I began this science fiction snippet on 11 March 1988 then got stuck. It is untitled and unfinished. It’s really immature but I’m just amazed that I was capable of this kind of output. It’s a mish-mash of the tons of SF and F fiction crammed into my head, practically the only stuff I read from high school to college.
I cringe now at the heavy use of adverbs, soundly condemned (and rightly too) by Stephen King in his treatise “On Writing.” I also overused ellipses. As the eminent Victorian academic and short story writer Montague R. James said, “They are often considered a substitute for good writing. Let us have a few more…”
She stood in the glass cage that was her home, by the window that gave out onto emptiness. She was alone; but that was nothing new to her. For half a centad she had been imprisoned in the Crystal Cave, on orders of the Council of Three.
Imprisoned for a crime she did not remember having committed.
Five decads ago she was Aloysia van der Han, much-lauded temporal scientist, mother of two, wife of a Councilor, Alexei Morgan, They were all happy; and as an individual, too, she felt fulfilled. Until one day…
Alexei had told her many times that he loved her. With affection in his eyes he told her many time how much she meant to him, while touching her with gentle hands that caressed all the right places. She believed him, of course; she had no reason not to do so. So it was a genuine shock for her to find him one afternoon in a close coital embrace with Sharna al-Huseyn, another Councilor. Sharna of the long dark hair and red lips! Aloysia fainted.
She came to in a Securitycell, the white wall reflecting the glare of high-powered lightlamps. Enforcers, in their distinctive crimson and black uniforms, were ranged about her. When they saw that she had awakened, a high-ranking Enforcer – the only one with gold braid on his sleeves – approached her and in ungentle tones told her that Alexei and Sharna had been found beside her in a little room. Horribly mutilated. Horribly dead.
Aloysia blinked uncomprehendingly. “Dead – but who – how…?” she muttered. “No one else was in the room but yourself, Doctor van der Han,” said the Enforcer. “And the – er – delicate situation in which we found the two Councilors suggests that you may – er – have had a hand in their demise.” “Are you saying that I…” Aloysia’s voice was rising to a shriek. “I admit I found them together, but the last thing I remember is… is blacking out. I came to here,” insisted Aloysia. The Enforcer stared at her. “You will be subjected to a mental probe.” “On whose authorization?” queried Aloysia tremulously. “On that of the Council of Fi – Three, now,” said the Enforcer.
Despite her high reputation as an individual and as a scientist, Aloysia still had to undergo the psychoprobe. The results showed that it was indeed she who had slain the two – with Alexei’s blaster that he always carried about with him. The mutilations were done by her with Sharna’s needle dagger. Only one decision could be made.
In a High Tribunal Court, the Council of Three – lately the Council of Five – condemned Aloysia van der Han, violator and despoiler of two human lives, to incarceration in the Crystal Cave for half a centad. Hearing the awful sentence, Aloysia screamed.
Her imprisonment was almost over, she thought tiredly. Fifty years of solitude would soon end. But she had nothing to look forward to. Her children would have their own lives. Her work – after all this time, she could not return to it. Too many advances had been made that she could not keep up with. It would be better, she thought, if I were never to leave here. To stay in a crystal cage forever. (to be continued)
I actually ended with that – “to be continued”.