The tractormorphic appendage seemed to taste the air. There were tentative flickers towards the cube, the pistol, the tablet, as if there were some vestigial or genetic memory, handed down to this being, unformed and uninformed. But it was the package that drew its full attention: it reached out and touched the strange object, almost caressing it, and in so doing the packet fell open, revealing nothing…apparently…
The cloth remained in place, but an observant and sympathetic witness might ascribe a certain sentience to the formless shape – or perhaps it is a shapeless form? – beneath the covering. It is perhaps erroneous to give this potentiality our emotions, our drives, but there does seem to be some guiding intelligence at work. One might argue that the movement that brings the form to face the doors is just some programmed instinct, but there is something about the way the remnants of the package are discarded, and the way that the other objects are now ignored that hints at a purposefulness.
Yes, the doors. Were they here all along? Or have they just appeared? No matter.
It feels as if there is a line of these doors, infinitely long, stretching away on either side. It is hard to tell what shape they are. The eye catches them and they might be round or rectangular. Perhaps they iris open, or…what if those are hinges? Oh, but surely that is simply a patch of darkness between a frame of wood…no, it is a cave mouth…no… But as focus shifts to take in another door or two doors at once, any decision that has been made is rendered obsolete. Lets us simply agree that they are doors, or at least doorways, and leave it at that.
Perhaps an infinite sequence. Perhaps not. Somehow the attention is drawn to five – of all the multitude, only these have significance. In front of each, there is some sort of holographic projection. Three have spheres, spinning on an axis. The first, you would know as Earth; the second, the creature standing here would call Home; the third is unknown to either of you. The other two doors are very different: one has an ever-shifting star-field, and the last looks like some accretion of debris, as if half a dozen space-ships had crashed into each other simultaneously.
The form moves forward…
©David Jesson, 2019
During 2019, I’m going to be undertaking a writing experiment, as described on Monday.
My plan is that this prologue will shape the story; installments of the prologue will come out daily for a week or so, and then I’ll revert to monthly chapters. (The first part of the prologue is here). All through, I’m hoping that you’ll help me shape the story. At various points, I’ll be asking questions with a choice of answers. I’ll be polling on Twitter, or you can add a comment below.
So: What is our character heading for? You decide!
Option 1: Earth
Option 2: Its home world
Option 3: An unknown planet
Option 4: A space ship moving amongst the stars
Option 5: Some kind of space station
See you tomorrow!