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The Forgotten Music
Seas of towering buildings sway slightly from the dry, tasteless wind. Nearby the buildings lies an embankment of decaying debris. With every wisp, the wind continues to bring sand from the neighboring desert. The sand will eventually engulf the heaps of relics.
A stirring of sand and the sound of metal objects moving reveals that the ruins are not completely abandoned.
A thin grey hand digs around one of the smaller mounds of debris. A faded picture of a woman smiling, a doll with one blue eye, pieces of burnt metal and much more are picked up by the hand and carefully set aside. The hand pauses. The four grey fingers touch a dusty box. He wipes the dust away, and taps the box. Not hearing a hollow sound, the creature grasps the box and examines it more closely with his elongated black eyes. With his small nose, he sniffs it. He raised the box as to throw it away, but then he notices the golden latch. The sun made the latch glow with a beckoning temptation. The creature hesitates, unsure whether or not to open it. With a long thin finger, he touches the latch. The box snaps open.
The eerie silence of the ruins is suddenly invaded by an unfamiliar sound. The scraggly creature yelps in fright and drops the box. He looks at it with a puzzled expression, picks it up again, and opens it more slowly. The strange sound came again. It was music; amplified by the surrounding metal towers. Inside the box was a tiny, graceful woman wearing a blue dress. She had her graceful arms above her head and was slowly turning in tune with the soft, beautiful music. Enchanted, the creature kept opening and closing the box every time the tune ends and the other relics lay forgotten as the sun slowly fell from the sky.
As the sun was just about to disappear into the horizon, the creature realizes that it was time for him to leave. He pulls out his knapsack and carefully places the box inside. He swung the sack over his shoulder and walks out into the desert. His four-toed footprints mark his passage briefly before they were swiped by the wind.
He soon reaches the spaceship that brought him to this abandoned, forgotten world. The ship's triangular black shape seems to swallow up the emerging stars of the sky. The creature approaches the front of the ship. Placing two fingers in his mouth, he made a gurgle-like noise. A hidden hatch appears and he climbs in.
The spaceship is dimly lit inside and cramped. Wheezing noises come from the cockpit. There, in the captain's chair, is another being like him, identical except for the distinctive tattoos crisscrossing the other's chest. He gently shook the captain awake.
Snorting, the captain raises himself up into a sitting position.
"What took you so long, Shon?"
Shon shrugs, "I'm sorry, Aron, I got a little...distracted."
Shon took a seat in the other chair, after dropping his sack behind it. After a thought, he reaches back and pulls out the box. He fingers it, thoughtfully.
As Aron prepares for takeoff, he notices the object in Shon's hands. "What's that?" he said.
"I don't know, just something I found," replies Shon.
"Tch, looks like another piece of junk. You should have left it in the dirt. I don't know why you would go looking for junk. Museums have a lot of dusty old relics, and they don't pay much either. Why don't we go into a more exciting and better-paying career? Why can't we be bounty hunters? Now, that's a well-paying job! With the money we can get, we can eat good food. No offense, your cooking is ok. And females! Ah, bounty hunter females are amazing I've heard, but you have to watch out for their weapons..."
As Aron rambles on, Shon peers down at the planet. It may have been beautiful once, but now all he sees is the browns and sickly grays of isolation and decay. Then, Shon gazes down at the box in his hands. He thought of what the box meant to him. He knew that in a museum, it would be displayed and protected, but the museum's visitors might not be able to see the woman or hear the soulful tune she dances to. No, he would keep the box, and allow the music be heard everywhere he goes. The people who built this box lived so long ago that the original name of their planet has long been forgotten, yet their spirits will live on as long as the music and the dancer are discovered, again and again.