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Waystation -- FWG Flash Fiction for 9/25/2021

I missed last week. I've been battling a cold/flu (COVID Negative) for over a week, and I'm losing the battle. But, I've got one for this week's prompt, which is:



pixabay.com/illustrations/home-mountains-fantasy-floating-5889366


And, here it is:



Waystation



Rains brought floods which swept away the land. Glaciers scraped away more of the valley. Through the centuries, millenia, and eons, as the earth eroded away, the cabin and its little plot of land remained where it had always been. No one thought much of it, since in human terms, it had always been floating there. The Caretaker had always been there, too. He kept to himself, since his little plot provided everything he needed, until one brave young girl shouted up from the valley below. "Hey, Mister, why you floatin’ up there in the sky? You think you're better'n us or somethin'?" "No, of course not, my dear. This waystation must maintain its exact coordinates in the space-time continuum." The girl cocked her head in confusion. “Wha’ you a waystation for?”


The Caretaker felt a tinge of excitement, even pride, that, after so many millenia, someone finally asked him his purpose.


“This, little girl,” he swept his arm toward the cabin, “is a transit node on the Interstellar Transport Network. Folks from all over the galaxy pop through here on there way to somewhere else.”


The girl, wise beyond her years, was unfazed by the idea of interstellar travelers passing through her neighborhood.


“Do they all just pass through? Why don’t they stay a while?”


The Caretaker chuckled. “Oh, they are not allowed. You see, you humans just aren’t sophisticated enough yet to entertain extraterrestrial visitors.”


The girl tried to decide if she should be offended on behalf of the human race, when the windows of the cabin flared with light. "Oh, I must go," the Caretaker said. "I have another visitor."


As she watched him go, she decided she was offended, but not enough to risk the teasing she would face if she told anybody what he said.

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