Been one of those weeks… I still need another bag of M&Ms and a gin and tonic with extra lime. I should be relaxed by then…
Hope your weekend is rejuvenating!
The transport flew through the darkened sky, arcing gracefully toward the Presidium. The imposing building, the only structure on the moon Iloisi, sat on a lagoon, surrounded by verdant moss covered grounds and the ever-present dark grey clouds. Constructed of red sandstone the central domed tower rose from a u-shaped foundation. A series of steps angled upward to the main entrance.
Commander Iszra N’Lan’s heart thumped wildly in his chest, as it always did as he approached the Presidium. As chief of the Presidium Guard, he should be over the apprehension of being in the Overlords’ presence. He shuddered, so far being at ease around the prime rulers of the universe proved to be elusive.
His second in command whispered behind him, “They are awaking from sedation. Shall I bring them to the front salon? “
“Yes, but tell them nothing. The Overlords are angry and wish to read the charges themselves.”
Nodding, the guard withdrew leaving N’Lan to his thoughts. Minutes later, the pilot eased the transport onto the lagoon, next to the wide steps. A hissing sound from the airlock indicated the pilot had opened the hatch, the musty smell of moss mixed with the purified air of the transport momentarily gagging N’Lan.
He turned as footsteps echoed behind him. The guards escorted four men and one woman into the salon. They were in all manners of dress, from bedclothes to a formal gown. Their faces pale, their eyes full of fear, N’Lan observed each was in control, holding themselves with dignity.
“Take them inside, the Council is waiting.”
The guards led them past an enormous statue of a human erected at the top of the broad stairs. N’Lan smiled wanly, as each of the ‘guests’ appeared stunned at the image of a human on what they now must realize was an alien world. Up two more sets of stairs, they entered a cavernous lobby, its circular walls covered with tapestries reflecting numerous galaxies. The floors were of the same stone as the exterior, polished to a gloss. A stairway clung to the curved wall.
N’Lan motioned for the woman and men to follow him. He was on the second step when a tall gray-haired man, dressed in sleepwear spoke.
“What is this place and where are you taking us?”
“You will understand shortly,” N’Lan said. “Follow me.”
The chamber they entered was breathtaking. Once again, tapestries hung from the walls below a ring of windows. A polished sandstone dais sat in part of the room, a carved wooden bench followed its length, ornate high-backed chairs sat behind.
In a matter of minutes, double doors opened and the Overlords, thirteen men and women, all humanoids with variations of skin color, bone structure and stature, took their places at the bench.
The overlord sitting in the center chair asked, “These are the Earth representatives?”
“Yes Prime Overlord, rulers of the five most important countries on Earth, the heads of state for the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and China.”
Again, the man in the bedclothes spoke, “I am the president of the United States, and I demand an explanation. Why have we been brought here?”
“We are the Overlords, and we govern the universe. We have seeded, nurtured, monitored, and eventually made ourselves known when suitable advancement occurs on these planets. However, we have intervened in the matters of the world you call Earth. Overlord Hara, please read the charges.”
The pale green-skin overlord stood, “The peoples of Earth are charged with total neglect of the planet, from wasting its natural resources, disregard of the welfare of its citizens, and constantly waging unjust wars. You are hereby on trial to determine the future of Earth.
N’Lan left the chamber closing the door on the chatter coming from the five Earthlings. If the transport left in the next ten minutes, they could rendezvous with the starship sooner. The council wished to see a warlord from the Gronovan system who was violating his treaty with the Overlords.
His work for the Overlords was never done.
Written for a writing prompt exercise conducted by MJ Bush (Writingeekery) on Google +. Prompt images are open source from pixabay.com.
Flash fiction written for the Moderated Selected Writing Exercise (#writingprompt) on the Writer’s Discussion Group community on Google+. The prompt for this exercise is a painting called “Who’s There?” by Vasili Maksimov.
Hope you enjoy.
The early-morning phone call left Madeline O’Connell rattled. Her law partner, Jeffery Crane was dead from an apparent heart attack. Her secretary’s frantic voice calling to inform her, haunted her as she gazed out the window of her tenth-floor corner office.
Madeline intended to work from home that morning, preferring solitude to finish a motion requesting a new trial for a client of Jeffery’s. His children convinced her Jeffery made a muddle of his case and after reviewing the trial transcripts, she agreed. Jeffery’s death changed her plans. She absently tapped the arm of her chair as she thought about all the mistakes Jeffery made during his five years with the firm. She overlooked some. They were fixable, but sending an innocent man to the death chamber was a mistake the firm wouldn’t recover from. All she had left was the firm, and her reputation, which she would protect at all costs.
Spinning her chair around, her gaze focused on her favorite painting. She’d found it at an art gallery and was drawn to it. The subject of the painting, a young girl from a century ago stood at her doorway, her feet bare on the cabin’s rough wood floor. Her body, clad in a once lovely gown, an apron tied around her waist, was leaning toward the door. Her right hand clutched a serrated knife. Someone was knocking on her door, and her apprehension was palpable.
Madeline pressed her lips together. She was that girl. Six years before her ex-husband and former partner left her, taking most of the firm’s clients with him. She suffered from the apprehension the girl in the cabin displayed since that day. She worked hard to return her small firm to prominence while remaining fearful of the unknown knock on the door. The unknown could destroy her, and she wasn’t going to allow that, not again.
Jeffery was a liability, one she could no longer afford.
Executing her plan proved easier than she expected. No one would suspect anything out of the ordinary, two law partners discussing cases late in the evening. She brought a bottle of scotch left behind by her ex-husband and two glasses with her. She entered Jeffery’s office. Obtaining the coniine poison was easy, a former client with a shady past would keep his mouth shut for the right amount of money. Coniine was deadly but undetectable in routine toxicology tests. A heart attack would be the cause of death.
She poured two drinks, handing one to Jeffery, setting her glass on the edge of his desk. Madeline’s pretense for the meeting was to discuss the motion she was writing, a source of contention between them. A few pointed comments and he began screaming at her, demanding she leave his office. She obliged taking both glasses and the bottle of scotch with her. She washed the glasses in her private bathroom and tucked the liquor bottle at the bottom of her briefcase.
Madeline stopped to speak to the security guard in the lobby making certain she was on the surveillance camera. When she got home, she poured the contents of the bottle down the toilet. Placing the bottle in a thick plastic bag, she shattered the glass with a hammer and scattered the glass shards in the lush landscaping in her backyard.
Her intercom beeped, her secretary informing her the police wanted to speak with her. When the knock on the door sounded, Madeline glanced at the painting. Unlike the girl, she wasn’t apprehensive at all.
Thanks for reading!