• any target • churches in texas • abandoned 7/11’s • your bedroom at 5 am • hospitals at midnight • warehouses that smell like dust • lighthouses with lights that don’t work anymore • empty parking lots • ponds and lakes in suburban neighborhoods • rooftops in the early morning • inside a dark cabinet
• playgrounds at night • rest stops on highways • deep in the mountains
• early in the morning wherever it’s just snowed • trails by the highway just out of earshot of traffic • schools during breaks • those little beaches right next to ferry docks • bowling alleys
• unfamiliar McDonalds’s on long road trips • your friends living room once everybody but you is asleep • laundromats at midnight
• galeries in art museums that are empty except for you • the lighting section of home depot • stairwells • hospital waiting rooms • airports from midnight to 7am • bathrooms in small concert venues
• cemeteries • abandoned penitentiaries • hilltops at night in full moonlight • most of Japan • empty barns • marshes • really anywhere quiet at midnight, the air vibrates • old stones and henge • the ocean when it’s still quiet with fog over it • train tracks that go through the middle of the woods • bridges • ancient places • stands of old growth forest • the Eastern Sierras/high desert
• rabbit paths off hiking tails • trails between the main ski hills • winter twilight • back allies between houses • logging roads • dirt roads on fall evenings with leaves falling off the trees • libraries before closing • anyplace where it’s snowing before sunrise • the woods during a rainstorm
• roads covered with snow with trees on the sideways while snowflakes are falling out of the sky • train stations after 10 PM • outside, right before a massive storm • the woods just after twilight • the beach in winter • the bottom of swimming pools • empty beaches when its snowing
• back part of a library • late night empty streets • highways late at night • windy roads • windy roads at night when you can only see the immediate road • abandoned parking lots (office buildings, homes) • anywhere immediately after a really bad fight • little towns late at night when no ones awake and the only lights on are the street posts
• empty buses before sunrise/after sunset • being the only one outside in the early morning when its almost dark and you feel alone on earth • mountains with a big forest close to it • being alone in a spot in ikea • the lakeside anytime between 2 and 6 am • firework shows when you’re sitting on the grass • staring up at very tall buildings • the tram at a big airport • abandoned house by a lake
• being the only one downstairs on christmas • stepping outside in the early morning when it has just snowed • when its dark and you see snowflakes falling down in the light of a lamppost on the lonely road • that one clear spot in the forest with trees surrounding it • a parked car in a snow/thunderstorm • corn fields with the wind blowing over them • malls when they’re about to close for the night • woods at twilight/dawn • being on a train after midnight • theme parks at night
• winding back roads with rolling fog • seeing “open” signs when its really foggy and cloudy • being in a train that was crowded when you got in and now its quiet, looking at the seats knowing that there were people sitting there moments ago and now they’re gone • hiking trails that have nobody on them • being alone in an elevator for a few minutes • looking down at the forest when you’re standing somewhere high and seeing the top of the trees with fog lingering over them • the ferry about to take off in the middle of the night • tree houses • empty seats on the late night train • 4-6 am on a winter morning
• the clouds/damp coming out of your mouth when its really cold in the morning • stepping out on an unfamiliar metro/train stop • greenhouses that have been left to grow alone • cemeteries in the middle of fields • biking/walking on the main road when its dark without cars • swamps with fog • hotel corridors in the middle of the night • anywhere where you can hear a train whistle in the distance but you can’t see it or know just how far away it is • foggy mornings in a meadow • that flickering streetlight • working offices at midnight
• abandoned amusement parks • mirrors in an airplane bathroom • being alone in a church • empty hotel lobbies • hearing trains off in the distance especially at night • snow falling down in general • being in a place thats supposed to have a lot of people but it doesn’t • long, dark hallways • the middle of a park when its snowing • playgrounds at night • work/school when you’re snowed in • caves • a field of power lines • being in a forest where there are train tracks not knowing if the train may even ever approach • bonfires
• being in a different room than everyone else at a party • the woods on a night with a full moon • empty stables • empty metro stations that are usually crowded • gas stations on long mountain roads • the old part of a city when you’re the only one in the street • stadiums when a game or concert is over • entering a building with a really high ceiling • moonlight, anywhere
• empty tennis or baseball courts with limited lightning • times when you are transitioning from one phase to another • lodges in the snow • frozen water in the winter • a little lake in the middle of the forest • campus during summer • family gatherings • construction site after works have gone home • leaving a tent at midnight • lonely swings • overgrown fields • from twilight to dusk • farmland thats covered in the morning fog • suburban neighborhoods filled with tension and wind before a large summer thunderstorm • being at an abandoned place knowing that years ago at that exact same moment there were people • the feeling of being chased by someone/something • knowing you’re not alone in a certain place like a forest
this feeling is scary as FUCK it dawns upon you that something is so quiet or abandoned or empty and vacant that its like the universe forgot to make something happen in the one spotlike you found a glitch in real life like everything seems fake and unreal and real and not fake all at one and youre so confused
I once imagined myself in the twilight world but… my name was Cullen Carlisle. I was a paramedic that worked at the hospital. Everyone would get our names mixed up. And it was all just a bundle of confusion and laughs. It’s what Carlisle and I bonded over.
