(Flash fiction on the theme of “other worlds”)
Thomson reached out a roughened hand to touch the tiny pulsating lights scattered across the bridge. They quivered in response as if alive. The structure looked too flimsy to take his weight, should he cross? He felt strangely exhilarated by the scene before him. His breathing quickened. Had he been right to come? Was this the time for this voyage of discovery? Perhaps he should have stayed with the others. He took a step, the beams responding in vibration to the pressure of his feet. All nature was interacting with him like some drug induced trance. Another step; it held, not so much supporting him as enduing him with its own ethereal nature. The light was dazzling obscuring the forms he glimpsed through luminous air. Dare he go further? He could hear his colleges calling behind him like an echo in the stillness.
“Come back! Stay with us!” they yelled. But he gazed onward transfixed, as feet moved onward drawn by an unknown power, his body becoming ever more buoyant in the strange atmosphere. The voices became more urgent as he edged forward.
“Fight! For God’s sake fight!” they urged. He felt a sudden pain in his chest. For a moment he hesitated, then deliberately continued on, as his ears where captured by a strange and haunting melody. The pain subsided, the voices faded. The beings were coming closer now welcoming him. They were not unlike himself but infinitely more beautiful. Like the lights they pulsated with pure energy. He felt dirty, soiled, his uniform caked in dust and blood. They seemed not to care. One thrust an arm across his shoulder seeming somehow familiar. Had he been here before? They led him stumbling across the remainder of the bridge as voices were raised in a cacophony of welcome…
“He’s gone!” a lone voice echoed from behind. Thomson turned for a moment.
“It’s OK. They’ll all come later,” the familiar presence said.
The medic pulled away. Moving on to the next casualty he brushed his eyes on the blood splattered sleeve of his uniform.
“I’m sorry mate. We were too late, he’d lost too much blood.” He muttered to the soldier bent down at his friend’s side.
“Why did it have to be like this?” he questioned. “Why hadn’t he gotten here faster and where was the dammed ambulance he’d requested. If only he’d had the supplies! No use getting upset,” he told himself, “go on to the other guy.”
“Dam mines!” the soldier swore his eyes flooding.” He was a good chap, deserved better.”