Gaia’s dream

 

The world turned out of summer, and the land cooled. Leaves turned brown, and berries ripened.

High on the sacred peak of Mount Olympus, Gaia slept, and as she slept, she dreamed. She dreamed of small things – puppies, kittens, baby seals with big brown eyes. She dreamed of seedlings, pushing through the soil, green leaves opening in spring sunshine. She dreamed of eggs cracking, of baby birds in soft-lined nests. She dreamed of babies, mouths pursed and suckling, latching on to her great, bountiful breasts.

Far below the mountain top, two priestesses knelt before the sacred well.

“Milk again” one of them remarked. “And winter hasn’t even started yet. Spring is months away. Someone needs to wake her up.”

 

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge. 

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Gaia II – microfiction for Jane Dougherty

Yesterday I watched some newly hatched spiderlings dispersing on the wind, each hanging from its own, fine thread, each looking for a home.

It made me think of Gaia II, launched seven years ago. Hardly believable now, that we could build that amazing biosphere, with its ecosystem designed to maintain itself for millenia, if necessary. And those uterine chambers, filled with embryos – human, of course, and larger animals, all waiting to be born into a brave new world.

We all waved the ship goodbye, and wished it well. We followed it on television and on the internet, bought apps to track its journey. Now it is silent. Signals take too long to return to us, and anyway, since the war it’s been hard to coordinate any kind of international effort.

So, yesterday was the first time in months I’d thought of it, and I’m one of the lucky ones. As well as my two daughters here, I have an embryonic son, sleeping in amniotic fluid in an artificial womb, somewhere out there. My chance at some kind of immortality. I wonder what his life will be like – the synth-mothers teaching him basic technology, and co-operative skills. I hope he helps to build a better world than this one.

I’ll never know. Nor will my daughters, or their children, or theirs. We won’t know how this story ends.

We have cast a bottle, with a message written in DNA, out into the dark ocean of space. All we can do now is pray for it.

Image by Makis Wilarmis. Prompt courtesy of Jane Dougherty. I am really looking forward to reading these stories…1017px-2010_utopien_arche04