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A vast, frozen void, stretching out in all directions, extending to the infinite. Like a colossal blank canvas, it was mammoth in scope, yet almost entirely devoid of life, thought, or purpose.
The probe was an exception. Easing its way slowly but surely between the solar systems, it glided determinedly forth.
In the immense cosmic scale of things, it was nothing; just a slim metal construct a couple of metres across, utterly insignificant in the gigantic black tapestry of its surroundings. Thankfully such introspection wasn’t characteristic of the probe and so it merely stayed the course, sailing through the darkness, following its directives.
Occasionally, another object in the void would wander into sensor range, and the probe would gaze in that direction with mild curiosity. The object would almost inevitably reveal itself to be an unimposing fragment of rock, typically just a micron or so across, and the probe would sigh and record the relevant data. As this was essentially the probe’s only source of entertainment as it ploughed on through the cold expanse, it felt that it should probably try and glean more enjoyment from the encounters. Still, they could hardly be called riveting.
Strangers in the Night – David Whitaker
Nobody’s Daughters and the Tree of Life – L’Erin Ogle
The Foaling Season – Samuel Chapman
Chasing the Light – Gloria Wickman
Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A: The blank page. It stares back and says all kinds of terrible things about you, your talent (or lack thereof), and whether or not you’ll ever come up with anything worth defacing it with. It reminds you of all the other things you might need to do before you start actually writing. It scoffs at all the ideas you want to write on it. That said, once I’ve put down a word, then a sentence, and then a paragraph, the momentum seems to build. The blank page loses its voice. It’s just that first word that’s so hard.
Brad Preslar’s story “A Song Without a Voice” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 13 May 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Molly Etta is a graduate student in Comparative Literature, living in the San Francisco Bay area. When she isn’t scribbling about dragons made of ink, she tends to be buried in research on allegorical reinterpretations of Ovid in Old French.
Q: Are you optimistic about the future of humanity?
A: I’d say I’m 50/50. There’s the excitement and wonder of new technology and where that can take us, but then I think there’s always humanity’s baser instincts holding us back from what we could truly achieve. I could never imagine humanity, with all its failings, will ever achieve a utopia.
Mark Rookyard’s story “Tides of Reflection” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 6 May 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Brad Preslar writes from Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife Ellie and their dog Stella (named for his wife’s favorite cider.) He wrote unique selling propositions and concepts for ten years at ad agencies in NC and OH before going freelance to devote more time to writing fiction. Brad grew up in Winston-Salem, NC where he studied Communication at Wake Forest University. He also received a MFA in film production from the University of Miami.