The Supernova.

Today I wrote a short story. I want to write to the outline for a book I have, but today I didn’t have time. Also, to the surprise of nobody who knows me, I procrastinated. I might have had enough time to make some progress, but it got lost to me fighting against writing. The best part, as all procrastinators know, is that I was mad at myself for fighting it even as I fought it. There’s a theme in there somewhere that I can hopefully pull up for some .

Anyhow, the story was written after reading a prompt from StoryADay.org. I have tons of writing prompts available to me, partially from being subscribed to this sites mailing lists for a little over a year now. This particular prompt can be found here. The character started out as a young girl, but I think that’s due to the book I should be working on because I got the feeling she was actually a young adult as I went through. If I were to add this work to a book or submit it to a publication I would re-work the introduction at the beginning a little to better reflect that. As it is I got rid of the very beginning, but could use it as a blurb if this were ever made a larger story. (That’s why it’s still kind of there.)

If you have any thoughts about the story, of any kind, please leave them below. I consider short fiction like this to be practice, so any feedback is actually welcome. I’ll interact with you and everything! You can even send it privately to me if you’d like. If you don’t have my email address just ask for it below.

The Prompt

On the day they saw the blue star swell to gigantic proportions, everyone went blind but Hardy. He was already blind, had been from birth,but he had lifted his head to the heavens because he felt a peculiar warmth.

Moments later the others were still blind, but he could see. All the colors of the spectrum. Even viewed by moonlight, the brightness of it all frightened and puzzled him.

The Supernova

Have you ever wanted to see a total solar eclipse? How about the Northern Lights? This was supposed to be better than both of those put together. I’ve seen both and I was more excited than most. You see, my dad discovered it. Yep, I’m that Andrea.

Hi. Andrea L. Pinkerton at your service. My friends call me Pinky and my family calls me Andi. That way I know who’s calling for me. You called me Andrea, so I’m guessing we haven’t met before. That happens a lot now. I guess it comes with being some kind of famous. That is why you called, right? You want to hear about how he found it?

Oh. Nobody’s ever asked me that before. They always want to know how he found it, what we were doing when he found it, did he dance and sing, what did we all do when we heard, things like that. Nobody asks what he was looking for, or why.

Of course he wasn’t looking for it, but then aren’t most big discoveries like that? He would tell you he was looking for patterns. That’s what he always said. “Astronomy isn’t about looking at the stars anymore, these days it’s about finding patterns in the data and looking at the data around the patterns.” I can’t count how many times I heard him say that. I think he was trying to steer me to a different life, one with more adventure and excitement. Kind of makes you laugh really. He was trying to steer me from a boring life one day and makes the most exciting announcement ever the next.

Oh, sorry. He was part of a team trying to figure out how to predict supernovas. More specifically, to find stars with planets in the habitable zone that could currently support life, but in which the stars were close to the end of their life. The idea was we didn’t want to try for those systems because by the time we got there the planets could be dead already. Is that what you were looking for?

No. The secondary objective was not a thing. That was all made up after the fact to fit what really happened. It’s amazing what people say when it can’t be verified one way or the other. I guess it’s a good story though.It makes it seem as if there was some bigger plan. I’ve read that we tend to make up patterns in random data even if none are there. Like seeing Jesus in toast you know? My bet is that’s where the secondary objective came from.

Do I think it’s true? No. In fact I fully believe it isn’t. The data looks the same for every single one. How could it possibly be true? There would have to be some kind of variance from one to the next, we see that with sets of data here. If it was true then we become the exception, which is about the only thing less likely than it being true.

Ok, I’ll give you that we technically aren’t an exception because our sun has a long life left. The thing is, there have been instances of the same data in some systems that we know could not have sustained life as we know it, systems with nothing in the habitable zone.

Now you want to know about the close one? I’m not sure what I can tell you that hasn’t been said before. It was still the same objective, find systems with habitable planets which won’t be habitable for long. As you know one was found that was close, very close in interstellar terms. We’ve watched them before. This one though, it was different. Because of the distance and the star’s composition it would visible to the naked eye when it happened. Well, I guess it happened years ago. When we got confirmation I guess.

No there wasn’t anything strange about the star’s composition. Did you do your own research before contacting me?

Sorry. I agree there’s a need to be thorough. It was supposed to be a beautiful show. It was too, I mean what we saw anyhow.

Right before it? I didn’t see anything else. My dad discovered it. We were guests of the President watching from Hawaii. Honestly looking back the media circus was almost more impressive, topped only by the confusion after.

Have I heard about what some people found in the data? Yes. He never looked. He blames himself for the world going black. I’m pretty sure if we could see him he’d look horrible. He sounds and feels pretty bad.

What if it’s true? I’ll tell you what I think, besides that it’s not true. If it is true than there is a race of beings out there traveling from one habitable system to the next, and some that aren’t, blowing up stars. That’s what I think. If it wasn’t the same race every time the signatures people are “seeing” would vary as all biological processes do. If it is the same race for all of them then we’re likely next. If that’s the case I’m glad we can’t see anything anymore.

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