(Featured Image: By Luis Rubio from Alexandria, VA, USA – Kilroy was here, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3558598)
It’s been a busy week, so I haven’t had time to do the longer piece that I’d hoped to do. Instead, two drabbles for your entertainment:
How does he do it?
The rocket descended gently, settling delicately onto sprung pads. Antennae sprouted, the uplink to the orbiter was confirmed, and, thanks to the techno-miracle of faster-than-light comms, all the way form Earth the Director’s voice said “OK, open up. Let’s see what we’ve got.”
The first humans on Kepler-442b exited their craft. ”
Hey, Skipper, look a this!” Santoni cried out. The Skipper came over. On the screen in Mission Control, the graffiti was projected 50 metres high, the man peering over the wall and the legend ‘Kilroy woz ‘ere’.
The Director put and hand over his eyes and cried out “Not Again!”
The Great Leader
Haz stole a look over her shoulder. No one was looking. Quickly she slipped between the curtains, pattering down the steps to the most holy place in the network of shrines. Down, down, to the cavern that had been built over the piece of ancient wall. Once, the teachers said, a great city had stood on this spot, long ago destroyed in one of the wars that had shaken the world. She gazed hungrily at the markings but even alone, she would not break taboo and touch them. Kilroy had been here. She basked in the aura of his greatness.
© David Jesson, 2019
I typed something, forgot to add it to the post & so to schedule it. This year has been a nightmare of inconsistency – roll on 2020 & normality (or what passed for it anyway!)
Randall looked around – the place was positively bleak. Grey concrete stretched as far as the eye could see; not the hip and trendy version of the colour which had remained popular for generations now, but dull, drab and decidedly dirty. The more he looked, the more miserable Randall felt.
The accommodation blocks were arranged along a natural slope, where scant evidence remained of the landscaping he’d seen on the architect’s plans in the archives. Now it was a wasteland – thin, spindly bits of twig, spotted with the shrivelled remnants of thorn, leaves and berries – all that remained of the carefully selected shrubbery. The birch trees, chosen for their sleek design ethic, now appeared like ghostly stakes in the gloom, having long given up any attempt at producing foliage.
Making his way across concrete courtyards, Randall noticed rusting remains of wheeled devices he’d been briefed on – some with two wheels, some with three. A rack containing several of the two wheeled variety was rusted together, the links of the chains and the quaint old locks still in place, if decidedly worse for wear. As he passed the rack, he noticed broken glass and hypodermics scattered across the surface. He’d been warned about these and picked his way past carefully.
Rounding the corner, he reached his goal. Despite having faded somewhat with the passage of time, it was impossible to miss. The structure was covered with bold images, stark black outlines infilled with bold colours. One side covered in a mural of young men – gang members he’d been informed – each of whom was depicted having struck different poses. The proportion was skewed, with their heads and bodies appearing to shrink backwards and their sneaker-clad feet being the over-large focus. Each young man wore a different pair of sneakers – most were black or white, with the occasional splash of colour. But there was one pair – now a dirty yellow colour – with a trace of the original sparkle … for they’d once been gold. Yes – this was the right place.
Randall took out the new image replication device he’d been entrusted with. Carefully he framed each pair of sneaker-clad feet, capturing the image and transmitting it to home base. As he awaited verification the images were of sufficient quality, he walked around, examining the remaining graffiti art. Taking out his own personal image replication device which, although not as sophisticated, would provide him with an adequate record of what he’d seen, he snapped away. Clambering over the slopes and ledges, he smiled remembering the energy and skill those young men had displayed in the moving pictures he’d seen in the archives.
Just as the verification notification arrived, he spotted it – down the side of one of the ledges was this odd drawing. It was striking for being so naive and lacking in skill in comparison to the other work, but Randall quickly decided to add it to his collection. He also captured the crude lettering which appeared alongside it – Kilroy woz ‘ere. He’d not seen any mention of this wording in the archives, maybe one of the elders could elaborate …
© Debra Carey, 2019
Don’t forgot, if you miss the deadline, you can always post your story to our #TortoiseFlashFiction page