the claw thru ice

Lenny La Rue, IPA

Sacramento, United States

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Trudging across the strange orange ice had taken its toll upon all of us. This planet – this hideous place – had not been meant for human beings and it killed us slowly, without mercy. Draining our energy, leaching away our strength, sucking the very willpower to live from our beings. Snow-blindness took on an entirely different meaning when there was no snow; nothing was white.

But the worst terror of all was the new sound in the night. Sound that seemed to come from some massive machine: rhythmic, pulsing, grating – we all had a different name for it, a different horror for each mind to handle, or to fail to handle. Two of us were all but catatonic in the 30-hour nights here. Time that was equally divided between lit and unlit should have been manageable and we’d all trained for it. But once the sound started, night seemed to take up 90% of planet’s rotational cycle and we were left with 10% of our time floundering towards an emergency pod we never intended to use. And now, with no clear direction to go, we were left to ponder our mortality in the precious few minutes of arduous movement through cold so bitter it stiffened our E-suits.

The scientists had thought the planet might be water-cored but there was no way to tell until the first boots hit the ground, whatever ground might be here. We’d seen no water and nothing to suggest anything liquid could remain fluid under these conditions. Then the noises began under us and all bets were off. Now it was a race to get off this frozen football-shaped planet circling a sun we can’t see with our instruments, much less our human eyes.

The sound. Now. Well past what we termed as lightfall. The sound. Gigantic with no firm concept of size for us to imagine. But now, for the first time, during the only time period we could see well enough to remain lost and know it. The sound.

Then with one terrifying motion, what we knew to be firm lost its solidity and a claw the size of a peak in the Alps came thru the shattered ice. Looming over us until we looked downward to see the surface underfoot began to rapidly darken with the approach of the body that owned the claw…

At that moment, the remainder of us who had managed to stay sane lost that sanity and waited for our doom to fully arise.

A short story fragment written while eating orange cream sherbet. See? Eating the wrong things before bedtime can cause daymares too. ;-)

Artwork Comments

  • EBmonster
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • Karirose
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • Bunny Clarke
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
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