I crawl towards the beautiful loud engine which propels us to our final destination the sounds of the dance thud below me and I wish that they would stop because ever since this exodus of ours there have been parties every second of every day and now all I want is sleep but I can’t because I need to fix this the engine’s song has been flooding our world for weeks always whining and always loud and always there and I’m the only one who notices and I’m the only one who cares and now I touch the cold grey greasy machine to see if it will tell me what’s wrong which it won’t because machines can’t talk and then I see the endlessness of space which is not sprinkled with stars and planets as it once was—
Taryn woke with a start. She took a few panicked breaths before she remembered that it was a dream. The same dream, in fact, that she had been having over and over and over again ever since they had left Earth for their new home. She was heartily sick of it. With a sigh, she stared out the small porthole that served as her window. Nothing but blackness with a few flickering starts and gigantic planets. In the far distance she spotted a nebula, glowing yellow and pink. Once, such a sight had filled her with a lilting sort of joy. Now, however, it barely made it skip a beat.
Below her, she could hear the thunking sound of the music that has been playing since they left their home, a world so sick with their disease that the only hope was send the young ones away. Somewhere far, far away a beautiful, intelligent mother and a handsome, quiet father would be staring up at the sky, trying to see through the smog where their only child was. She smiled out the window just in case they could someone catch sight of her pale, heart-shaped faced framed by short, straight black hair.
A rumbling in her stomach made Taryn remember that she probably hadn’t eaten in several hours. It was hard to tell. Time passed strangely on the ship. She pulled herself out of bed and yanked on her government issued jacket and boots. She would have liked to sleep more, but she knew it was useless. She flipped a switch and the overhead light came on, illuminating the small room with a pale, sickly light. She kissed her fingers and touched them to the framed picture she had of her family. Someday, she hoped they would be able to join her and leave their ruined home planet behind. She splashed some of the stale, recycled water that ran through the small sinks in each bunk on her face. She looked in the mirror. Two brown, almond eyes stared back.
She locked the door to her bunk, a trick she’d learned after half the shipmates got their valuables stolen by the other half in the first weeks, and made her way down the expansive, grey hallway. She began humming softly to herself and then a sudden awareness came over her. It was the song from her dreams. She stopped humming and listened as hard as she could. Through her own blood pumping in her ears, she could hear it. The unearthly music from her dreams. She turned sharply and made her way, somewhere between a walk and a jog, to the cockpit, where Captain Aaron would be. She felt an overwhelming need to tell him about the music. He would understand and he would have answers. Lost in her haze of worry, she hardly noticed when she ran into another person.
“Oh, sorry,” Taryn said looking back.
Pearce, another passenger a few years younger than she was with olive skin and wide eyes, shrugged her apology off. Taryn continued on her way. Pearce dropped into pace next to her.
“I was looking for you. Good thing you ran into me, huh?” he said with his trademark carelessness.
Taryn didn’t answer him. The music was getting louder. It was silvery and shining and dark. It seemed to stop her heart and gave her a delicate ache in her stomach
“Taryn?” Pearce asked, eyes round with concern.
“Do you hear that?” Taryn replied.
“The music,” she almost whispered.
Pearce looked at her as if she were insane.
“Yeah. It never stops,” he said slowly as if she were a very small child.
“No, not that. It sounds…never mind.”
“Well, um, I’ll keep an ear out for it.”
Taryn smiled at him, unsure of what to say. The melody wove its way through her mind and into her heart. She was firmly in its grasp now. She felt as if she would be sick. Her step faltered and it was all she could do not to fall to her knees and cover her ears. Until, suddenly, it stopped. The silence filled her ears and a small smile began to form on her lips. It was gone.
“Beckham’s looking for you, by the way.” Pearce’s voice said, breaking through the silence.
Taryn’s smile faltered. Beckham. Great.
“Tell him to wait,” she said.
“He’s not gonna be happy ‘bout that. With you. Or me,” Pearce said.
Taryn sighed. She knew how he could get with his lackeys and Pearce was definitely one of his favorite scapegoats. Pearce was still playing it cool, but there was an anxiety about his eyes. The mystery of the music and her own hunger weighed just as heavily on her as the threats she imagined Beckham had given poor Pearce. In the very far corners of her mind, the music began to play again.Serealities