The conductor rang the platform's bell, crystal peals carrying over the mashing of the platform's gears. An axle descended into the clouds, teeth clicking against the platforms gears.
The conductor's gaze raked the crowd of onlookers saying their goodbyes to Miah. The conductor released a carabiner latching one of the airships ropes to the platform and the gear mechanisms in the airship coiled the anchor.
"Wait... wait. I'm coming," Miah yelled, grabbing his traveling trunk with both hands.
He nearly ran over Lexi. She'd stood on the crowd's edge. Her presence on the platform surprising him because he'd thought she'd never noticed him and he figured she'd come to accompany one of her friends. But, now he wondered.
"Um... I must catch my flight." He was such a dork. It didn't matter that he had an airship to catch. He promised himself he'd be a braver man when he arrived at the university on Mars.
Lexi leaned in, her lips brushing Miah's cheek, breath smelling of mint, and rain, exotic scents of the inner planets. His blush warmed his face. She said, "Never forget those you leave behind."
The conductor's bell chimed.
"Someday." Miah brushed her shoulders to approach the conductor. Jupiter's clouds stark beyond the platform's edge. Miah balanced preparing to lift his trunk onto the luggage lift.
"Leave your trunk there. Tickets?" The conductor waved him up the gangway.
Miah held the rope banister as he climbed the steep platform, stopping halfway, glancing at those he left behind, his eyes drawn to Lexi. He'd barely slept last night, thinking about the future's possibilities. You couldn't predict life.
The conductor clucked, climbing the platform behind him. The future didn't look so bright. The airship floated into the air. Miah hurried onto the ship, his thoughts preoccupied with lost possibilities.
This flash prompted by Angela Perry's found image, Abandoned Concrete Factory Mechanism.