Pravic

A New Grammar for Science Fiction

Science Fiction is no longer a novelty.

We do not want to read Science Fiction because it is set in the future. Science Fiction must offer some deeper, truer view of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

 

Free Story From David Gill

This story was on the net tubes for awhile, but unfortunately the published folded, or something, so here you go, a gift from me to you:

In Time’s Empire, They Were All Slaves
by David Gill

Kim wanted to see an old gladiator movie and John didn’t care so long as they were together. They drove in his dark green Duster and parked three rows from the screen which they agreed was the perfect distance for good viewing. One car over, three teenagers in a faded yellow Volkswagen passed a joint around. It was an early summer night, and on the far side of the movie screen, to the east, the mountains climbed snow-kissed into the sky and the air swarmed with insect life.


The movie came on. Kirk Douglas looked a little too clean shaven to be a Thetian slave, and when John told Kim this she laughed and touched his arm. As the scene changed, the pair in the car was lit up by Roman soldiers on horseback filling the screen. Her hand slid down his arm until it grazed the back of his. As Kirk Douglas fought for his life against a black man with a spear, John rolled his hand over hers and presented his own, soft, pink palm up, in her lap. She looked at it and then gently cradled it in both of hers, and they watched while Spartacus leaned against his prison bars.


They were exchanging wet, passionate kisses as Spartacus was mocked by the Roman aristocracy. John ran his hands over Kim’s svelte body, savoring her numinous geometry. With a sigh she lifted her head and made eye contact. He could see down her shirt, and as he peered into that sacred space his vision became blurry with a shimmery, phosphene layer over everything. He saw beneath her faded Rolling Stones t-shirt visions of Earth girded with hundreds of orbiting satellites, whizzing by one another at great speeds; he saw freeways advance and multiply like veins across the surface of the earth; but mostly what he saw in the half-light was white concrete disappearing beneath a silver hood, driving, early in the morning, and he knew from the feel, the concrete was cold, and lethal.


John looked into Kim’s eyes, free for a moment of the vision, as Spartacus dodged spears on-screen. And then beyond them, outside the car, John could see the movie’s Roman empire was now superimposed over everything at the drive-in. And John saw then, how time was like an empire, a shapeless conglomeration of wills, a mindless bureaucracy which grinds, into a fine powder, a grey ash, all but the rarest of aspirations.


When Kim took her pants off, John saw the end of the world, playing like a movie, across the alabaster surface of her legs. There were no great explosions, but a slow dimming out, a dying away of vitality until the Earth as seen on her skin was lifeless, barren, a sterile wasteland.


She reached for him and they made love, there, on the bench seat of the Duster as Spartacus and his fellow slaves took up arms against their masters.