Day 2 of the journey. The night before we had set out for Sol-236a, and the captain, now aware that we had a Deathworlder as cargo, saw fit to assign me to “watch over her.” When I protested, he acted as though I was somehow responsible for Maxx coming on board, though I could tell from his tone of voice, he was just being a giant pansy.
Begrudgingly, I took up residence in the cargo bay, even setting up a makeshift bedroom like Maxx had. As I was piling cushions up in the corner, I heard Maxx approach. She seemed confused.
“Why are you down here? I thought you guys didn’t want to be anywhere near me.”
“The…The captain is a giant wuss, and a-assigned me to…uh…’watch over you’. Hi-his words not mine…” I shakily replied, subtly holding a cushion over my chest like a shield.
She laughed and said, “I’ll try and make your job easy for you then.” Before walking away and re-entering her tent. And she made good on her promise. She did not leave her tent for the entire day.
It was around dinnertime, however, that things got…interesting.
I had left the hold to eat, and at the captain’s behest, I came back with a plate of food. Just standard rations, mind, but the captain was adamant not to piss Maxx off or accidentally insult her. I agreed, and even did some quick research on what Terrans could and could not eat, before selecting said rations, just to be extra sure. The last thing we wanted was an angry Terran.
I approached the flap of her tent, and called her name.
“Uh…Maxx? It’s evening meal time. I…I brought you some food!” I called into the darkness, but to no response. Then I realized how deep the tent went. Stepping inside, the fabric door opened up to a high ceilinged entry hall, with rooms branching off to the left and right. This tent was impossible. Utterly impossible. But…so was Maxx’s bag. So was her hair, and her “spells”. I guess…maybe this was just par for the course…
I set about finding her, calling her name at every opportunity. To the left, I found a bathroom with a tub you could drown an Ultraphant in, and a walk-in closet with more mirrors than a solar array. To the right, I found what appeared to be some sort of workshop/office space, and next to that, a bedroom, not unlike my own, with a large nest-like structure in the center composed of fluffy cushions, soft furs, and warm blankets.
But still, I couldn’t find her. How could that be? I saw her enter, and NEVER saw her leave. Could she have left in the time I was eating? If so, then where was she?
My thoughts were then interrupted by a faint sound. It was very faint, but it sounded like… chirping insects? I followed it back to its source, and discovered it to be coming from a strange crystalline orb in the workshop area. My curiosity getting the better of me, I stared into the fist-sized orb, and saw…glowing trees? What?
Not quite thinking of the dangers of touching Death Worlder tech, I reached a hand out to touch it. Next thing I knew, I was falling.
I woke up face down in a blue-green field at twilight, on the edge of a bioluminescent forest. Standing up and checking for injuries, I attempted to get my bearings. After a brief moment of analysis, I recognised the trees from my after-school xenobiology course. They were Terran Maple trees, based on their sickly sweet sap and hand shaped leaves. As I stared in horror and awe, the trees seemed to slowly pulse with blue-green light. I looked up at the night sky, and attempted to identify the planet based on the position of the stars. I had to be sure I wasn’t where I thought I was. My hearts sank as the truth set in…
The Federation had never been to Terra, or at least, there weren’t any major embassies on its surface, so no real records existed of what its star positions looked like from the surface. But I didn’t need to know that. I already knew, deep down, where I was. Somehow, through some Terran bulls**t, I was on their homeworld.
Author’s Notes: I wanted to make this post longer, but as I wrote it, it worked better with the chapter break here. Sorry if this has taken a little while to be posted. Been battling depression, insomnia, and a s***-ton of work to do around the house. Will try and get the next part written within a week.