What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Distant Vistas - Part 4 by Sven Pertelson

Mission Control finally got back to me about my request to leave the lake area and head for the big dish and the terraced hillsides. No go ! The radar maps we have from orbit show the terrain between my current position and there is too extreme for the MSV and I could not cover the distance on foot without it to recharge my suit. [expletive deleted]. That area will have to wait for another lander and MSV to be deployed.

Perhaps they are right. Even here the terrain is challenging. It took the rest of the day to find somewhere to cross the rapidly flowing mountain steam and move into the gently rolling hills on the other side. The MSV only just made it across. Mind you I was more worried about what might be living in the water as I waded across and was glad of the safety line attached to the MSV's winch on the far side. It could pull me out quickly if something went wrong.

The planet's huge yellow moon was rising behind the mountains above me while the afternoon sun gave a golden glow to the rugged peaks. Looking at the lake below me I could see that even on a small body of water the moons tidal effect was noticeable. Areas that had been land the day before were covered with water. Some day I might get to look at the ocean shore. What adaptations this worlds life made to cope with the huge tidal range I could only imagine.

I picked my way between the dark green tussocks that covered this side of the stream. As I brushed one in passing I heard a metallic 'ping' from below. Looking down I could small dart like thorns protruding from the fabric of my suit leg. The ping was where a dart had ricocheted of the metal of my boot. The suit readout showed no penetration of its material. Thank goodness for the suit designers in this feature at least. Multiple layers of kevlar, carbon fibre and even a modern version of chain-mail did mean that most things could not penetrate the outer layer. The MSV was going to have to run over some of them whwn it came to find me. Luckily its tracks were metal and should not be harmed. This was a most unfriendly planet.

I kept on moving down towards the the lake. If I could not explore where I wanted to at least I could discover other new things today. There were some pink structures near the lake that I wanted to take a look at. From their distance and their apparent size they were huge.

What the.....! What was that? I ducked involuntarily. A gold metallic egg like shape flashed by overhead. It flew down toward the lake and vanished into the distance. I felt my suit being buffeted by the turbulent air in its wake. That thing was going close to the speed of sound ! Drat! My helmet cam had not been running. Mission Control were going to have fun with me over this. First cultivated fields and now UFOs. The ground ahead of me was covered with millions of tiny darts. The passing craft, if that is what it was, had triggered all the tussocks down to the lake. At least a photo of that should give some evidence that something strange had happened. Time to make a log entry and also note an idea, could the helmet cam not be set up to record a say one minute loop when idle, that way sudden events could be captured.

My heart was still racing when I got close enough to see some detail in the pink structures. A sort of cross between chrysanthemums and sea anemones. But much much bigger. The planets liking for tentacles and tendrils was starting to become evident. These no-flowers were sitting with their bases in the lake. They were bending over the water. One tendril touched the water and a mass of the piranha analogs rose to the surface. But here the hunter became the hunted. Dozens of pink tendrils seized the not-fish and carried it to the centre of the flower. There it vanished into a mouth filled with fine teeth.

Finding an area well away from the not-flowers and also off the tussock plant area I called the MSV. This was going to be a long evening being de-briefed by Mission Control.

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