Friday, August 26, 2011

Flight of the Son's of God

Noam was no UFO crazoid, sure the West Virginia hills were filled with them, but that didn't mean every Tom, Dick, and Harry had to believe in UFOs. He wasn't all that god-fearing either. Some people find the years as they age make them want to believe in an afterlife, but Noam saw too much depravity out there, and that made him doubt. He wasn't a hermit either, but found the quiet of the hills made the writing faster. So it was all the stranger he was the one that made the discovery.

He'd always been a curious man, only way a man could have published over forty books, and when those lights shone outside his cabin, the whole Earth shook as if the Hindu's world-snake Sesha stirred, making the world quake. But, that didn't stop Noam.

His back fifty was a nearly impossible to traverse, tree-covered realm, but when he saw the lights descend, like columns of colored glass, until all was left but a glow over the dark leaves, he grabbed a flashlight and would've hitched his bloodhound to a leash, but the dog just quivered into a ball and wouldn't go anywhere. Wasn't like his friend to act this way and that made Noam even more curious.

He'd walked his property, plenty, so even though the brambles fought his every step, he was master, and made his way through, and on the far side of the ridge, his flashlight no longer shone on wooden thorns blocking his way, but fresh tilled earth where something had scarred the ground.

The lights no longer glowed bright on the thing, but he saw something like a skyscraper, sitting in his valley. It wasn't like no skyscraper he'd seen in New York, sure, it was weathered, and whatever it was made out of had turned black, like steeples he'd seen when the acid rain discolored the stone, but no skyscraper he'd seen, had stained-glass windows up the side of it. And as he circled the thing, he got a clear feeling it looked a little like one of those shuttle ships. Course, NASA had abandoned that program, either that, or maybe the government had secrets and that might explain the difficult to conquer debt.

In between some of the windows, he found what looked like it might be an entrance. Arcing over the panels were the words, Nephilim's Fuga. Perhaps, Noam was the best man to discover this, he wasn't sure what to call it yet, thing. Biblical passages were fertile ground for the horror writer. And one would pick up a bit of latin. Still he had no idea why there'd be a flight of the sons of god. Course, some had attributed Nephilim to fallen angels and others to a reference to aliens.

Another man might have left then, but Noam was mighty curious and what could he do anyways, say he saw some weird thing on his property. No, better to investigate. He pounded on the door with the butt of his flashlight, but just felt cold. He pushed on the panels and they moved inwards.

Inside, it was dark, and his flashlight shone against the sides of the place. He couldn't understand why this thing had flown in the air, he seemed to be stepping on marble and even someone with almost no science background like himself, knew that was no proper material for a spaceship. Something creaked above him. He pointed his flashlight into the dark, and illuminated what could only be a nave, the space soared so high the beam of his light couldn't pierce its depths. Marble columns rose into the darkness.

Through a door in the back, he found another room, and even for someone like him, someone who could imagine horrors, and pour them onto the page, he found his blood curdling when he saw the walls filled with alcoves containing skeletons on either side of him. They were packed in close like that French place. But, curiosity's got a way of weaning one of fear, and he moved forward through the dust shrouded hall.

A light gleamed from the other side of the doorway. Noam had come all this way. It'd be a shame if he ran away scared now, so he pushed the door, and when he saw the shape on the other side, a skeletal, mummy-shaped thing, cloth rags falling down the sides, bones showing in its face, he dropped his flashlight.

But, the thing just curled its fingers and motioned to him. He swallowed, amazed to still be counting himself among the living. And realized, whatever that thing once was, it didn't want him. The jaw was wrapped around with cloth, kind of like that ghost in Scrooge. For some reason, that vanquished some of his fear. It motioned him forward, and pointed at books lying open on the table.

A writer's got to read, but there ain't much time, so he learns to read fast. Noam skimmed through that book real quick-like. He then looked at the reliquary and nodded his head. "I don't doubt I can get the Pope. You stay right here, won't be but a fraction of a moment compared to where you've been."

Noam returned to his cabin, guessing he wouldn't get any time to write in the near future. World was going to be a different place when they found the Middle Ages had had space technology. Catholic Church was going to be even more different, back then they'd believed the sun circled the Earth. Could they handle the fact their ship found life on another planet?

Written based on Icy Sedgwick's photo prompt.


  1. Whoa, now that one went where no writer has gone before! Love it.

    Resist all requests for a sequel, I think it ends perfectly.

  2. Spacefaring, medieval-Catholic astronauts who find an alien species. No that's a unique vision for you!

  3. I like the phrasing on that line, like the Pope is in the cupboard out back.

    I agree with not doing a sequel. It's already so speculative. It'll be spoiled by getting unpacked.

  4. I love the voice, and the idea that maybe all (older) cathedrals are rocket ships we just don't know the launch codes for.

    And I agree with John and Far, it ends in just the right place. =)

  5. I love it, love the voice, loved the feel of the whole thing. What a wonderful piece of writing!

  6. I have heard it said "If you want to know the future, then look to the past."

    This is a great concept you have laid out here Aidan, excellently delivered as always. The world would indeed be stood on its head at this revelation.

  7. know what I'm going to be thinking about the next time I go to Mass, right? I love the uniqueness and even fun in this story! It ended in a great spot, but there is room if you want to write more. Just a great story! It is actually one of my favorites out here.

  8. Hi there Aidan -- I think I loved most everything about this. Apart from it being well written, what's not to like about medieval space-faring Catholics? Weird, Gothic, with sumptuous marble fittings. One tiny thing: at the first mention of skeletons, given the UFO context, I immediately wanted to know if they were human or not (though guessed they probably were). That's a mote-like complaint, though. Thumbs up for the Vatican space program. St.

  9. Really enjoyed this, and it's an interesting piece. Glad my photo could help as a prompt.

    Only nitpick is you spelled my surname wrong.

  10. @Far, you know it won't be where no writer went before if they offer Noam a chance at the stars. He'd love the peace and quiet, at least if they can provide him a way to contact his editor.

    @Loren, yep, I'm willing to go where I've never been before.

    @JohnW, OH, but now you've got me wanting to do the sequel with the pope in the cupboard.

    @JohnX, the church can be so secretive sometimes, I bet we'll never get those launch codes out of them.

    @Helen, thanks for the lovely words.

    @SteveG, the quote is quite appropriate. Although, now it's getting my mind playing with time travel.

    @Natz, Thanks!

    @Kwee, Isn't mass going to be so much more fun now ;)

    @Stephen, Hmmm, Vatican space program makes me think Vasa, and I know what happened the last time a Vasa sailed.

    @Icy, I apologize for the error, it has been corrected.

  11. I like the way this story challenges preconceptions about UFOs, history, even the Catholic Church. Very entertaining and imaginative! Seems timely in an eery sort of way :)

  12. Really like this story! Hehe the medieval catholic church in space. LOL