Friday, September 14, 2018

The Perfect Day

The Perfect Day
By Michael Cannata

The sky was a shimmering, crystal blue from horizon to horizon. There wasn't a cloud to be seen. The sun hung above him as he walked in a daydream at a slow summers pace. He meandered aimlessly, the way he did as a boy on the sands of the Florida beach he grew up on.

He loved the ocean weather. Standing alone by the surf as the perfect sun set over the gulf waters, he savored the sensation of slight breezes washing over his skin. He reveled in the rain and power of nature's fury during hurricanes. He knew perfect weather when he experienced it. There was no doubt about it; his entire experience had been one endless perfect day!

Exotic and alien flora and fauna dotted the flat landscape. Clusters of vegetation spread out forever into the distance. Their roots reached depths that seemed endless. Wherever it was that they found the water, if it even was water, that kept them alive, it was too far for him to reach. Familiar looking rocks lay sprinkled across the sand in every direction. The faint line of an ancient high tide mark ran erratically off into an arid landscape.

This planet had all the beautiful features of his beach… except for an ocean.

He peered off into the brilliant daylight, searching for shapes or shadows that would suggest a destination, somewhere or something worth walking towards. The surface was an endless dusty shore. Small, inch high ripples of dry sand, formed by the slightest of breezes stretched in every direction. No mountain silhouettes that would suggest a change in the landscape appeared on the horizon. No uphill slant that might lead to high ground. No trees… just the short thick clusters of hard skinned shrubbery that indicated that life existed at all. The planet had no changing weather. He never saw clouds or felt wind on his dry chapped face. No mist or fog or hint of rain. The temperature never changed more than a degree or two. Even stranger was the sun. It was yellow and was larger than the sun on earth but it hadn't moved at all. It registered an eternal high noon for the 150 earth days he had been stranded.

He lost the three other members of his crew along with everything that was crucial for any chance at long term survival when his ship crashed. Despite his best efforts his rations were dwindling. All the technology he had still couldn't keep him alive without food. There was no way to get to the water deep below him. He'd dug twice his height deep into nothing but dry, powdery sand.

Consigned to an inevitable, thirst-filled fate, he wandered aimlessly deep in thought.

The agonizing beauty of the perfect daylight overwhelmed him again. He stared into the sun, almost blinded now by its sheer brilliance. It was a "Perfect Day." It was always the SAME Perfect Day! An endless Perfect Day. There was a time, when he was young he believed he would be happy to live forever, surrounded by such a day, by such beautiful weather. He would have been glad to never see a rainy day.

The very idea terrified him now.

He had prayed for rain every day after he arrived. He knew that he needed it if he was to live. Now, as he realized that he would never see a rainy day again, He just prayed for an end to this Perfect Day. Dying wasn't unwelcome any more. The thought of living without weather was inconceivable. He'd decided he missed the rain too much to live without it any longer and he hated the sun too much to live with it.

It was a perfect day to die.

1 comment:

  1. Love how you started with us believing it was a good thing and then gently bringing us in to his reality. Good work Michael