512 Words

The Power

Florence Cardinal

Roger floated in the empty darkness of space, had floated for hours, or days, for who can measure time lost in eternal blackness?

He floated in a clear plastic bubble attached to the Mother Ship by a metal umbilical cord, surrounded by his equipment --- the breathing apparatus, the metabolism tube that fed him liquid nutrients, and the experimental Klewtz Sounder in his head set for picking psychic waves out of the depth of space, the reason for this Alpha project.

Roger was completely at ease, earphones in place, eyes closed as he called in his final thirty minute message.

"Half hour to Home Base. I'm picking up a whistling in my headset. Any explanation?"

Roger could hear, far away above the whistling, the voice of Captain Steel as he ran a computer check on the equipment. He heard first mate Henderson announce that, as a safety precaution, recall procedure was beginning. Then Roger hit the space warp.

In seven seconds, the twisted vortex of space had snapped the thin metal cord and whirled Roger and his craft into another galaxy light years away and eons into the future. The whistling subsided as he left the black hole behind, and silence descended.

Now he floated, waiting, hoping, as his air grew thin and his nutrient tubes shrank like pin-punctured balloons. Gradually hope died. He slept almost continually, lulled by boredom, hopelessness and the black pit of space. The earphones clamped snugly around his head picked up vague whispers of sound, psychic vibrations that created tiny ripples in the sea of monotony.

He awoke to the sound of --- silence! All vibrations had ceased, but they only waited as something approached, something far greater than any sound heard before. The Roger heard it. No! He felt it! A tingle touched his ears and became a roar that echoed all the way down to his toes.

The sound grew and gained strength until it was a thing alive. It flooded Roger's mind, his brain, his heart, his very soul. The sound was Power, the power of his own subconscious mind fighting the inevitable, and Roger became The Power.

He closed his eyes, and out of the black void of space he brought a glowing ball of mud. He forced the ball to grow. He caused the winds to rush around it, shaping it, beating it, giving it form. He crinkled a corner of his new power and the rains fell.

With a mighty heave of the Power, Roger burst his plastic bubble and sprawled, a bird free at last of its shell, in the sweet, wet grass. He relaxed, reaching gently with his mind, probing among the far-reaching stars, feeling. searching.

He breathed a sigh of contentment as, with the magnet of his Power, he pulled a round globe into the sky and it washed the glade with its magical light. Roger slept while the silvery moon marveled at its rippling reflection in the deep lake water and waited for the morning sunrise.

Copyright ©1997 Florence Cardinal. All Rights Reserved.

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August, 1997
Issue #16

512 Words