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GIFTS

 

A Science Fiction Short Story

This story was inspired by comic art contributed to our 2014 Art Contest by artist Melvin Costiniano.

Melvin's work speaks of a desperate battle, and so our story starts with one artist's desperate isolation enforced by her overpowering agoraphobia.

Living in a windowless basement, the artist of our tale continues to draw heroic art even as the world outside her sanctuary is turned upside down by an inexplicably unusual invasion.

What she cannot realize is that what seems to be the collapse of human civilzation may be the greatest gift of all.

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Sample

Hard to believe it was only a couple of months ago when the news started coming in. Contact had been made with something beyond the stars.

 The first reports were relayed from Mons Olympus Observatory, near the colony on Mars and the moon base confirmed the signal. It was left up to Earth to answer, and the UN did that after only a week’s debate.

There was a great deal of excitement at first, and far more thoughtful engagement and conversation than I might have expected. You could find new articles and insights posted online by the minute.

 For a while, we could all read rough translations of the alien’s exchange with the Atacama array in Chile. The novelty and fun of it only started to go south when the aliens announced their intentions to save us.

While Skyping with a new friend from far away can be fun, learning they are coming to visit without permission, and that they’ve decided your lifestyle needs turned around – that’s a different matter altogether.

I know, it was a little like that with Cali when we first met. I had to make sure she knew which personal doorways she was allowed through and which ones were too painful for me to open, even to her.

Within a fortnight, governments around the world joined together and locked down the alien chatter. The fear of invasion began to mount.

What exactly were they going to save us from?

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