In the long existence of us universal citizens, well, in about ten billion years, we forgot how to communicate. Until after a long interstellar journey, I found the existence of humans on a small, blue planet. I found myself in love with a human girl, but I was not able to say anything to her.
I stood on Mars alone, silently. I watched her time passing.
A minute passing, a second passing, how slow.
A month passing, a year passing, how fast.
In his passing, the Curator of Peculiar Library in Ami X Galaxy managed to collect my billion-year melancholy. With a tremendous sense of satisfaction, he did not forget to introduce me to his librarian job before he left. He said, come and be a librarian, learn some human language, it is highly possible that you can learn how to express what you are thinking.
I asked, could I build a branch of the library on Mars? Ami Galaxy is too far for me to see her.
The curator agreed. Okay, Okay, let me bring all the books from humanity to you.
Wallalla, to the Earth he went. He blew a sudden hurricane, which sent all the books up, up and away. I worked alone on Mars. Using the volcano stone, I built a library. I read the books silently. I watched the girl and I studied the emotions of the humans. I discovered that they are surprisingly curious about the sky. They built up their view of the universe based on twelve magical constellations.
Should I talk about constellations? After all, as a citizen in-universe, all I know is the hollow, boundless void.
Hi, I said, it’s nice to meet you. Let’s talk, about the constellations. I heard that yours is Scorpio. Do you know anything about the revolution track of Scorpio RI21H—P92H?
A short story by English Department Teaching Associate Jonathan Ramsey
They named him Hermes and kept him in the basement, where he scuttled about on copper claws among the clumps of stale cotton candy. Bea didn’t feel guilty about this. Harrison, on the other hand, periodically suffered bursts of shame. On these occasions he’d weep, punch a wall, groan, and run towards the basement door screaming “I’ll save you, Hermes! I’ll save you! What have we done?” Bea, lighter and faster and generally more controlled, would beat him to the door and bar it from him. Harrison would beg for the key. He would get on his knees, clasp his hands, kiss her boots, and whisper “What have we done, Beatrice? What have we done to him?” A soft scratching could then be heard from the other side of the door. They both ran from this.
Bea spent most of her time upstairs in her room, drawing in sketchbooks. Harrison prowled the woods behind the house shooting things. These were the activities they enjoyed the most, and so this was how they spent most hours of most days. Bea never showed Harrison what she drew. Harrison never told Bea what he shot. Both had stopped asking.
Tuesdays were different. Tuesdays were for fortune gathering. Harrison would wake at dawn, shower, brush his teeth, and get dressed. His chain mail suit clicked and clacked; his steel boots hammered as he descended the stairs. Bea would meet him at the basement door with a cup of coffee and encouraging words. He’d listen, sip from the mug, smile with effort, and lower the plexiglass visor of his helmet.
“Flick it,” he’d sigh. And Bea would oblige. With the snap of a lever the basement filled with cotton candy, seeping from vents and tubes. Bea unlocked the door with the key around her neck, patted Harrison on the back and shoved him in. She locked the door after him and sat in the kitchen staring at a wall, waiting. Across the table, the rest of Harrison’s coffee began to cool.
illustration by Indrapramit Das
Harrison thrashed about wildly in the great mass of pink, yelping between mouthfuls of sugar, shoving his way through the thicket of candy cloud. Using his flamethrower he cleared a path along the wall. The radar detector on his wrist began to beep rapidly. Molten candy dripped over his visor. Continue reading
An alternate cut of short film by Caleb Ryan, a Class of ’14 Senior Project
Installations by Ned Smyth, visual arts teacher
Sculpture and mosaics by Ned Smyth, Visual Arts teacher\
The Territory Ahead will resume posting art and writing every Monday and Friday on school weeks. Any contributions should be emailed to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to another fun year of creativity and talent!