• Madeline Walz

Day 22: Write a story set in outer space.

Back in February, I announced a work-in-progress story called Aldebaran. The story involves an alien and a hunt for an ancient artifact, and is currently at around 5000 words. Until now, that's all I've released about the story.

This flash fiction story is set before the current beginning of that manuscript and gives you a sneak peek at the world of Aldebaran. This is my favorite NaNoWriMo story so far!

Cover photo from Freepik.

Aldebaran stared out the window at the stars. Out here, in the vastness of space, the stars were in different patterns than what he was used to on Pleione. He tried to pick out his destination, but he wasn’t sure if it was even visible yet.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” a voice asked. Aldebaran turned to find Rana behind him. His mentor was standing with her arms crossed, ignoring the view from the front of the ship.

“It’s too late to go back,” he answered.

“No, but it’s not too late to choose a different planet. There are a few colonies still within reach.”

“You know how hard I fought to get this course of study approved. I can’t settle for something easy.”

“So instead you go for a thousand-year-old rumor? Surely there were some slightly easier options.”

“Yes, but I’ve always loved our Terran history, Rana. You know that. And this isn’t just a legend for me. My family was said to be part of moving that artifact from Pleione, and then moving it across the Terran ocean later.”

Rana sighed. “I know, Aldebaran, but you only have so long. The travel there and back alone will take a third of your allotted time. Then you still have to find it. Do you even know where to look?”

“I’m going to start where it was brought originally. Maybe there’s an archaeological trail left that I could follow, narrow down the search for the artifact’s final resting place.”

Rana snorted. “You make it sound like a grave.”

“It kind of is,” Aldebaran said. “but instead of burying humans or Celaeno, it’s burying history. I’m going to reawaken it.”

He turned back to the window. Rana stepped up beside him.

“I knew there was no chance of changing your mind,” she said. “but that artifact was buried for a reason. You may be digging into a history better left forgotten.”