So, a friend of mine and I were having a discussion tonight about why people don’t write more novels and stuff in the future tense. I decided it was a challenge I needed to take. What comes after this is the result. It’s not very good. I think it’s cuz writing in the future tense is HARD.
When I lay my head to my pillow and close my eyes, I will leave this world. I will drift beyond the mists of consciousness and find myself in a world wholly surreal and fantastical. If the past is any indication, it will be a world of tall, twisting pearloid buildings and cloudless lavender skies. It will be a world of strange, beam-like humanoid creatures and soaring sky-bourne chariots that spray nuclear fire from their behinds. I will be lost and alone, and there will be only one thing that can save me: you.
I will look down and take note to the curve, three-foot-long blade I hold in my hand. I will examine it, hoping perhaps that it is Hattori Hanzo steel. I will chuckle as I remember that even if the blade is Hanzo steel, I wouldn’t be able to tell. It’s not like I’ll be able to read Japanese. I will heft the blade in my hand and marvel at the exquisite balance of the piece. I will gaze across the cityscape from my place atop the crimson hill at the mouth of the valley. I will tighten my grip on the sword and set off toward the city.
I will reach a wood populated with gnarled, tangled tree-like forms. They will weave around each other like some alien form of macrame. I will see small scaly six-legged lifeforms scurrying across the wooden tangles. I will hear the strange, wobbly melodies of flying creature wafting through the air. I will feel a strange comfort wash over me as twigs and leaves crunch beneath my feet.
I will, at length, work my way through the tangled wood and find myself setting foot on an worn old footpath. The path will cut its way through tall, vermilion grass as it drives toward town. I will gaze upward as I walk along, struck by the sight of the sky traffic shooting through the lavender expanse. I will arrive at an old stone bridge that spans a stream of clear water. Beneath the surface of the stream, odd, many-eyed aquatic creatures will peer up at my with strange, hungry stares.
As I place my foot upon the bridge, the air will crackle and a tall, horse-faced being will materialize out of a puff of azure smoke. He will stare at me disapprovingly and rub what I will assume is his chin. “Where are you headed”, he will croak.
For a moment, I will be taken aback by the perfectness of his English. How odd, I will think. That aliens actually speak my native tongue. “I’m not sure”, I will answer.
“One unsure of where he’s headed doesn’t normally carry that kind of weapon”, he will observe.
“I’m not sure this is mine”, I will respond.
The tall man will rub his knobby-knuckled fingers together. “Then give it to me”, he will hiss.
I will clutch the weapon a bit more tightly. The tall man with the horse’s face will draw a step closer to me. “Give it to me”, he will repeat.
I will back away, and the tall man will lunge at me. I will raise the blade over my head, bringing it down in a brilliantly shiny, deadly parabola. The blade will cleanly bisect the tall man’s head, right between his eyes. He will tumble to the ground, lying gurgling in a maroon puddle. I will flip the blood from my blade and give the tall man a final look, an unsettling feeling burrowing into my chest. I will take a long deep breath and I will cross the bridge.
I will walk until I find myself in a broad, flowery meadow. Plump, brightly colored insects will buzz about from blossom to blossom and I will stare in wonder at how, though I’m am walking through an alien landscape, I feel like I’m not so far from home.
I will arrive at a narrow, earthen road. I look up one direction and back down the other. A plume of olive-hued dust will rise up over the horizon. I will clutch the blade to my chest as fear ices up and down my spine. A motorcycle-like vehicle will flit along the road, emitting a strange high-pitched hum. I will hide behind a tangle, green shrub, sure that I will have to shed blood again. The thought will sicken me. I will not want to spill blood, not even alien blood.
Panic will immobilize me as the vehicle draws to a stop in front of me. Another tall, horse-faced man will dismount and pull a helmet off his head. He will look to and fro, squinting harshly in the purple daylight. “You can come on out”, he will shout. “I seen you.”
I will feel my teeth chatter and I will try to sink lower, as if I may sink into the soil. I will gulp hard and grasp my sword as a sudden burst of courage burns through my body. I will leaps forward, raising my sword, stopping when I realize that the tall biker has a weapon of some sort trained on me. He will look me up and down as I lower my blade. “Ain’t you a little short for an Altarian”, he will ask, scratching his scalp with his free hand.
“I’m orbiting Altair”, I will hear myself ask, confusion welling up inside.
“Well, where did you think you are, Earthman”, the biker will mock. “After all, you humans settled this place.”
I will feel my face scrunch into a quizzical expression. I will have no memory of this settlement. “That’s not possible”, I will counter. “We can’t even get ourselves past the moon.”
The biker will chuckle. “That attitude is why you can’t get nothing done, son”, he will reply.
I will feel the strength leave my legs and I will stagger a bit. “So we really made it”, I will gasp.
“Some of you did”, the biker will clarify. “Most of you died. You know, comets, space debris, gamma ray bursters and such.”
“How long have we been here”, I will ask.
“Long enough to wipe most of the indigenous life clean off the map”, the biker will half-snarl. “When you weren’t mating with them.”
I will feel queasy in the tummy region. “Mating with aliens?”
“You humans ain’t exactly picky.”
“So where did you come from?”
“Crossbreeds is about all that’s left. The humans made us all slaves, doing farm work and the like. I think you can figure the rest out yourself.”
I will be reminded of a movie a saw once, in which a long-haired stoner kid said something about wanting to be the first person to discover an alien race. And **** it.