new home; I was lost for words.
We were not far. At least, that’s what my friend on board told me. The planet shone in the darkness, like a beacon of hope. Sapphire waters and emerald forests pieced together to form a perfectly matched globe – as if it were an angel’s creation. The land below us was cloaked with shadows, but light frayed the black edges, like it was curing a sickly body.
Clouds swirled, they were white ribbons, finishing a blue and green gift for us, waiting to be discovered. A glimpse of hope I had from the start sparked into a steady flame, burning away my worries. I think I recognized a similar land structure to my home. The silver-lit horizon was the last thing I saw, before the shutters snapped shut again, leaving me to – out of wonder – stare into space.
How can I describe the thing I saw?
Its blossoming, luminescent white flowers were even brighter than the sun. For a moment, I saw the stem curve, like green, twisting fingers, winding to protect the treasure growing on its tips. A tangle of roots were sprawled across the ground.
Light burst toward me. I closed my eyes, ready for it to hit me, setting free a strangled cry. Suddenly, everything dimmed. I was frozen. I was stunned. I was awe-struck. A fragrant poured out of the flowers, like a reborn creature, taking another form. Thin threads of gold laced together to form a risen sun, piercing every shred of darkness.
I thought about how petty its seed was, and wondered how it had become such a beautiful being.
“It’s a seed,” said Cavor. And then I heard him whisper, very softly. “Life.”
Joy Shun Lau