The Blue Marble

I have been participating in a writing competition that I find entertaining and enables me to be accountable to write consistently. On the first weekend of every month, I am putting my storytelling skills to the test in a short story competition. Armed with a simple brief, the job is to race the clock to come up with my best 500-word (or fewer) story in 55 hours. The cherry on top? A tasty $500 price to win every single month.

To all the budding writers and lovers of Shakespeare language, it is your time to rise and shine. Check out the competition guidelines here:

The April competition was fun and I wanted to share the story I came up with. I did not win, which does not really matter in the end because I had a blast writing it.

The brief was to incorporate three lines of dialogue in my story which were:

·       “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

·       “He’s never done anything like this before.”

·       “What’s it going to be then, eh?”

That was it. An endless realm of possibilities and imagination.

I came up with a short story named: The Blue Marble. 

Earth, a perfectly round shaped planet that looks like a blue marble and harbours the life of 7.7 billion of human beings. Quite amazing isn’t it? But what would you think if I told you, that the future of humankind and our planet, is in the hands of a bunch of ancient colossal titans from other galaxies? These titans gather every millennium, to play a ball game that redesigns our entire solar system.

Which brings us here.

“I pick the red one!” yells Shafka, the most impressive titan but also the dumbest.

“You mean Mars,” retorts Krabi with irony, the smart one of the group.

The Titans start to laugh and the universe trembles.

“I want the blue planet, it’s the prettiest,” says Kino shyly, the youngest of the Titans.

“Be careful with that one,” says Krabi. “This planet is full of life; they have tiny human beings living there. Billions of insignificant lives, but still…”

“I will be delicate,” replies Kino, smiling.

“Saturn is the most beautiful,” says Barksa, Kino’s friend. “It’s unique, and the rings are a good grip,” he adds, staring at his long-time nemesis, Pyro the Bold.

“I am taking the sun,” boasts Pyro proudly.

A long and disapproving silence follows his words.

“Be warned if you wish to take the sun,” Tartan the Wise announces firmly.

“It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

No one in Titan’s history has dared to play with the sun.

“He’s never done something like this before,” shouts Barksa. “He is a fool! What if it turns wrong?”

“What’s it going to be then, eh?” retorts Pyro. “No rule forbids one to play with the sun. I won the last game as you should all recall. The universe won’t blow up with me in it.” sniggers Pyro.

“Enough words, let the game begin!” yells Karka the mediator, whose voice thunders in the depths of the universe.

“Titans, take your planets, get in line and wait for my signal.”

The titans obey. They carefully grab their planets, form a line and wait for the signal to throw them as far as possible, like giant bowling balls.

A thunderous sound bursts into thin air. A firework of planets and a ball of fire enlighten the dark canvas of the universe. A few seconds later, everything goes back to black, like nothing had happened.

On planet Earth, people believe Mother Nature is taking revenge on humankind. Hurricanes are blowing, tsunamis are rising. The sky is turning upside down. Our little blue marble is rolling down the universe. The Sun is right behind her. Mars, Saturn and the other planets appear too. Finally, they all stop.

The Titans have redistributed the cards. Planet Earth still exists but looks… different. A few oceans are missing, continents and countries have moved. China is in Africa, Russia has landed in America and people in Europe are witnessing packs of wild kangaroos hopping around.

Welcome to a new era!

499 words.