Sunday, March 15, 2015

io9 Concept Art Writing Prompt, Dec 04, 2014

The Astronaut Lights a Candle

It was murky. Pitch black, really, which made Harley  nervous. He didn't like to admit it, but this kind of unenhanced shadow gave him the creeping willies. They'd been instructed to turn off their gear by an almost giddy Zechariah, the night's MC. Harley tried not to squirm,. Not with Bethany next to him, He knocked on the door. There was a creak, a movement barely perceptible in the darkness, and Harley felt the uneasy certainty of someone nearby.

"Come on, this isn't--" he began and was interrupted by a flash of light. A candle self-ignited. Ahead of them both, in the gloom, stood a man in an old-style astronaut costume.

Jesus, Zachariah," Beth exclaimed. "Is that you?"

The visor didn't budge. The dim candlelight limned Harley and Bethany's costumes--a Century Knight and an old-style fire fighter--in dim and flickering relief.

"Come on, Zac, is that you or what? How much did you spend on that?"

"Nothin'" Zachariah brought up the gold visor and smiled, unable to resist letting them in on the deal her got. "I have an uncle in the space program. Zachariah Hendricks seemed to have a lot of uncles. "Come on, he said. "Party's this way."

You bringing out this welcome for everyone?" Harley asked dryly, inserting himself between Zac's astronaut and Bethany's fire woman.

Pretty theatrical, no? The second set of doors, at the far end of the dimmed hall, opened to Zac's cramped and uninspiring bahcerlor pad. What had Bethany seen in the guy. Thankfully they were late enough that things were going in a decnet clip,. Musketeers and samurai, old-style lawyers and heart surgeons, made up to look unenhanced just like the ad old days. Someone, as ever, wore a toga. The decor was decidedly Old Earth, full of trinkets Zac must have got from one of his innumerable, shady, unnamed uncles. Harley relaxed a bit upon seeing Levi (seasteader) and Vikram (NASCAR driver, a bold choice, even if all the little logos did lend themselves to his predilection for puns). He knew they would run point on Zac. The bell rang, an ominous tone their host must have imported for the occasion, and the astronaut disappeared again.

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