1) Muse’s directive: “Write about a noise– or a silence– that won’t go away.”
Vanguard Log: March 20th, 2075. 103rd day of her voyage to Mars
We are at the end of our rope. I am the only survivor now. The Vanguard has been without power for 18 days and 21 hours. I am floating in an abyss of stars and the flotsam of trash we have been sending up here since we managed to penetrate our own orbit.
God, I admit I am beginning to unravel.
And, while we’re talking, is it so wrong for me to ask you for a sign? The tiniest shred of assurance that they are on their way would sustain me. Even if they are not going to make it before the food stores are depleted. Christ, I don’t want my body floating out here in this coffin of metal and dead light.
Everything has been so quiet since Jared…Commander Stance, went silent. Emily, should this account ever be retrieved for you, know that your husband’s death does honor to his memory. I beg your forgiveness, but that is all I shall say on the subject.
I’ve decided to implement my plan. I found one more battery hiding among Jared’s things. I’ll have one chance. If the jump works, I’ll be able to signal MarsArk as they enter the 8th quadrant. Dear God, if they’ve postponed that mission…
If it should fail, Lord, I call on your mercy. I have designed my own end, and I ask that you forgive your forsaken wanderer.
It’s the silence I can no longer endure. One moment it haunts the darkness all around me, and the next it stands upon my shoulders like a giant. It is the only gravity left.
The language of silence is memory, and it is most fluent in pain. It decorates itself in tears, and it is fortified by the shrieking and wailing of my utter defeat.
Oh master of torture, give me your cold, jagged edges and hungry fire, but leave me not alone with silence. Silence, chiefly savage, covers my ears and conjures memories that swell my mind to bursting under his pressing palms.
I wake in his grip and I see those things in my past which revealed to me the true identity of happiness: a duplicitous witch with her own conniving devices.
I see my kitten cradled in my young hands, bleeding from mortal wounds when I realized I couldn’t save her. And the dog, chastised and confused.
I see my knee, blooming with blood and gravel that day I was miles from home and realized no one would come to save me–that I alone could carry me to the comfort of home.
I see that smirk on every boy’s face, that attitude of ridicule that I’m sure I painted there, each time I realized that I was the only one in love.
Dear Lord, I have tried and tried to sing. But all I hear is silence reminding me that I am helpless. That no one is coming. And I leave no love behind. Please bless my last resort, or accept my end.
With Your Grace,
~Evelyn Rossi, Flight Engineer
2) My current word count for my novel is: 15,199/30,000.
3) Muse’s next directive: “Write about a less-than-remarkable aspect of your life.”
“My students were middle-class kids who were ashamed of their background. They felt like unless they grew up in poverty, they had nothing to write about…I felt sorry for these kids, that they thought their whole past was absolutely worthless because it was less than remarkable.”