THE DANCER • by Oliver

My memory fades, but I still remember the journey. I had both my eyes then, and marveled at the sunrise over the desert dunes of that unknown planet. The burnt copper smell rising from the sand remains one of my most vivid recollections. Whatever happens, they’ll never take the memory of that place from me. I’m sorry; at my age I get distracted, I apologize. But since you asked, I’ll go on.

We landed in an oasis of vegetation, an island in a sea of cinnamon sand. A small group of thin, almost translucent aliens approached us. The dance reflected the sun’s rays off their skin of liquid glass. Light exploded all around us and our weapons went off-line. Their movements accelerated and mesmerized us. Silvery light trailed from their thinning arms warming us, welcoming us.

One of them came forward to me. Its light grew stronger and my heart felt lighter. The being knew my purpose and felt my uncertainty, my inexperience.

I peered through its shiny skin and feminine silver hair. It touched me, grabbed my arms, and pulled me into its undulating motions. Her light enveloped me and we moved, slowly at first then faster. She guided me and we became familiar to each other, each pressing into the other. Soon I anticipated her movements and I realized that she, while fearful, felt curious. Where had we come from? What were we doing there?

I moved her in ways she was unaccustomed to but she followed, uncertain at first, even shy, then anticipating my movements, she pressed herself further into me. Her light burned brighter, almost blinding me and my chest pounded.

I felt so many questions from her, how to answer them? I moved faster and faster, struggling to explain. My fingers stretched toward Earth’s sun, just a prick of light so far away, and she understood. We twirled and spun as if the desert world was created just for us. I felt her curiosity, her desire to see new worlds, to know beings far from her own kind. She smiled at my eagerness to show her these things.

The light faded and I found myself standing once again in front of the oasis with my shipmates. I looked for my friend but she and the others were gone.

A silver light burned under my fingernails, and she whispered, “I will be with you always.”

Together we lived my life, exploring the stars. We danced in the sunlight of countless planets until the accident that crippled me. Imprisoning her in this pathetic, fragile body, weighs on my heart like a stone. In my darker moments, she shows me memories of the day we first met, and she smiles.

Oliver is a writer of both science fiction and fantasy off on a real adventure with his family in Europe. He has learned that we all share this world together and he grows excited when he thinks about how each of us, every day, makes science fiction more and more a reality.

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