alien, creative writing, faster than light, fiction, flash fiction, good short stories, H G Wells, how to write a short story, K Patrick Moody, Kim P Moody, Mars, Martian, Red Planet, Sci Fi, space, speed of light, steampunk, techniques, War of the Worlds, writer, writer's block, writing help, writing ideas, writing prompts
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Faster than light
“Fortesque! Come and look at this!” Smythe was squinting into the eyepiece of his latest acquisition; the brass telescope was extended to its fullest in an effort to see as much of the tiny red speck as he could.
“What have you found, this time?” Fortesque was growing annoyed at Smythe’s constant distractions.
“Mars?” he was less than impressed, “It was documented more than 3000 years ago. Why are you so interested in it?”
“I think we are going to have visitors.”
Fortesque lifted the telescope from its mahogany tripod and peered towards the Red Planet. “What am I looking for?”
Smythe told him about the pinpoint of yellow light that apparently had broken away from the planet, and was slowly, but surely, getting bigger. It looked nearly as big as the planet itself.
“If it is travelling away from Mars, it is heading towards us … and very quickly.”
“Heavens!” said Smythe, “It must be travelling faster than light!”
Smythe took the telescope back. “Don’t be silly. If that was the case we wouldn’t see it.” Fortesque frowned, “In any case, if it was, it would already be here, because it left ten minutes ago, and at the speed of light, it’s a five minute trip.”
He looked again into the scope. Now, It appeared to be twice the size of Mars.
Fortesque remained silent, not wanting to show his lack of knowledge of matters astronomical.
“It will be here within the hour. Whatever it is.”
“You’ve been reading too much of that Wells fellow’s new book.” Fortesque sneered, “It’s all fiction, you know.”
“Do you think so? Take another look.”
* * *
(c) 2012, K Patrick Moody