Hey guys :)
So I have a short story English assignment that I need drafting ASAP. Keeps in mind, this is a vignette so it doesn't exactly follow a narrative structure. Also, I know that at times the tense changes, this is because the premise of the story is about an astronaut on a space ship thinking back to what the ship had been like compared to what is like now. Confusing, I know, but ah well. Any feedback/critique would be great!
It wasn’t supposed to be this cold.
It had never been this cold before. The windows never used to be covered in ice. The air never used to be filled with the sight of my breath fogging up the glass between me and the never ending darkness outside. Had the void always seemed this frightening?
The thought of impending doom had never occurred when I had joined the S.S Canterbury.
But back then, back when the ship had been teeming with life, a bustle of excitement, the air had been warm. A blanket that wrapped around all the crew and explorers. A promise. A promise that even though the world outside was a field of the unknown, the warmth would protect us.
When the ship had launched from Earth, when our families had rivers falling down their faces and soft silk squares waving in the air, the thought of space exploration had been riveting. A new front for humans. A way to expand our horizons. To not feel the soft, lush tickle of grass underfoot but instead something new. Something better.
S.S Canterbury was a flourish of life back then. A sea of silver and gold traveling through the halls. The click, click, click, of leather boots leading everyone to their desired destination. The air had always been alight back then. An unexplainable buzz that coursed through everyone, through everything. You could feel it as you moved from deck to deck. The electricity flowing around in waves that reminded one of the ocean.
The ocean… What did the ocean even sound like? Was the richness of the blue the same as the flickering light above my head? Did the crash of the ocean against jagged rock sound like the scrape of silver metal on metal? Or was it a light, lilting sound that mimicked the dance the waves made? A terrible, beautiful dance that enslaved the unfortunate to a death that burned the lungs as fire did.
The ship rose and fell like an ocean dance. A subtle yet controlled movement that had kept us all safe. No one had noticed back then. Not until that controlled movement had been ripped away like a child from a piece of candy. Now the ship rose and fell like a tsunami. Large and unpredictable. Destructive and inevitable. A dance that was no longer beautiful, but minacious.
Back then, when you could travel from deck to deck without a fear of asphyxiation, you could always find something new. A mark of one of the members on the ship. A mark that claimed that yes, we were going to make it. Yes, we did it together, hand in hand, preventing another from tipping over the slippery slope that we humans called Death.
I miss it. The smell of sweat. The smell of unwashed clothes. The smell of oil. The smell of a lavender perfume that someone had snuck onto the ship.
The light of the burning stars around us used to be celebrated. The creation of something so devastating but alluring was to be commemorated. In those moments, those stolen moments, the universe was at peace, giving birth to something that would harbor the properties that processed the skills to create and sustain life. The light of the stars helping civilisations prosper.
We used to gather around the windows, smiles that burned brighter than all the stars in the sky pressed up against those glass windows. The windows that once protected us from the devastation that the stars brought. The windows that were once a blanket of warmth, of safety, that were now cold and brought nothing but fear. Pure, real fear.
But I miss the sound most. The sound of chatter. The sound of laughter that could rival silk in how soft and smooth it was on the ears. Laughter that brought happiness in its wake. A promise that when we made it, that laughter would be everywhere. It would warm its way into every nook and cranny. Fill the world with light so bright, the colour white would look as dark as the sky. I miss the arguments that unfolded, even the arguments over who stole someone’s liquor.
Now the ship was desolate. A grave. A memorial to those who had passed in the accident. There was no sound. The silence was so strong that it caused a ringing in my ears. A constant, never ending ringing.
The world had once been so full of colour. So light. So full of hope.
Now there the world was empty. Grey. There was no hope, no laughter. Just the never ending silence that threatened to consume me. I fear it might have done so already. I fear my soul, one that was forged in the heart of a dying star, the light it brought to my crew, had gone out.