Balloon

“Parcels, games, entertainment. Done. Got the coding for decorations? I still couldn’t find it in the system.”

“Found something better. But I’ll need help.”

We finished everything just as guests arrived, entry pad scanning in each individual.

The VIP was en-route, guided by my partner.

We all hid.

When they arrived, the room scanned my partner in first.

VIP in second, “why is it night-time?”

“Surprise!” we said, jumping out.

Atmospheric party lighting activated as our VIP squealed in excitement.

“I’m three now?” our VIP stared, stunned, “are they real balloons?”

“Sure are!” I said.

Everyone laughed.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Black and White

“Rise in adulthood aggression and medieval pre-twenty-third century Earthen ideals.”

“Thought we coded them out?”

My research partner and I watched the latest group of toddlers through the window.

A parent entered, giving their child a new battalion spacecraft toy in place of its baby doll.

“You’ll be stronger than the last,” the parent said, leaving the room, “I’ll make sure your toys won’t hold you back.”

I looked at my research partner.

“It’s not really that black and white, is it?”

“We’re innately drawn to gentle things, until-”

Parent and child passed us in the hall.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

To the Edge

“Due end of week,” she said.

I accepted the file transfer.

“Anything else?”

“Check in on the dome too, yeah?”

“Or we’ll all die?”

“Cold,” she said, her aug profile smirking.

“Mars is colder.”

“Answers for everything.”

“This trip wouldn’t work without me,” I said.

“Don’t be so sure.”

We ended comms.

I stared at my screen.

With a flick, I opened an isolated program and equipped a headset.

“Activate,” I said.

My private quarters morphed into the landscape of a digital alien world. Starships, exotic forests, grand ocean cities.

Reality wouldn’t send me over the edge just yet.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Gathering the Harvest

Picturesque Earth lay peaceful, to the untrained eye. 

One final pod slid up its cable to a ship in orbit.

I peered down from the viewing deck.
A streak of fire. Then an explosion. The cable rocked.

Another streak. Closer.

Pod integrity lost. Passengers compromised.

Ship sirens wailed. Incredible engines rumbled to life. The cable detached and drifted loose.

“Human harvest complete, hey?” a man stepped in close, watching the Earth shrink away.

“Failed, more like it,” I said, distancing myself.

“Ah well,” he winked, “I’m happy with the new Mars crop.”

My stomach turned, where’s the training deck?

© 2017-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Red

Dirt caked her soft dress. She’ll wash it later. For now, though self-assigned, she had to complete her mission before the sun set – she had to find it.
Laughter reached her, drifting from the house at the bottom of the yard; soon it’d turn to cries.
She had to hurry.
She sped over the ground, eyes darting.
At last she spotted it, red fabric peeking out beneath the roses.

Hiding behind the gum’s roots, she held her breath as her charge’s carer emerged, collected a red blanket, disappeared and all became quiet inside, as the lights went out.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

The Gift

Hiding beneath the roots of a grand gum, she heard the tiny sobs.
Her charge had been playing outdoors again. Did she hurt herself?
The fairy, wings tucked away, peered through grass above. She could see the side of the little girl, hands cupped, tears dripping onto dusty clothes.
Something hung out of her fingers.
Should she let her cry? Her heart ached.

It was still so warm and so soft too. Why wasn’t it moving?
Something buzzed past the little girl.
Her palm itched and she opened her hands.
She gasped as the mouse looked up at her.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Protector

A scream cut through her from across the meadow and she raged into action, dismissing her injury and climbing up the nearest lookout.
Her arms trembled, not used to her own weight, but she needed to ensure her charge was okay.
Her heart pounded at another squeal and she cursed her clumsiness; she would’ve been on top by now.
Silence.
Finally up, she peered through the crisp fog and relief washed over her as she saw the dancing figures, twirling around a ring of daisies.
She leaned against the lookout rose’s petals, breathing deep and stroking her torn wing.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Porcelain

Waves hushed sounds of traffic far behind. Tiny fingers grasped mine, pulling past flowers and trees, little feet skipping over loose stones.
I took one step for her four.
She hadn’t told me our destination; “it’s a surprise Mummy.”
She glanced back, round eyes gleaming and all smiles, “we’re close!”
I couldn’t help but smile with her, adoration running deep.
Her pace slowed and I looked up.
I froze.
Upon a bed of grass, decorated with turquoise waves, lay a porcelain tea set; the one from my first birthday.
“Surprise, Mummy,” she beamed.
I hid tears in her embrace.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Old Mystery

The door creaked open. Cool air drifted out from darkness beyond.
She took a step, and another, hand guiding along soft, dusty walls. Her other hand searched above.
Click.
A dim globe created great shadows behind piles of books, old chests and dusty boxes. She knelt beside a lone one, a lump forming in her throat, hand hovering over her stomach.
She lifted the lid and a tear fell, disappearing into a baby blue blanket.
Forever soft.
Beneath, she saw a brass key and froze, remembering countless, frantic searches as she smiled, picturing the car in the room beyond.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

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