Non-existent Planet

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As Alice was approaching, she remarked to her friend how the metal caterpillar-like buildings looked as if they were bathed in warm milk. Only the tops were visible above the heavy gray-white gas that lay heavy on top of her. Her exposed hands felt as if they were almost wet, but not quiet. It was a clammy feeling, but one that she enjoyed. It was a welcome break from the dry and filtered air that she has breathed for so long. Her friend reminisced about foggy days on earth, but Alice rolled her eyes. How was she supposed to know how foggy days looked, when she spent most of her life onboard the spaceship that was winding its way to Saturn? The whispers now were that earth didn’t even exist anymore, that it was torn apart by war and toxic gases. But, if it was true, they wouldn’t know. Her boots dragged along in the inch of muddy water that seemed to cover the whole planet. They had been walking for over an hour, and the water never seemed to run
out, like a sea that had almost dried up.
She went over the information that had been drilled into her mind over her long journey; that the only way they could survive was by building their camps hugging the surface, so very close to the hot core that burned brightly beneath their feet. She was taught how on Earth people used the sun’s energy, but the sun was too far away here. People were forced to rely on the energy that the planet produced, deep in its core. The mildew-like smell barely filtered through her mask, but it was still faintly present, always reminding her of how far away they were from the sun.
“Funny, isn’t it?” her friend began, “how the surface of this planet is really hundreds of miles into its center? Saturn is a funny place, almost non-existent really, made up of gas and fog.” She began giggling.
A non-existent planet, Alice thought, welcome home.





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