Photo Credit – Isaac Davis on Unsplash
When Trevor woke, the world was misty grey and damp with heat. He’d been dreaming of Callie, her long curls brushing his cheeks as she kissed him with a wintergreen mouth. The vision of her faded as he focused on the bubble of his helmet. It was still intact. He remembered going up in the shuttle, the vibrations painful as the ship left earth’s orbit. When the rockets broke away from the ship and left them floating in space, they’d laughed and high-fived one another with relief. His head throbbed as he remembered.
They were circling Earth when a radiant light poured through the windows. The orange glow enveloped them as they struggled to figure out what it could be. The readings of the ship went haywire, the dials spinning out of control. The entire ship shook violently. Time seemed to contract and expand as he fought to save the ship and everyone on board. Then everything went dark.
Trevor sat up and looked for his crew. Pieces of the shuttle were scattered nearby, his seat the only thing left intact. He tapped his arm, calling out to Rogers, Jordan, Serrano, anyone. The radio was dead. He called out to the darkness around him, but there was no answer. He was alone.
He stood and turned on his head lamp. The fog was so thick that Trevor could barely see a few feet ahead. Remembering his training, he checked his suit only to find a large gash across the belly of the uniform. He panicked for a moment, wondering what his body might have been exposed to, but the air he was breathing wasn’t coming from the suit. It was the atmosphere. Vegetation littered the ground and for the first time, he was hopeful. Maybe he’d crashed back to Earth!
Taking his suit off and removing his helmet, he carefully inhaled. The air was fresh and clean. It was also incredibly hot. He ripped his pant legs off, making impromptu shorts and started walking in a direction.
Before long, the ground became rocky and jagged. There was still no sign of the crew. He called out occasionally, only to hear the buzz of insects and a strange lowing sound in the distance. He tried to imagine where he might be. Perhaps he was in Mexico or deep in the heart of South America. There was nothing in the landscape to tell him for sure. The vegetation seemed unusual, large and somewhat menacing. He imagined a man-sized Venus flytrap, ready to consume him whole. He shook his head. No use getting loopy. That wouldn’t help him get home to Callie. He lost himself in her scent, the touch of her body and it renewed his energy. He had to find his way home to her.
The rocky ground broke away in small jags and Trevor could see the whisper of a valley down below. If this was Earth, he couldn’t figure out where he might be. The air was thick with smoky clouds and the sun was hidden. He turned his light beam down below, hoping for a glimpse of a landmark or maybe even a crew member. Thick trees clumped together, creating a blanket of green. Off to the right there was some movement as the branches swayed. He focused on the area, only to see a large, bulbous snout emerge between the branches. It blinked beneath the spotlight, waiting for danger. When nothing happened, the creature began munching on the leaves of the tree.
He was on Earth. Judging by the Apatosaurus happily munching on the distant tree, he had arrived during the late Jurassic period.
This story was written as part of the YeahWrite Weekly Writing Challenges. The prompts were the picture above and the words radiant, orbit and expand. Click on the link to read other entries and vote for your favorites!